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15 Pflugerville ISD teachers quarantining due to exposure to COVID-19 case

Sixth and seventh-grade students at Kelly Lane Middle School will have to continue learning 100% virtually for an extra week.

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas — On Thursday, Pflugerville ISD confirmed that 15 Kelly Lane Middle School teachers are now in quarantine after being exposed to a positive COVID-19 case. 

The district said the exposures were mixed, with some occurring on campus and some off campus.

Due to the lack of staff caused by the teachers' absence, the school will have to continue having its sixth- and seventh-grade students learning 100% online through the week of Dec. 14-18. Eighth-grade students will continue learning as planned. Sixth- and seventh-graders were already learning online the week of Dec. 7-11 due to COVID-19 exposures. 

Ruben Dominguez has two children who attend the school. He said he is happy about how the school district handles these situations. 

"The school took care of it properly and fast," said Dominguez. "Not only did they take care of it properly and fast, they notified the parents so we are informed. It’s not like we were not made aware of it; they kept us apprised in the situation." 

According to the district's COVID-19 dashboard, the week of Dec. 4, the school district had the most exposures since it started tracking cases. During Austin Public Health's weekly updates, chief epidemiologist Janet Pichette said we are seeing the effects of gathering during the Thanksgiving holiday.

"Following Thanksgiving we have seen a number of cases resulting from holiday gatherings," said Pichette, "individuals celebrating with those who didn't live in your household."

While Pflugerville ISD was able to track down exposures, Pichette said it is not easy.

"This is something we have struggled with from the beginning of this pandemic", said Pichette, "people not being forthright with information, which is important for us to follow up."

As we continue through this holiday season, APH encourages everyone to continue to following COVID-19 safety guidelines.  

RELATED: List: Central Texas schools temporarily closing campuses, sports due to COVID-19

The following letter was sent out to parents and guardians this week:

Dear Kelly Lane Families,

We want to provide an update to our families today to give them as much planning time as possible. We apologize for the disruption to our 6th and 7th grade students’ learning environment this week. Unfortunately, after assessing the first two days of virtual instruction and availability of existing and temporary staff, we have determined we will not have enough staff in person to resume our operations next week. Therefore, we will continue to have our 6th and 7th grade students in 100% virtual learning for the week of Dec. 14-18. In-person learning for 8th-grade students will continue as usual.

We plan on beginning the new semester with all grades resuming in-person instruction, and will communicate with families if there are any changes.

Students will continue to follow their regular schedules while in remote learning, and should login and access their classes via Canvas. If your student needs assistance with access, please have them email their teacher.

Meal service will continue to be provided for Kelly Lane Middle School students who are in remote instruction. Please check the district’s meal service website for information on meal pick up locations and times.

All 7th-grade athletics and fine arts events are suspended as well until students return in person.

While in remote instruction and over the Winter Break, please monitor your students for symptoms of COVID-19 and consult with your primary care provider should symptoms develop. If your child’s test is confirmed as positive or you are suspected of having COVID-19, you may not return to campus until:

  • at least one day (24 hours) has passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
  • the symptoms have improved (e.g., cough, shortness of breath);
  • ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

RELATED: Pflugerville ISD community members claim district's plans are misleading; new advocacy group supports families

If your child has symptoms of possible COVID-19 illness and is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, he/she may not return to the campus until completing the same three-step set of criteria listed above.

Please do not send your child back to school if he/she falls into the categories listed above. Please contact your school nurse Katie Kunz at Katelyn.Kunz@pfisd.net if your child has been confirmed as having tested positive with COVID-19, as this could impact when they are able to return to campus.

If you have any questions or concerns, please visit the district’s COVID-19 information page for resources, or feel free to reach out to us via Let’s Talk! with any questions.

Again, we apologize for this disruption and we miss having our students back in the classroom, but our goal is to prevent community spread and most importantly keep our students and staff safe. Thank you for your help and understanding during these difficult times.

Sincerely,

Dr. Douglas Killian, Superintendent
Pflugerville ISD

RELATED: Pflugerville ISD teachers question cleanliness of schools as some receive moldy disinfectant wipes

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