The Trenton R-9 School District has had a large number of students quarantined in the last few weeks due to close contact with a positive COVID-19 student within a classroom. That is according to Superintendent Mike Stegman, who notes administration has worked to keep students safe by wearing masks and social distancing. He reports the district has seen a drop in the quarantined number since the Thanksgiving Break, and the administration feels it would be a good time to make modifications to quarantine protocol.
Trenton R-9 is prepared to implement modifications announced by Governor Mike Parson, the Department of Health and Senior Services, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The implementation would take effect at the Trenton High School and Middle School on December 8th. Rissler Elementary School will look into modifying mask mandates currently used to take advantage of the new protocols.
Stegman says the update will not allow all students to use the protocol, but it should help some and allow students who follow all of the guidelines with no symptoms to stay in school. Students will still be close contact traced and placed on quarantine with those who meet the established guidelines to come to school during the regular day as long as no COVID-19 symptoms are present.
Stegman explains no activities are allowed outside of the school day while in quarantine. The update will not change the quarantines in athletics and other large groups not wearing masks or for classes that are in cohorts and not wearing masks in the classroom. Close contacts during the lunch period will still be in quarantine.
Stegman believes the changes will not create additional risk in the district and says there have been no signs the spread of the virus is happening within the schools. He adds that the positive cases the district has had are tracked to activities and contacts outside of the school day. He also believes not all students sent home are staying quarantined as intended, and those students would be better off in school where they will wear masks as much as possible and receive an educational benefit.
If the district finds it has a positive spread due to the changes, it will go back to more restrictive protocols.
Information on DESE Reopening Guidance and Reopening Guidance Frequently Asked Questions are available on Trenton R-9’s website.