On Tuesday, January 26th, the Colonial School District announced that Colonial Elementary School would switch to 100% virtual instruction from January 27th to February 7th due to a recent rash of COVID-19 cases within the school’s population. The first batch of cases was determined not to have spread within the school. Contacting tracing is still being conducted for the second set of cases.
Below is the message sent out by Superintendent Dr. Michael Christian to the school’s families.
Last week, we notified Colonial Elementary School (CES) families of multiple positive COVID-19 cases in CES. The contract tracing we conducted, in coordination with the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH), indicated that the cases were not the result of in-school transmission. The individuals involved were not in the same classes nor did they ride the same buses.
Last Friday, we asked all staff to work remotely so that we could complete a thorough cleaning of the school and keep the school closed for three days as per Department of Health and Department of Education guidance. Because of the contact tracing and our mitigation efforts, we were able to continue our in-person hybrid model of instruction.
Unfortunately, two additional cases have been reported this week (including one today). As per our protocols, we initiated contact tracing and called MCOPH. While we have not determined that the individuals contracted the virus in school, the number of recent cases we have had in CES is undoubtedly concerning.
After receiving guidance from the MCOPH and based on the increased number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 at CES, we will be temporarily closing Colonial Elementary School beginning Wednesday, January 27 until Sunday, February 7. All students and teachers will participate in our virtual instructional model during this period. We will return to our hybrid model on Monday, February 8. All other school buildings and the District Office will remain open.
We understand this is disappointing news and places a burden on CES families. However, the health, safety, and well-being of our school community is of paramount importance. We are following sound mitigation strategies and will continue our effort to minimize risk and ensure the learning process can continue. We will continue our contact tracing efforts with MCOPH to identify any additional exposures. We will keep our families apprised of our investigation.
Please continue to watch for primary symptoms of COVID-19, which include shortness of breath, coughing, and fever or chills. Other symptoms include congestion, sore throat, diarrhea, abdominal pain, body aches, and loss of taste or smell. If you or your child begin to experience symptoms, please consult a healthcare provider and notify your school nurse and building principal.