COVINGTON, Ga. — Unexpected staff absences and a previously-announced precautionary quarantine led school system officials to temporarily close Indian Creek Middle School for in-person learning effective immediately tonight, Nov. 29.
The announcement follows the Newton County School System's Nov. 24 announcement there were no plans for closing the school after students and staff were exposed to someone with COVID-19.
School system officials said in a news release tonight that in-person learning students should not report to school Monday, Nov. 30, but should revert to virtual learning through the Canvas learning management system, .
The closure has no effect on students already participating in virtual learning. Reopening is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 7, the release stated.
"Students who need to pick up medication or other items that they must have during the closure should call the school’s front office to make an appointment," the release stated.
"Students needing to borrow technology for the week may pick up a device tomorrow at the school between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. If you have question regarding technology, please reach out to the school."
The students also may obtain a free breakfast and lunch meal at any school location, the release stated.
"What does this mean for all other NCSS students? The closing of Indian Creek Middle School is a necessary precaution as we work to ensure in-person learning can continue in our other schools.
"We anticipate, as we have communicated throughout this process, there will be additional quarantines and school closures as we operate during this pandemic," it stated.
"We need our entire community to work together: stay home when you’re sick; get tested if you’re symptomatic; report your child’s positive test to their school; if you are directed to quarantine, follow the instructions and limit interaction with non-family members; socially distance, and wear a mask when in public."
The announcement follows the Nov. 24 announcement that 22 students and nine staff members at Indian Creek Middle had been identified as contacts to an individual with COVID-19.
"In accordance with current CDC and Health Department guidelines, these individuals must quarantine for a period of 14 days from their date of exposure."
"All parents and guardians of affected students were notified (Nov. 24) by school district personnel. The school will be deep-cleaned during the Thanksgiving Break."
Indian Creek is located on Covington Bypass Road near the southern city limits of Covington.