It is a difficult situation to make decisions for schools and school activities with so many variables that change often in the current pandemic situation. We are not lightly making the decisions without checking available information. Part of the difficulty is that we are uninformed because all of this is new. Prior knowledge does not exist for this pandemic. Best practices are being realized on the fly as we progress.
We believe that extra-curricular activities such as athletics and the arts are a very important part of schools and of great interest to students. This belief is consistent in the support given to make them an important part of schools. We also believe by reports from Athletic Directors and Coaches, that our students, coaches and volunteers are practicing social distancing and other protocols according to plans submitted. We commend them for their actions.
We are not sure of the safe practices at other social gatherings in the community outside of school activities and the impact it may have on school activities. It is recommended by the Governor and the state for us to follow the advice and recommendations of our local health departments. We are complying with that advice and recommendations. The Governor and state want contact tracing completed to confirm more localized reduction of risks, instead of shutting the whole state down again. Mitigation of risks is very important. We are working with the health department to see, without breaking confidentiality, how much information we can obtain from contact tracing and positive cases for decision making on a more targeted basis. Currently, we are relying on self-reporting alone. As we move forward, self-reporting will remain a very important part of continued progress to maintain keeping schools and activities open. It is our goal to resume activities with better information as soon as we can. We are trying to reduce the risks and keep everyone safe.
Marion County Schools will post relevant news, updates, and guidance for parents, students, teachers, and staff on this page to keep you informed.