COVID-19 Data for NPS
COVID-19 DATA Reporting for NPS
The Health Department is required to notify the school, within 24 hours, of school-related cases. In many instances, our school staff and parents report positive cases directly to NPS and therefore we have this information before the Health Department is able to notify us.
Parents, students, and community members are reminded that when a person who attends or works at NPS reports a positive test result, this does not indicate where COVID was contracted or spread.
The number of positive cases of staff and/or students that have occurred at NPS since the beginning of the school year is as follows:
Newaygo Elementary School - 8
Newaygo Middle School - 4
Newaygo High School - 19
Please be reminded that some of these students are Newaygo Virtual students and therefore may be a positive case but have not physically been in our school buildings. This information will be updated periodically.
Questions? Contact Nurse Jen Stephens or Superintendent Peg Mathis
NPS COVID Procedures Q and A
Compiled by Dr. Mathis and updated October 6, 2020
Q: How is cleaning/disinfecting done during the day?
A: At NMS and NHS:
When a class period is done, students are dismissed in “waves” so not all students are moving in the halls at the same time. This staggers the traffic and keeps hallways from being crowded to promote social distancing. As students are dismissed, teachers are wiping and disinfecting desks to prepare for the next class to come in. For high touch areas and common areas, WMJ staff work to keep things clean.
Teacher’s clean student desks after lunch. The same student sits at the same desk all day long so hourly cleaning is not required.
School Buses, School Cars, and School Vans:
After each use, vehicles are disinfected. This is done either by using a Graco battery-operated sprayer or spray bottles. Both modes are done with an approved disinfectant.
WMJ staff clean buildings.
Q: What happens if the school hears about a positive case?
A: We investigate. Nurse Jen Stephens may speak with the student, parent, and Health Department to confirm positivity. If confirmed, we do contact tracing. We examine seating charts in the classes the positive case was in and identify students who were within 6 feet of the positive individual for more than 15 minutes. If applicable, we notify the bus driver and figure out any close contacts due to bus seating arrangements.
Q: How do I know if my kid was a close contact?
A: Nurse Jen Stephens or a NPS administrator will contact the parent/guardian within the day, or early the next day. District Health Department #10 is also charged with this task but we know they have a lot on their plate. We also know that parents appreciate hearing directly from school personnel.
Q: Who else gets notified of the positive case?
A: All staff who work in that particular building are notified by email of the positive case (no identities are shared). Parents of students who attend that building are sent a letter via Skyward (H.S. & M.S.) and/or a letter is sent home in backpacks (NES).
Q: Why don’t you just post the positive cases on Facebook?
A: This is not an appropriate use of social media.
Q: How can I keep my kid from being a close contact?
A: Seating in many classes is spaced 6 feet apart. This is not possible in every single class, however. The MI Safe Schools plans recommend spacing students at least 3 feet apart if 6 feet cannot be accomplished. We have moved some larger classes to bigger areas (wrestling room, cafeteria) so that students can spread out more. We also encourage our students and teachers to make sure mask breaks are taken (so students can move away from others) as well as movement allowed throughout the class period so students are not by one person for more than 15 minutes. We have been coaching our kids to know when they have reached a limit and to get up and move around the room. We also have students going outside throughout the day as weather permits.
Q: If seating 6 feet apart cannot happen in every single instance, why is school open?
A: We are continuously monitoring our class configurations to make spacing a priority. We firmly believe the best place for our students is in school as long as all of us (including students) are mitigating risks. We know that online learning is not ideal and the best way to learn is in-person. The lack of good internet connectivity throughout our entire county is also problematic.
Q: I heard lunch procedures changed at NMS & NHS. What is different?
A: We started the school year having all teachers supervise a group of students in their classroom for lunch. Our teachers were not getting an adequate break in their school day but it was the best way to get started as we have never been through this before. As of October 5, our procedures have changed. We have changed the type of tables in the high school cafeteria and they are spaced out there and at the middle school. Students are supervised by less staff and more teachers are able to get a lunch/bathroom break.
Q: How is lunch handled in the Elementary school?
A: Prior to October 5, teachers were all supervising lunch and eating with their students. Now, teachers that don’t want to do that are relieved by an aide who substitutes during that time to supervise kids eating lunch.
Q: How are kids spaced out at the beginning of the day during breakfast?
A: At NES, we used to have students go to the playground or the cafeteria immediately when they arrived at school. We cannot have large groups of students assemble, so students go directly to classrooms to eat breakfast and get ready for the school day. The same happens at the middle school and high school. This keeps large groups of students from gathering in hallways, by lockers, etc. It does, however, put extra burden on teachers to be at school earlier and take on more supervision.
Q: I cannot do Newaygo Virtual, so why can’t schools just hand out packets like last spring?
A: We distributed packets last spring because we were not equipped to shift to virtual teaching at that time. Packets do not allow for student to student and/or student to teacher interaction. High quality learning is an activity that depends on human interaction. Packets cannot facilitate that.