Nearly 200 students and teachers are being forced to quarantine after returning to school.
Contact tracing revealed that 185 students and teachers out of the school’s 1,741 student population may have been exposed to an infected person.
Since many of the positive cases were linked to social gatherings outside of school hours, the school’s superintendent, Marcus Boudreaux, asked parents to help enforce social distancing and wearing masks on weekends.
“Things such as parties, sleepovers, get togethers, and hanging out with groups of friends. Those individuals that are choosing to participate in social gatherings are not only jeopardizing the school experience for themselves. Their choice is excluding hundreds of other students from the school setting,” Boudreaux's letter read.
He added: “While the school cannot control such activities, they are the driving factor that could result in a physical shut down of the school, athletics, and activities. We are begging for your help to prevent such an outcome. The efforts made during the school day to keep students socially distanced, masked up, and healthy are all negated with a few choices during the weekend.”
His plea to parents and students was to “assist” the school by “choosing not to participate in such activities during the weekend.”
He went on to explain that anyone who has been within 6 feet of a positive individual for 15 minutes or more has been identified and requested to quarantine for 14 days.
“As you can imagine, when dealing with 7 class periods, transportation, athletics, and activities for each student, the tracing is quite extensive and the number of close contacts adds up quickly,” Boudreaux added.
The school has welcomed back 85% of its students, while fifteen percent signed up for virtual learning, said Jennifer Pyron with Biloxi Public Schools.
Those students who are being quarantined will also switch over to the virtual learning program so that they don’t miss a minute of learning.