Madison City Schools reports more than 100 students tested positive for COVID-19 since schools opened on August 4. Students who tested positive are in quarantine until they are cleared to return.
Because of the rise in cases, the school district will be reevaluating school schedules to assist with social distancing this week.
"Many districts in the country are already moving to hybrid and virtual options. I believe that by following the ADPH guidelines, we can continue to avoid this type of schedule disruption," Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said.
Starting next week, students will eat in the classroom instead of the cafeteria.
"Other activities will be evaluated and adjusted to lessen the spread of the virus and assist our staff in contact tracing. Our goal is to keep the cases down and be able to continue with our regular school schedule," Dr. Nichols said. "My team and I are making changes to our procedures to keep as many students in school as safely as possible."
Right now, students and staff are required to wear a mask inside the school. The school district says faculty, staff and students have done a great job following the rule.
Students who forget or lose a mask will not be disciplined. Schools will have spare masks for students. However, students can face consequences if they disrupt class for failing to wear a mask or refusing to put a mask back on. Those consequences could include "temporary or permanent removal from the property," according to school policy.
"My hope is that in a few weeks, we will see a decline in these positive tests and be able to develop a mask optional status for our schools," Dr. Nichols said. "I want to emphasize that in-person learning is our main focus this year, but, in order to ensure safety, we must adhere to our MCS policies."
Read the full update from Madison City Schools here.