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East Limestone Middle and High Schools temporarily close because of coronavirus

Superintendent Dr. Randy Shearouse says 16 staff members also are in quarantine at these schools, and the district doesn't have enough substitutes to fill those teaching positions.

Posted: Nov 13, 2020 5:36 PM
Updated: Nov 13, 2020 6:13 PM

There are 398 students at East Limestone Middle and High Schools in quarantine on Friday due to coronavirus.

Now, school leaders are moving the two schools to remote learning starting on Monday.

Superintendent Dr. Randy Shearouse says 16 staff members also are in quarantine at these schools, and the district doesn't have enough substitutes to fill those teaching positions.

With about 650 students in quarantine among all Limestone County Schools, parents are having to adjust to virtual learning for the next two weeks.

"I wasn't really shocked because even going around to local school events, and things like that, people aren't taking the precautions," said mother, Jessica Montgomery.

East Limestone Middle and High Schools will be on temporary remote learning through Nov. 30.

Montgomery says this is the third time her daughter has been sent home to quarantine after being exposed to coronavirus at school this year.

"I'm sure it's stressing her out," said Montgomery.

She says her daughter is struggling to keep up with her school work while transitioning between in-person and virtual school so much.

"It's hard to just go off of a computer base, I'm more of a paper person. I like to see it on paper, rather than going back and forth with the teachers and not getting anywhere," said Montgomery.

"A little bit overwhelmed," said grandmother, Patricia Vittitow.

Vittitow's 15-year-old grandson is also struggling with grades, because he too, has been sent home to quarantine after being exposed to coronavirus at school three times now.

"In all of his classes, he's dropped at least a letter grade," said Vittitow.

Vittitow says it's not just students who the transition impacts.

"Now, I've got to figure out how to get my job done and how to make sure they get all their assignments done," said Vittitow.

Superintendent Shearouse says he knows it's difficult, but the district is doing what it has to, to follow CDC guidelines.

"We appreciate our parents for being patient with us," said Shearouse.

Shearouse says next week, the district will give out electronic devices for students to use while remote learning, and Montgomery says she's decided to switch her daughter to virtual school fulltime.

"I want her grades to rise, but if she's continuously being behind, she's never going to catch up," said Montgomery.

Shearouse says most of the 655 students will remain in quarantine until after Thanksgiving break, and the next two weeks will be focused on deep cleaning and disinfecting East Limestone.

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