Wheeler County student positive for COVID-19, district moving to home study Monday

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ALAMO, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A Wheeler County Elementary student has tested positive for COVID-19, and the district is asking all students in the student’s class to be quarantined.

That’s according to a letter posted by Superintendent Suzanne Couey on the district’s Facebook page Thursday night, which also said the district is moving to home study on Monday, August 17, “so teachers can provide further instructions for students and prepare them for the next two weeks of learning at home.”

“I met with administrators this morning, and we discussed our current situation, the current rates of COVID-19 community spread, and the safest way for us to proceed,” Couey wrote. “In addition to increased cases in our community, we are concerned that so many of our students have chosen remote learning. We know that the instruction by computer software cannot compare to the education that our teachers can provide. As cases increase, we expect more families interested in remote learning, and we do not think that is the best educational route for our students.”

Couey wrote that parents can expect more information on Friday, August 14.

View the full letter here:

Message from Mrs. Couey:

We learned today that a student at the elementary school tested positive for COVID-19, and according to DPH guidelines, we will be asking that all students in that class be quarantined. The DPH will be making calls to those students’ parents this afternoon.

I met with administrators this morning, and we discussed our current situation, the current rates of COVID-19 community spread, and the safest way for us to proceed. In addition to increased cases in our community, we are concerned that so many of our students have chosen remote learning. We know that the instruction by computer software cannot compare to the education that our teachers can provide. As cases increase, we expect more families interested in remote learning, and we do not think that is the best educational route for our students.

For this reason, we have decided to move to home study on Monday, August 17th, so teachers can provide further instructions for students and prepare them for the next two weeks of learning at home. Principals are still working out details regarding schedules and the best way to deliver instruction so that students are accountable for all assignments and can receive the support they need from teachers. We will provide more details providing those plans tomorrow, but we wanted to let you know our plans before next week so that you could attend to childcare needs and we could address your safety concerns.

We realized when we started the school year that this would happen. We did not realize it would be this soon, but we are glad we were able to get started so that teachers and students could establish procedures, and so that students could learn more about Schoology and the other technology we will be utilizing in the coming weeks.

Parents, if your child is currently using educational software and you would like him/her to return to direct instruction by WCSS teachers, please let your principal know, and they will make the proper arrangements.

We know this transition may be inconvenient, and we want to commend our teachers for doing whatever is necessary to provide quality instruction. But the safety of our students and staff remains our primary concern. Right behind that is the educational quality we provide. At present, we believe this is the right thing to do to address both priorities.

Look for more information tomorrow. Thanks, and goodnight.

Suzanne Couey

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 310 Tucker Sargent joined the 41NBC news team in April 2012. He hails from "The Great State of Alabama," as he calls it, but you won't catch him saying "Roll Tide!" Tucker grew up near Auburn, before moving to north Alabama. He graduated from Danville High School in 2007 and loves to return to the Tennessee Valley any chance he gets. He moved back south to Troy, Alabama after high school, where he graduated from Troy University in 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. He interned in Huntsville at WAAY-TV before joining 41NBC. His passion is sports, and his favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers and Troy Trojans. On the weekends you can catch Tucker watching college football on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays! He's proud to call middle Georgia home for now and could always use a story idea from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him!