Though lake area schools have been able to retain some normality during the first two months of the school year, the struggle to keep things moving forward against COVID has remained a struggle for some.

Though lake area schools have been able to retain some normality during the first two months of the school year, the struggle to keep things moving forward against COVID has remained a struggle for some. 

On Tuesday, Morgan County R-II announced their choice to switch classes to Category 3 and fully online learning in an effort to control the spread of COVID. A portion of the statement released to parents by Superintendent Steven Barnes reads as follows:

“Our COVID-19 cases increased substantially over the past week putting us in a situation that we needed to consider Category 3 across the district. At our regularly scheduled board meeting last night, the board approved a two-week shift to Category 3 and fully online learning in an effort to control the spread of the virus. A large number of active cases along with all the staff and students being quarantined has forced our hand. This is not a decision we have entered into lightly as we know this will be a struggle for our staff, students. and families.” (Full statement available online)

The school also faced some trouble with a recent rumored threat aimed at the school. As of printing, there have been no confirmed suspects related to these threats.

The district will work with families to provide meals for students during online learning, with delivery and curbside pickup options available. 

In Camdenton, Superintendent Tim Hadfield says the year is actually going well. He touted how great the staff has been dealing with the changes and how they have gone above and beyond with their efforts during a difficult year. While in-seat learning has continued, some students have moved ahead with digital learning. Hadfield says the success gauged by this approach has mostly come down to the effort and focus being presented by the students involved. 

“Our teachers are working tremendously hard to make sure our students are engaged, but it is much harder to do this in a virtual environment as opposed to the traditional setting,” Hadfield said.

Eldon Superintendent Matt Davis also confirmed that the school year is going well, with the school maintaining an excellent attendance average of 94%. He says parents have done a great job of keeping students home when they feel sick and making sure to get them in class when they are well. 

Positive COVID cases have continued to crop up throughout the year and Davis says they have learned many lessons during the first two months of the year. He says they learned to do a better job of social distancing, which leads to less need for quarantine. With precautions in place such as spaced out lunch eating and limited outside visitors, on top of extra cleaning on disinfecting, has led to minimized spread. 

Macks Creek Superintendent Josh Phillips also released a recent letter to the community, showcasing how compartmentalization and social distancing have been the district’s best tools for combatting COVID alongside constant sanitation. The letter also went on to plead for parents to keep students at home when feeling ill.

“Through the use of CARES funding, every single student has his/her own device which they utilize daily here at school.  If a student has to enter into quarantine and switch to distance learning, the transition is seamless,” Phillips said. 

Osage Superintendent Laura Nelson did not provide comments on the current state of the district.