Westwood, SBL school districts rethink hybrid learning plans

Local News

WOODBURY COUNTY, Iowa (KCAU) – With more than 150 new cases confirmed over the weekend, Woodbury County’s positivity rate is now at 15.1 percent–a number which has both Westwood and Sergeant-Bluff Luton Schools concerned, as both say they’ve witnessed recent COVID-19 spikes within their own districts.

“For every student that tested positive, 12 students had to leave the high school because they had come into close contact with the student that tested positive,” Dr. Rod Earleywine, Superintendent of SB-L Community Schools, said.

Sergeant-Bluff Luton has placed more than 60 students and staff members in quarantine.

Meanwhile, Westwood Superintendent Jay Lutt says a spike in the district this past week has led school administrators to rework a hybrid plan. According to Lutt, a test run late last week showed promise.

“We’ve been tweaking it over the weekend, and into the week, so, we would be able to go with it later in the week, or even next week if we decide that there is a need,” Lutt said.

Back in Sergeant Bluff, the Sergeant Bluff-Luton School Board voted Monday to transition all high school and middle school students to a hybrid learning model this Thursday. That plan will be in effect until October 9th.

“The board wanted to give it two weeks to see how the numbers were trending. We are going to have another board meeting, a special board meeting on October 6th, then make a decision whether or not to continue in hybrid for a period of time,” Dr. Earleywine said.

Both superintendents say since their districts have not seen absentee rates above ten percent, neither is considering a fully online option at this time.

Meanwhile, the Sioux City Community School District says they will continue with their current plan, and will possibly make changes if the district meets both criteria needed to go 100 percent online.

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