BUTLER — A confirmed COVID-19 case has affected Eastside’s boys basketball team, the DeKalb Eastern school district said Thursday night on its mobile phone app.
The development comes as the school district prepares to switch to remote, online classes for Monday and Tuesday before starting Thanksgiving break.
“There has been a confirmed COVID case on the high school boys basketball program,” the app reported. “Contact tracing is complete. Parents of the 10 students/athletes affected have been contacted. If you have not received a phone call from the school, then your child does not need to self-quarantine.”
Friday, the school district released this statement through its Eventlink account:
“We will halt practices/competitions Monday-Thursday of next week. Practices can resume next Friday, Nov. 27,” the statement said.
“Most teams are not practicing tomorrow so it will give us a few days away to get healthy. Swim (3 athletes) and gymnastics (1) are paired with DeKalb and will continue. We will try to reschedule competitions.”
This week’s outbreak marks the second time COVID-19 has affected the Eastside boy’s basketball team. On Aug. 3, the school district said one member of the team had been confirmed as a COVID-19 case, and everyone affected was self-quarantining for 14 days, including the head coach and an assistant coach.
Wednesday, the school district said it will shift to remote learning Monday and Tuesday “because of employee shortages and an overall increase in recent quarantines.”
It added, “We will resume normal in-school operations on Nov. 30, following Thanksgiving break. If you are tested or become quarantined for COVID-19 over this time period, please contact your school’s nurse immediately and prior to returning to school Nov. 30.”
The change marks the first time this school year that DeKalb Eastern has suspended in-person classes.
This summer, DeKalb Eastern purchased 100 Swivl units for teachers that the school district said would “set us above what other districts have done” with technology for remote learning.
“From the start of the school year our goal has always been live remote instruction in every class, with every teacher, every day,” Assistant Superintendent Shane Conwell said this week.
“In other words, for those students who chose the remote learning option this fall, or for those who have had to quarantine throughout the semester, or now for this upcoming Monday and Tuesday, remote learners are able to interact and learn in real ‘live’ time with their classmates and teachers.
“We have already issued a number of hot spots for our students, and we order additional units as the need arises.
“Of course, our biggest challenge of limited internet availability in our rural community remains,” he said.
“While hot spots help narrow the internet gap, they do not provide the same robust service as direct internet providers.
“Despite the internet challenges, we are confident this approach is far much better than the traditional e-learning approach of the past. We are in continual discussions with attaining broadband network opportunities and hope to have additional internet options in the future.”