‘Mandatory quarantine of healthy students?’ Jackson County School District says ‘no’

Parents can decide whether or not to quarantine their child if the student is exposed to COVID-19, said the district.

‘Mandatory quarantine of healthy students?’ Jackson County School District says ‘no’
Healthy students who have been exposed to COVID-19 do not necessarily benefit from quarantining, according to one Coast school district. (Source: Live 5)

VANCLEAVE, Miss. (WLOX) - Healthy students who have been exposed to COVID-19 do not necessarily benefit from quarantining, according to a report released Friday by Jackson County School District.

Superintendent Dr. John Strycker released the report, which is titled, “Mandatory Quarantine of Healthy Students – Is It the Right Decision?”

According to the district, the answer to that question is no.

“After reviewing the data, I feel more confident than ever in the decision to only require the quarantine of positive COVID-19 students while allowing parents the choice to quarantine their child(ren) possibly exposed to COVID-19 during an outbreak,” states Dr. Strycker in the report.

When faced with the choice to quarantine a healthy child who has been possibly exposed to the virus, most parents have chosen to send their child to school instead, said Strycker.

Based on analyzing daily and weekly data on COVID-19 since the start of the school year, the district said that positive cases among students have never exceeded a half of one percent at any time and that the number of students out of school at any given time with COVID-19 was usually around a quarter of one percent, even with limited quarantine practices.

One of the big differences between JCSD’s COVID-19 plan versus other districts on the Coast and in Mississippi is that JCSD offers parents a choice.

“The outcome of this parental choice is more healthy children remaining inside the classrooms where they can continue their in-person education without disrupting their lives and their learning,” said the report released by Strycker.

At the beginning of October, JCSD made the decision to bring all virtual students back to the traditional classroom unless they had a specific medical exemption.

In that earlier report, JCSD provided data that reportedly showed a higher number of virtual students who were failing compared to students in the physical classroom.

“In Jackson County School District, quarantine numbers show that most parents have chosen in-person learning as opposed to virtual upon exposure, all while maintaining low positive COVID-19 numbers. It is hard for me in good conscience to have healthy children trying to learn “virtually” at home when we in JCSD have typically not had more than a quarter of one percent of our students with COVID-19 at any one time. Mandatory quarantine of healthy students? I say not!" states Strycker in the report.

“Amidst the events of COVID-19, our school district community has moved forward as normal as possible. This past month alone, I have ridden in a homecoming parade that was well attended by our school community, watched our state cross country champion and state record-holder Christian Balcer compete, and experienced pride in our Vancleave Girls Volleyball team who won their 4th straight state championship. However, I most enjoyed my daily classroom visits to each Jackson County School District classroom where solid, fundamental learning was taking place. It was so good to see our students in the classroom with their teachers, coaches, and fellow classmates, making lifelong memories together during a special time of life – their childhood.”

In the most recent school report from MSDH, which is from Oct. 26-30, no schools from Jackson School District reported results to the state. According to the district’s website, 203 students and 86 teachers have tested positive for the virus since school started in August.

To read the full report from Jackson County School District, click HERE.

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