“We felt that it was important for the long-term safety and wellbeing of our students and families and staff to enact the guidance as it was written and switch to a virtually only environment,” said Superintendent Rob Abbott.
But just hitting the county’s recommended metric for closure wasn’t the only consideration behind the decision, Abbott said. A “handful” of positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in the district, he said, including four staff members.
Another contributing factor in the decision is to ensure Fort Atkinson has enough staff available to continue teaching.
Abbott said contact tracing for positive COVID-19 cases can have a “ripple effect” when people are identified as having had close contact with an infected person, which can result in several students and staff needing to quarantine.
“Part of this is trying to maintain enough and healthy quality staff to be able to continue operations in any form, whether that be in-person, virtual or a dual-learning environment,” Abbott said.
Samroz Jakvani, an epidemiologist with the Jefferson County Health Department, said he was unaware of other school districts in the county that had decided by Tuesday afternoon to suspend in-person classes as the local health agency recommends, but he said several school administrators were considering it.