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Smokey Mountain Elementary to continue remote learning

Buildings at Smokey Mountain Elementary School will remain closed through Friday, Oct. 30, following identification of a COVID-19 cluster there on Monday.

Eight people at the school, including four students and four staff members, tested positive for the virus at that time. The school has been operating on a remote-only model all week, and with today’s announcement will continue to do so for an additional week.

Numerous factors were responsible for the decision. Results of tests conducted this week are not yet available, and contact tracing is ongoing. Due to the number of staff members quarantined, there are not enough people available to operate the school safely over the coming week. District and school administrators will meet again next Friday, October 30 to assess the situation and determine if it is safe to reopen the school. 

The School Nutrition Program will prepare and distribute prepackaged meals for students during the week.  

Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton is asking families at all of the district’s nine schools to be vigilant in following safety guidelines.

“We have been able to keep the rate of positive COVID cases very low in our schools, but we need the help of our families to maintain that success,” Tipton said.  “If a student, parent or any member of a household has a positive COVID test, it is vitally important that students in that household not be sent to school.”