Southside high school closing due to COVID-19 cases

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LAFAYETTE PARISH, La. (KLFY) Students who go to Southside High School will not return to the classroom on Monday, school officials announced Sunday.

The school is temporarily closing due to a rise in COVID-19 case.

Students will however be on a remote learning plan through November 30.

A release from the Lafayette Parish school district said in part, “due to the large number of students who are now quarantined at Southside High School, effective immediately we are closing the school to students and will initiate virtual learning beginning Monday, November 16.”

Staff will report to school, the release stated.

“Although the number of positive COVID cases on campus remain low, the number of students quarantined due to close contact are now at approximately 11%.”

The release went on to say that the “large amount of our students that are currently in required quarantine were not exposed to COVID-19 at school.”

Bethany Theriot’s daughter was part of that statistic just last week, under a two-week quarantine for exposure outside of school.

“She was actually supposed to go back her first day tomorrow, and unfortunately that’s not happening,” Theriot said. “I really wasn’t surprised given that you know the case rights were going up every day.”

Unlike last Spring when learning was optional, all grades and attendance will count. While the campus is closed students, staff will report continuing teaching lessons. Those needing an internet connection can use WiFi busses in the parking lot.

It won’t be too different than the blended model already in place, but instead of two or three days online, all five will be online.
However, there’s one more big change. “All extracurricular activities have been canceled until further notice,” the district phone call stated.

That means no athletics, arts, or band for the Theriot’s who say they’re not upset they’re disappointed.

“I think it’s not unreasonable. I mean full disclosure, I’m a nurse so I kind of understand firsthand what this looks like,” explained Theriot. “You know what they’re trying to get people to do so that we can really slow the spread down. “

Since the district traced the majority of coronavirus exposures to outside of school, it is strongly urging people to double down on mitigation measures during these two weeks, so they’re in a better place Dec. 1.

If a student does test positive while learning at home, the Lafayette Parish School District says it is still necessary to report the case to school officials for contact tracing.

So far, no other schools in the district are affected.

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