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This article free to all readers because it includes information important to public safety and health in our community.

Document: New Bloomfield Superintendent's Letter to Families

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NEW BLOOMFIELD — Students at New Bloomfield's high and middle schools will be learning from home next week, the district announced Friday.

"The New Bloomfield R-3 School District considers the education and well-being of our students and staff to be of the utmost importance," Superintendent Sarah Wisdom wrote in a letter to parents. "It is with that in mind, the board of education has made the decision to move our middle and high school students to phase yellow for one week."

The district currently has six active cases of COVID-19, based on online data — but the district does not publish the total number of teachers and students in quarantine, which could be higher.

"The move is due to not having adequate substitutes in the buildings to ensure the level of education remains high quality," Wisdom wrote.

Wisdom added in a news release that if she'd been able to find five available substitute teachers, students could continue in-seat learning.

"The teacher absences are not just COVID, but a couple are," Wisdom wrote. "Other sickness, life events and happenings that need attention have not stopped. This coupled with quarantine, a very low sub pool — we use Kelly Services, same as (Jefferson City) — and COVID all have been factors."

Wisdom's letter detailed what the change means for students:

  • Students will be educated through Google Classroom by district staff.
  • Assignments and tests will be graded.
  • Computers and WiFi hot-spots may be checked out at the high school office as needed.
  • Elementary school students will continue attending classes as usual.
  • Students may pick up breakfast and lunch at school. A Google Form to sign up for meals will be available every morning; students should fill it out by 8:30 a.m. and may pick up meals at 10:45 a.m.

Currently, the district plans to return to in-person classes Oct. 27. The district will re-evaluate the situation Thursday to decide whether the closure should be extended.

New Bloomfield R-3's COVID-19 policy may be viewed online here.

As of Friday, Callaway County as a whole had 237 active cases of COVID-19, according to the Callaway County Health Department.

This article was updated at 4 p.m. Oct. 16, 2020, with additional information.

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