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Two test positive for COVID-19 at Dells’ Spring Hill Elementary School, classroom moves to virtual learning
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Two test positive for COVID-19 at Dells’ Spring Hill Elementary School, classroom moves to virtual learning

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Wisconsin Dells Spring Hill Elementary School reported two individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a letter sent to parents and District Administrator Terry Slack.

The letter, which was posted to the school district’s website, states the county health department notified the school district two individuals at the elementary school tested positive for the virus. The affected classroom will conduct strictly virtual learning for a two-week period starting Sept. 15, he said.

School district and health officials will continue to monitor the situation to notify families about resuming in- person learning once the two-week period has passed, Slack said.

Slack said building principals contacted all of the families within the affected classroom Sept. 14 to notify them. All parents in the school district have been notified about the positive cases, he said.

Slack did not say if it was a student or staff member who tested positive for the virus or what grade level was affected due to HIPPA laws. Spring Hill Elementary School serves grades pre-K through fifth grade, according to the school district’s website.

Slack said suddenly shifting to a virtual model is something that has affected many schools around the state and nation with the pandemic.

“This is pretty typical where we are starting to see around Wisconsin as well as around the nation,” Slack said said. “There is this kind of start, stop effect and depending on the building and the number of people impacted, it could result in different formats for each of the schools.”

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Slack said Spring Hill Elementary School remains open and students are reporting for school at the building. Cleaning procedures were completed the evening of Sept. 14, he said.

'Think of my daughter:' Wisconsin Dells woman with high risk child shares COVID-19 concerns

As of Sept. 15, no other school buildings in the Wisconsin Dells School District have reported positive cases of the virus, according to Slack. The school district is operating at about 75% to 80% capacity for in-person learning with about 20% to 25% doing strictly virtual learning.

The back to school plan passed by the school board in August started with a soft opening for the first two weeks, with a combination of virtual and in-person learning with those students alternating on a different schedule depending on grade level. Starting Sept. 14, the third week of school, all in-person students are required to attend school five days a week for the remainder of the year, unless otherwise ordered to shut down by the county or state.

Wisconsin Dells School Board approves back to school plan with ‘soft start’ for first two weeks

Slack said the back to school plan will remain in place but could change depending if additional COVID-19 cases are reported.

Slack said the district is still keeping with its plans and procedures to mitigate the virus, such as cleaning and an emphasis on social distancing.

“We remain diligent with our procedures in terms of cleaning and in terms of the distancing, just emphasizing it,” he said. “Our goal is to mitigate and minimize this as much as possible and when we deem necessary we’ll have to make adjustments.”

Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.

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