Lee schools: Skyline Elementary classroom closed for 14-day quarantine

A Skyline Elementary School classroom has become the fourth in Lee County to be closed this school year due to COVID-19. 

First classroom to close: Gateway Elementary classroom quarantined for COVID-19

Second classroom closed: Villas Elementary classroom has been closed for a 14-day quarantine

Third classroom closed: Bonita Elementary classroom closed for a 14-day quarantine

The closure was reported to families Monday, confirmed Irma Lancaster, a spokesperson for the school system. The district is not releasing details about the Cape Coral classroom, including its grade level and how many students and employees are impacted by the closure.

Staff members for the Lee County School District and an independent contractor set up a simulation and demonstration for members of the Southwest Florida media at Lehigh Acres Elementary School on Thursday, August, 6, 2020 on how Lee County schools will be cleaned and disinfected once classes start due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When classes start, the school district says that high touch points will be disinfected regularly to keep students safe from COVID-19. They will also fog once a week with a professional grade botanical disinfectant. If COVID-19 positive numbers decrease then they might fog on a reactionary basis.

Aside from Skyline, positive case alerts were also sent home Monday to the families of students attending in-person classes at:

  • Fort Myers High
  • Edison Park Creative and Expressive Arts School (Fort Myers)
  • Oak Hammock Middle (Fort Myers)
  • Diplomat Middle (Cape Coral)
  • Orange River Elementary (Fort Myers)
  • Hector A. Cafferata Jr. Elementary (Cape Coral)
  • Edgewood Elementary (Fort Myers)
  • Challenger Middle (Cape Coral)

Ten more alerts were sent home Tuesday and Wednesday across the county.

Students in the now-closed classroom at Skyline Elementary will learn through the Lee Home Connect model of instruction until the quarantine order is lifted. The classroom went through a deep cleaning process to prepare for the kids’ return to campus for face-to-face instruction. 

The Lee County School district held a staged simulation for members of the media of what school will look like with volunteer students and staff from The Alva School on Wednesday August 5, 2020. The district has implemented safety protocols to keep students safe in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of those protocols include social distancing, in the hallways and classrooms and required face masks. They also have an isolation room for students who show signs of COVID-19 during the school day.

The News-Press has requested the school’s current enrollment figures and number of employees.

An enrollment count from Oct. 15 shows that 614 students were enrolled as in-person learners while another 289 were signed up for Lee Home Connect instruction. The headcount was taken prior to end-of-quarter transfers, as the district allowed students to change learning models before the start of the second nine weeks, which was Monday.

On Oct. 21, the school district reported that about 100 Skyline students who were either in Lee Home Connect or Lee Virtual School signed up to switch back to brick-and-mortar learning. 

Lee County school district

Since the beginning of school on Aug. 31, the district has sent home 179 positive case alerts to families.

The district is home to 97 traditional public schools that serve around 85,000 students and employ 12,000 people. About 40,984 students were enrolled in face-to-face classes Aug. 31. 

Although the Lee school system tracked positive case alerts tied to in-person learning in an online dashboard, it removed the tracker Oct. 13 from its website. Now the district links to weekly reports from the Florida Department of Health.

The data includes positive cases tied to public and private schools, colleges and universities in Florida.

The district said the state report captures more information, as its dashboard only documented when letters about positive cases were sent home to families. The tracker never explained how many cases were on campus, how many quarantines were ordered by the Department of Health or whether the cases were tied to an employee or student.

This is the first time Skyline Elementary families have been notified about a positive case on campus.

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