OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Due to increasing COVID-19 positivity rates in the county and at Westside Schools, the district says it will be reducing in-person learning beginning on Monday, Nov. 30.
On Monday, Westside Superintendent Mike Lucas shared the announcement in a letter to the Westside community, citing increasing positivity rates and saying, "What we are doing as a community isn’t working. Douglas County is going in the wrong direction and it is having a tremendously negative impact on our school district."
With cases rising, Lucas says Westside is having trouble serving the students as staff members go into quarantine following a positive diagnosis of COVID-19.
He said, "This impacts us having enough teachers to teach, enough staff to provide meals, enough support staff to support our classroom teaching and learning initiatives, and enough staff to keep our buildings clean and safe."
In light of all this, Westside Community Schools will be shifting from its green model which has all students report daily for in-person learning except those under quarantine or those who have opted for remote-only learning to its yellow model. The yellow model splits students into two groups based on whether the first letter of their last name falls between A-K or L-Z. Those in the first group will report for in-person learning on Mondays and Tuesdays and the latter will report on Thursdays and Fridays. Both groups will learn remotely on Wednesdays.
Lucas says he knows the yellow model can be hard on students, staff and parents but feels it's better than a complete shift to remote-only, Westside's red model.
Students will finish out this week and next in the green model before a shift, following a week of vacation for Thanksgiving break, to the yellow model.
As of Monday, the district recorded 57 student and 46 staff cases since the beginning of the school year.