Updated: Sept. 17 at 9:41 a.m.
Keller ISD Superintendent Rick Westfall updated the community about the recent temporary closure of Fossil Ridge High School after several employees were asked to quarantine as a result of COVID-19 contact tracing.
In a video statement addressing the closure, Westfall said the switch to remote learning for 14 days resulted from a lack of available staff for the campus to remain open.
“If you look at our dashboard, you’ll see that there are 11 student cases that are active right now and two teacher cases ... at Fossil Ridge High School. Those combined cases in relationship to the number of people that are actually in the building certainly are not enough to warrant an entire closure of a building,” Westfall said. “However, the adherence to what we need to do with contact tracing ... the fact that we needed to contact trace from 11 kids and from two teachers, it actually ended up impacting 25 of our teachers on our campus at Fossil Ridge.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals who were within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes to isolate and monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms to limit the spread of the virus.
There are currently 29 active cases in the district, of which 19 are students and 10 are employees as of Sept. 17, according to the district's dashboard.
“Every single building, we’re gonna have to make a decision on a case-by-case basis,” Westfall said. “We’re going to continue to make sure every time we get a positive case that it’s verified and that we then go through our contact tracing and we send home quarantine information appropriately.”
Students and staff at Fossil Ridge High School will be transitioning to remote learning for 14 days effective Sept. 16 as a result of a high number of employees identified as in close contact with a COVID-19 case.
According to a statement from the district, remote learning and grading will formally begin Sept. 21 to ensure students are properly equipped with devices to participate.
Students and employees will be allowed back on campus Sept. 30.
“While we have a small number of confirmed positive student and staff cases, it is our adherence to our safety protocols and quarantine guidelines that have left us short-staffed,” the statement said. “We want to continue to provide our students with the most consistent educational experience without additional interruptions and be sure we are not overwhelming our employees remaining on campus.”
The temporary transition to remote learning will also include Remote@KISD students. Teachers will prepare to teach courses from home.
This is a developing story. Community Impact Newspaper will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.