Trussville schools superintendent says district has been successful keeping COVID outbreaks out of classrooms

Trussville schools reflect on in-person successes so far

TRUSSVILLE, Ala. (WBRC) - Trussville school district was one of the few districts to allow in person learning right at the beginning of the school year. The superintendent said the district hasn’t closed any schools yet because of the virus.

“We have re-opened and we have stayed opened," Superintendent Dr. Pattie Neill said. “We do have a random case now and then that gets called in, but overall we have not had to close a wing or a school or a program or anything like that, so we are very pleased.”

Dr. Neill said at the middle and high schools, 67 percent of students are in person. She said for the elementary levels, 75 percent of students are coming to class.

“We are healthy," Dr. Neill said. “We are wearing masks. We are six feet apart in middle and high schools for sure. We are 3 to 6 feet apart in our elementary schools.”

Dr. Neill said she thinks they are successful because of extra safety measures. The district bought more than 800 desk shields for students, costing around $40,000.

“They are great,” Dr. Neill said. “They are working just fine. I think it is an added barrier.”

She said the district is utilizing space by using auditoriums, cafeterias, and libraries as makeshift classrooms called learning labs.

“If there is a classroom with 24 students on roll and the class is only set up for 20 students, they can’t move the desks," Dr. Neill said. “So, four students on Monday might have to go to the learning lab.”

Dr. Neill said school custodians are also cleaning high touch areas with fogger machines.

“The custodians have backpacks and electrostatic sprayers," Dr. Neill said. “They use it with a special chemical that is used in hospitals and nursing homes.”

Dr. Neill said the extra safety measures help, but really it’s paying extra attention for symptoms in students.

“When a student comes in to the clinic with a cough or a symptom like shortness of breath, we just send them home immediately," Neill said. “Just incase they do have it.”

Dr. Neill said the district plans to keep going with the blended in person schedule and some students virtual until there are changes to the state health guidelines.

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