COVID-19 situation keeps changing in Greencastle-Antrim School District

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

The Greencastle-Antrim School District is continuing to navigate rapid changes in the COVID-19 picture.

In a video message to families on Friday, Dr. Lura Hanks, superintendent, announced middle school students will be returning to the classroom for full days four days a week beginning April 8.

CDC signs remind Greencastle-Antrim School District students about health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In two emails Monday — one in the morning and one in the afternoon — she alerted families to a surge in positive COVID-19 cases and urged continued vigilance.

Testing positive

Several positive cases were reported over the weekend, with more reported on Monday, Hanks wrote. By the end of the day Monday, there were five positive high school students, three staff members, two primary school students and one elementary school student.

Tracing has been done and families of students in close contact with those who tested positive have been notified.

"While I am certain we are all anxious to see this pandemic end, we ask that our community continue to take precautions to protect themselves," Hanks wrote. "Please encourage your children to wash their hands often, wear a mask in public, and maintain 6 feet of distance when possible from people outside the immediate family. We also ask that you monitor your child's health and if there are any possible symptoms of illness, please keep them home!"

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Hanks reminded families of COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills or Rigor
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Feeling Unusually Weak or Fatigued
  • New Olfactory Disorder (A loss in the ability to smell or a change in the way odors are perceived)
  •  New Taste Disorder 
  • Myalgia (Muscle pain)
  • Headache
  • Runny Nose or Congestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Fatigue

Full days coming for middle schoolers

Secondary students at the high school and middle school have been following a half-day schedule on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays since Jan. 19, with Wednesdays virtual as they have been all year. On the half-days, students have been going to school in person in the morning and attending online classes in the afternoon.

Masked Greencastle-Antrim fans cheered after Blue Devils scored during the first half of the girls basketball championship game between Greencastle-Antrim and York Suburban on Wednesday, March 3.

On Monday, April 8, after spring break, middle school students will return to a full-day schedule on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, Hanks announced.

The half-day schedule will be maintained at the high school. Hanks explained it has not been possible to create pod groups at the high school like in the lower grades and it is not possible to accommodate 6 feet of distance between high schoolers at lunch.

High school students started the school year on a hybrid schedule of half attending Mondays and Tuesdays and the other half attending Thursdays and Fridays. The high school went all-virtual in early November and opened the second semester with the current four-day-a-week, half-day schedule.