OLIVESBURG -- Crestview Middle School and Crestview High School will go remote next week due to the spread of COVID-19 in the district, Supt. Jim Grubbs announced Thursday.
"We are nearing the end of the third week of school," Grubbs wrote in a district news release. "Our excitement of having our students back on campus without masks has now diminished with the spread of COVID-19."
"Due to the significant increase in numbers in COVID-19 cases at Crestview Middle and High Schools, we feel it is in the best interest of the health and safety of our students and staff that we go to remote learning starting next week."
Students in grades 4-12 will learn virtually from Sept. 7 through Sept. 17. The elementary will remain open for in-person learning.
"COVID-19 cases at the elementary building are significantly lower than the other two buildings, and from experience, elementary students do not do as well with remote learning," Grubbs said. "We will however continue to monitor the situation at the elementary building."
Since the school year began, Crestview has had 73 known positive cases, including 13 staff members. Eleven infected individuals have already recovered and returned to school.
In addition, Grubbs said there have been a significant number of quarantined students at both the middle and high school, though exact numbers were not available.
At the elementary building, students remain with their class throughout the day, resulting in fewer close contact quarantines.
"At the high school, if a student gets it, they go to seven or eight different classrooms throughout the day," he said. "One student might take out 30, 40 kids at a time because of contact tracing. At the elementary school, that's not the case."
Grubbs said COVID-19, quarantines and other illness has not had a profound impact on staffing in the district.
"We have not been impacted with that many classroom teachers that have been out. We've been fortunate there," he said.
Students will still have in-person classes Friday, Sept. 3. Teachers will use that time to prepare them and make sure they have the materials they need for online learning.
"This gives us an opportunity hopefully to slow things down and maybe get back to school in a couple weeks," Grubbs said.
The district will announce Sept. 15 its decision regarding how to proceed after the remote learning period.
The district's food service director will come out with an announcement soon about the availability of student meals during the remote learning period.