After two students and two staff members tested positive for Covid-19 during the previous week, six staff members and 84 students are being quarantined.

Superintendent Inita Owen gave an update on case numbers in her report at the Stone County School Board’s meeting on Monday.

“I’ll be honest, (Covid-19) is a part of our lives now,” Owen said.

Owen said the number of quarantined students includes Stone Middle School’s junior varsity football team.

The quarantined students will be allowed to return to the classroom after two weeks if they show no symptoms.

Since the junior varsity football team was quarantined, the football season for Stone Middle School has been shortened.

Owen said there was also one positive case reported for a student who rode the school bus this week and may have exposed others.

She said staff members are working on contact tracing other students on the bus to avoid an outbreak. 

Though numbers have been reported, the Stone School District is still reporting fewer cases than other school districts.

Schools in Harrison County have reported over 15 outbreaks since the start of the school year, according to the most recent Mississippi State Department of Health.

Fewer cases are being reported over the summer across Mississippi, but Covid-19 is still a threat.

While Gov. Tate Reeves allowed his statewide mask mandate to expire, masks are still required in schools and businesses like salons and barbershops.

Local mask mandates are still allowed to be in place, and businesses can require masks indoors.

The Stone School District is still requiring masks.

Owen said the district is still using strong social distancing policies to keep students safe. 

Extra rooms are an overflow for large classes in order for students to stay spaced away properly.

“I think they have done a very good job…I think a huge part of that is the social distancing in the classrooms,” Owen said.

The Board also:

• Stone High School was named the 2019 American College Application Campaign’s School of Excellence Award Winner. SHS was the only school from Mississippi honored for its commitment to student success and preparing students for college by graduation.

• The Stone Middle School and Stone High School principals updated the board on SPED student performance and testing.

• The Board went into executive session to discuss the McHenry site and the land selection items. Following, the board voted to hire two appraisers and voted to hire a closing attorney for the 24-acre plot off of Highway 49.

• The Board accepted the lowest of three bids to build a bus canopy for the high school, which was awarded to MitchCo Construction, Inc.

• Approved the financial reports for August, June and July.

• Approved the 2019—2020 amended budget.

• Approved the second reading of policies.

• Accepted all personnel changes.

• Completed the 2021 Mississippi School Board Association’s school board legislative survey.

• Discussed school board procedures about board member conduct when a board member has family members employed by the school district.

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