Tupper Lake schools go remote after staffer tests positive
Plan to reopen Thursday; Lake Placid to open Tuesday
TUPPER LAKE — The Tupper Lake Central School District temporarily reverted to remote learning Tuesday after a staff member tested positive, with plans to return to in-person learning on Thursday if staffing levels allow, according to Superintendent Russ Bartlett.
Bartlett said he learned about the positive test result after Monday’s school board meeting and sent out a call to families at around 8:30 p.m. letting them know of the last-minute change.
He said though the staff member was from just one of the two school buildings both went remote for extra safety until Franklin County Public Health can determine the extent of the possible contacts.
“We just wanted to make sure that we had time to do all of the contact tracing,” Bartlett said. “We want to be 100% sure.”
This is hard on the students and staff, Bartlett said.
“Don’t love it,” he said.
Bartlett said switching between in-person and remote learning every few weeks is not the preferable method of schooling, but that if the school can safely conduct in-person learning, even for short, interrupted periods of time, that is most beneficial.
He said he hopes the district has enough staff to return Thursday to its usual schedule: four days of in-person classes a week, with Wednesdays remote so schools can be deep-cleaned. High school students are in-person two days a week on an alternating schedule.
The Lake Placid Middle-High School closed last Thursday after staff members tested positive for COVID-19, and district Superintendent Roger Catania said Tuesday he plans to reopen the school for in-person learning Tuesday, Jan. 19, when quarantines for staff expire and they are able to return to work.
Lake Placid Elementary School remains unaffected and open for in-person learning.
On Tuesday he said three staff have tested positive in separate incidents and one student has tested positive. Some of these people are experiencing symptoms, he said, and he wished them all a speedy recovery.
Students at the Petrova Elementary School building returned to in-person instruction Tuesday after spending one day remote. A YMCA day care worker inside the building tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. After a deep cleaning of the facility through Monday, students returned to their regular schedule: four days of in-person classes a week, with Wednesdays remote so schools can be deep-cleaned.