Instruction at MP Remains Face-to-Face For Now

Despite cancelling the Panthers’ Friday night football game with Keokuk, the Mount Pleasant school administration will continue with face-to-face learning at school. Friday’s announcement said the game was being cancelled out of an abundance of caution regarding team members’ potential positive COVID-19 tests. Parents and players were notified of the cancellation Friday morning. Athletic Director Scott Lamm told KILJ the team will “reevaluate” where things stand Monday after contact tracing and perhaps testing over the weekend. Meanwhile, Superintendent John Henriksen met with administrators and school board members Friday afternoon to re-evaluate the district’s current face-to-face instructional model with the possibility of moving to a hybrid model. The Henry County positivity rate was also taken into consideration as well as the fact there have been a number of positive cases at the high school.  In his letter to parents, Supt. Henriksen said it was decided to remain with the face-to-face model and to work to improve physical distancing practices in the classrooms, minimize close contacts and potential transmission. Parents were also informed that students are doing a good job at school of observing the mitigation policies and it doesn’t appear transmission is taking place at school. In general, there isn’t a lot of illness at school. The average daily attendance is over 96% after factoring out the number quarantined due to close contact. The district also considered the fact that most of the cases in the county are localized and confined and not representative of broad virus spread across the school district. In his letter, Henriksen urged parents to follow good mitigation strategies and to encourage their students to do the same in school and outside of school. He stressed the importance of working together if students are to continue face-to-face learning which the district feels is best for students.