COVID-19 cases lead to school closure at Robinson Elementary School


Photo courtesy of the Robinson PTO Facebook page.

Robinson Elementary School will be switching to e-Learning for 2 weeks due to 30% of staff members needing to quarantine from COVID-19 exposure and seven individuals testing positive.

Robinson Elementary School will be switching to e-Learning for two weeks, until Monday, Nov. 23. The decision to go back to a virtual model came as multiple individuals either tested positive, or were presumed positive according to a health care provider, for COVID-19.

Currently, four classrooms and 30% of the staff is in quarantine after being identified as close contacts. The information came in emails from Superintendent Dr. David Ulrich to KSD families and staff members on Saturday, Nov. 7 and Monday, Nov. 9. The emails asked families and staff to practice safety precautions outside of school. According to the KSD COVID-19 Dashboard, four students and three staff members have tested positive or have had symptomatic cases at Robinson since Friday, Nov. 6. As of Monday, Nov. 9, there are a total of 51 staff members and 385 students in quarantine throughout KSD. 

In order to decide whether to go online or remain in-person, Robinson building administrators met with the cabinet of the Superintendent the morning of Saturday, Nov. 7. According to Dr. Angeline O’Neal-Hogrefe, Robinson principal, they considered different plans to proceed with, and decided on an e-Learning environment due to questions regarding pending COVID-19 tests as well as covering staff members in quarantine. If the outstanding tests were to come back as positive, they would have led to additional quarantines provided that students had immediately returned in-person rather than moving to e-Learning for 2 weeks.

“[Whether students go back] depends on how many positive [COVID-19 cases] we have,” O’Neal-Hogrefe said. “In a building you only have so many substitutes available, so many staff members available to cover [classrooms and] make sure that the kids are safe.” 

While Robinson students were not in the school building on Monday, Nov. 9, it was the first day of in-person learning for many KSD students including 7th and 8th grade students, and the sophomores, juniors and seniors of KHS. These students will be following various health guidelines, including wearing masks at all times, social distancing and having plexiglass barriers at desks. 

“Stay safe [and] follow all of the health and safety precautions at all times, not just when you are on [Kirkwood] campuses,” O’Neal-Hogrefe said. “We want everyone to stay safe, be healthy and take care of themselves.”