St. Mary’s School pushes ahead with in-person learning

By Per Peterson

St. Mary’s School is continuing with in-person learning into December.

Because of an increase in COVID-19 numbers the last week, Tracy Area Public Schools made the decision last Tuesday to dive into its second go-around with distance learning, effective Nov. 30. Meanwhile, SMS has experienced a 90%-95% daily attendance rate and has had no students test positive for the coronavirus, factors that have led the school to keep kids in-house. SMS Principal Lisa Dieter said last week that a few students did quarantine recently because of family contact with others who had tested positive, but other than that, the school has been free of any COVID-19-related issues.

The education committee at SMS met last Tuesday evening, where Dieter said the attendance rates since school began in September hadn’t changed. Whether it be staff or students, SMS has not been experiencing an increased number of people experiencing COVID-19 related issues.

“I suggested that if parents are willing to transport their kids to and from school and with our number being relatively unchanged, I think it would be in the best interest of the students to continue learning in person,” said Dieter. “That’s not to say that if for some reason we do have some spike we’ll most likely move to the distance learning scenario. But right now, our numbers just haven’t changed over the last month, so that was our biggest factor.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.