October 23 – Liberty Middle School in Spanaway is switching to distance learning due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, according to a letter to families sent by Bethel School District Superintendent Tom Seigel on Friday.
All Liberty staff and students will transition to distance learning from Monday, October 25 through Friday, October 29, 2021.
“We hope to return to in-person learning at Liberty Middle School on Monday, November 1,” Seigel said in the letter. Families at Liberty Middle School will soon receive additional information regarding distance learning schedules. If students do not have their iPads at home, please contact the main office at 253-800-6500 to schedule a time to retrieve it.”
In the past seven days, there have been 24 cases of COVID at school, according to Seigel. Out of 850 students enrolled, 228 students and staff have been identified as close contacts in the outbreak.
The district made the decision after consulting with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.
“The Tacoma-Pierce County Department of Health recommends and strongly supports the decision to move Liberty Middle School to distance learning next week to help slow the transmission of COVID-19,” Seigel said in the statement. letter.
Close contacts have been ordered to self-quarantine and are not expected to go to other activities or childcare.
Seigel said students and staff not notified as close contact do not need to self-quarantine but should request tests and watch for symptoms. The health department recommends that all students at Liberty Middle School get tested for COVID-19 and notify the school if they test positive.
“Our staff’s distance learning experience last year will again be put to use as we make this brief adjustment out of prudence,” said Seigel. While this disruption of in-person learning is not welcome, it certainly was not unexpected. Even though our staff and students follow the Health Department’s mask and social distancing guidelines, COVID-19 and its many variations are a reality, we must continue to face it together. I remain in favor of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 if you can. We appreciate your understanding as we are doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of our people. students and our staff. “
Liberty isn’t the first Pierce County school to switch to distance learning due to COVID-19 cases. In September, Eatonville Middle School switched to distance learning due to a spike in cases.