Local district shifts school online after positive COVID case

Lathrop Public School Officials had to shift all high school students online, just hours before the first day of in-person classes.

Posted: Sep 2, 2020 12:00 AM
Updated: Sep 2, 2020 9:32 AM

(LATHROP, Mo.) Lathrop Public School Officials had to shift all high school students online, just hours before the first day of in-person classes.

Chris Fine, the Superintendent for Lathrop School District, said it was not the first day back he had imagined.

“One of our football coaches spent four-hours in line Monday waiting to get tested in St. Joseph,” Fine said. “As soon as he got his positive result back, we sent out an email blast to our families.”

The email and social media posts said high school students would be learning online until further notice. Kindergarten through 5th grade would be in-person and 6th-8th would be sticking to a hybrid plan.

As a precautionary measure, all football coaching staff was sent home to quarantine for the next two weeks. Unfortunately, all those coaches are also teachers, Fine said.

“We just couldn’t find and secure enough subs on that short of notice,” he said. “Our teachers have been doing a great job of getting ready for this all summer and it was another one of those situations of ‘wait, now I got to do what? Okay, we’re good to go,’ so it went pretty well in that respect.”

Internet access still remains an issue nationwide and in Lathrop. The District has been working on making sure they had personal hotspots available for students in case classes had to go online.

“For us, it’s about 15 percent of kids that we believe do not have reliable access to the internet at home.”

Lathrop schools were busy Monday night handing out hotspots to any students needing one. So far, Fine said about 65 of the 80 students who needed a hotspot were provided one by the District. He said they were working on the other 15 but if any more schools have to shift to online learning he could need another 25 on top of that.

“Hopefully that’s where we could get some reimbursement from the CARES ACT funding by the state and or through Clinton County,” he said.

In a statement posted to the district website, school officials ask Football Parents to be on the lookout for COVID-19 symptoms and if their student develops any to contact a doctor.

Lathrop High School and Junior High Football were canceled for the week. Other activities and sports were allowed to go on as scheduled.

Saint Joseph
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This week will be much cooler than last week for northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Wind chills Monday morning will be in the teens with the daytime high only getting into the 40s. Current models indicate a slight chance for precipitation Wednesday night into Thursday morning. We have a slight chance to see drizzle overnight Wednesday and flurries and/or light snow possible Thursday morning.
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