COVID-19 forces sixth-graders in 3 Leander schools to go remote

COVID-19 clusters have caused the entire sixth grade class at Danielson Middle School in Leander to go temporarily remote. 

Until the end of next week, those students will be meeting with their teachers online instead of in-person.

The school's principal posted on social media informing parents about the multiple classrooms in that grade level which have three or more positive COVID-19 cases. 

"We tried to do the best we could to keep sixth grade open but we are not able to do that. We have to go to remote conferencing tomorrow due to clusters all throughout sixth grade," said principal Mark Koller in the video.

Danielson MS isn’t the only campus dealing with COVID-19 clusters at Leander ISD; Wiley and Canyon Ridge middle schools also made their entire sixth grade class go temporarily remote. 

"Everyone is very much aware that we have to get these cases under control if we want in-person learning to continue," said Leander ISD communications coordinator Matt Mitchell.

Mitchell says that with the majority of these clusters in sixth grade, the district felt they do not need to do the same for the other grades in those schools. "We know in-person learning is so crucial to families specifically to our learners. We know that students learn better when they’re interacting in-person, with their classmates, with their teachers, and with their coaches," he said.

According to Mitchell, when it comes to sixth graders, the majority of them are not yet old enough to receive the vaccine. "Our seventh and eighth graders are 12 and over so they are eligible to receive the vaccine," he said.

In Williamson County, Leander ISD leads other county school districts in total number of COVID-19 cases. This week they reported 265 news cases as of Thursday making a total of 875. Round Rock ISD reported 66 current cases with 582 in total. Austin ISD reported 138 new cases with 459 in total.

While COVID-19 continues to spread, Mitchell said the district continues to do what they can to prevent it. He also noted the vaccination sites they host in the district are receiving big turnouts. 

"We had a great turnout, I was there onsite, there was a great long line waiting to get vaccinated so it’s very encouraging and we feel like that messaging is really hitting home," he said.

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