System says ‘students will be provided with educational opportunities’ while at home — no word on remote video instruction

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – An entire sixth-grade team (73 students) at Johnson City’s Indian Trail Intermediate School (ITIS) has been closed for the next 14 days due to “the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases,” a Johnson City school spokesman said Monday.

Parents of children on ITIS’s “Coyote Hall #1” got word Sunday of the closure, parent Grete Scott told News Channel 11 Monday.

Scott’s son, Isaiah, tested positive for COVID Saturday two days after bringing home a letter from school telling parents of a positive case that occured between Aug. 6 and 11 in a Coyote Hall #1 classroom.

“The letter we got was sent in his folder through his backpack,” Scott said.

Then on Sunday, the Scotts received a message from the school system informing them Jennifer Galloway, Melissa Whitehead and Erin Arnold’s classrooms on Coyote 1 “will be closed for 14 days starting on August 16th, and reopening on August 30th.”

The closure was intended, the message said, “to interrupt the chain of transmission, and decrease the rate of transmission among students and faculty.”

Parents of students on Indian Trail’s Coyote 1 hall received this message Sunday.

Johnson City Schools’ Collin Brooks responded via text to News Channel 11 inquiries about the situation by saying the closure decision was made “in consultation with the Northeast Regional Health Office.”

The statement said “students will be provided with educational opportunities while they are home.”

Brooks was asked whether the students would be offered remote class in the form of Zoom or some other interactive learning.

“Learning virtually or through packets,” he responded. “It just depends on the teacher and the student.”

The closure will have at least some ripple effect. Isaiah Scott, for instance, has two siblings who attend Woodland Elementary. Due to protocols, both will have to quarantine away from school for at least a week.