School operations will continue in Ridgefield; new case at Scotts Ridge

Scotts Ridge Middle School sent 25 student and seven staff members into quarantine as a result of potential exposure Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Scotts Ridge Middle School sent 25 student and seven staff members into quarantine as a result of potential exposure Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Macklin Reid / Hearst Connecticut Media

Plans to continue Ridgefield school operations without change — elementary schools open five days a week and middle and high schools on hybrid learning schedules — were announced Friday evening, shortly before news of another COVID-19 case at Scotts Ridge Middle School was made public.

Twenty-five students and seven staff members at Scotts Ridge were told to quarantine due to the case announced Friday, in which an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 “was potentially infectious when they were in the SRMS building on Tuesday, Nov. 10.”

The data tracker also said on Friday that Monday, Nov. 9, an RHS varsity athletics team was “exposed to probable positive player on opposing team” — resulting in 27 students being told to quarantine.

The announcement of the latest Scotts Ridge case was made Friday evening, shortly before 6 p.m., about a half hour after Superintendent of Schools Susie Da Silva sent out an email on the decision to continue schools without change in the coming week.

“As shared in prior communications, each Friday afternoon my team and I meet with the Ridgefield Director of Health, Ed Briggs and RPS Medical Advisor, James Ahern and review our current learning model,” Da Silva wrote. “As of today, we will continue:

“Elementary Schools — fully in person;

“Middle Schools — current hybrid model;

“High School — current hybrid model.”

The hybrid model the secondary grades are continuing with has students at all three buildings — the high school and the two middle schools, East Ridge and Scotts — each separated into two cohorts, that alternate times of in-school and remote learning, so the buildings are never more than about half full.

She addressed the possibility — discussed at Monday’s Board of Education meeting — that the number of staff being told to quarantine may outpace the district’s ability to find substitutes.

“Please be reminded that our learning model may shift to ‘remote’ if we are unable to staff classrooms or a school in an appropriate and safe way,” Da Silva wrote.

On Friday Ridgefield High Schools had 13 staff members in various stages of 14-day quarantines. Seven RHS staff members were in quarantine dating back to Nov. 2 at due to come off Sunday, Nov. 16. And six went into quarantine dating to potential exposure on Nov, 5 and 6, due to end Friday, Nov. 20.

Scotland Elementary School had 17 staff members in quarantine — 16 of them dating to potential exposure Nov. 2 and Nov. 4, and due to come off Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Scotts Ridge Middle School had nine staff in quarantine dating from potential exposure Nov. 2 and Nov. 4, due to come out of quarantine Nov. 18, and seven staff members in quarantine for the potential exposure at Scotts Ridge on Tuesday, Nov. 10,and due to ome off quarantine Nov. 24.