(Glenwood) -- Most of the Glenwood School District's students returned to classes in person this week.
Remote classes were in order for most of November after the number of students and staff with COVID-19 were climbing. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Thursday morning, Glenwood School Superintendent Devin Embray says at least 300 students were quarantined at one time before the Thanksgiving holiday break. As of this week, he says under 100 students are still participating remotely.
"Since the break, we've seen a decrease, a fairly large decrease of positives," said Embray. "We're sitting right now with about 25 active across the district. We have a total of 122 that have been positive since the start of school. Right now, our numbers are fairly low, and we're well under 100 in terms of quarantining."
In a previouis interview, Embray indicated COVID-19 shrank the district's available pool of substitute instructors. Overall, he says teachers were more prepared for virtual instruction now than during the statewide school shutdown last spring.
"You've got to remember, we were thrown into it in the spring," he said, "without a lot of preparation, or planning, or training ahead of time. Our staff did a phenomenal job then. As we moved to remote this time, we did a little more planning with the asynchronous piece, and I think that worked out really, really well. I think teachers were more satisfied with their lesson plans, and their activities that they had their kids doing remotely than what they had their kids doing in the spring."
Embray says Glenwood continues to follow Governor Reynolds' proclamations and the boys' and girls' athletic unions regarding extracurricular activities protocol. Currently, middle school sports activities are not allowed until December 10th. While cheerleaders, dance teams and pep bands are allowed at high school athletic events, spectators are limited--each player receives only two tickets. Embray says that's cut down on the size of crowds at games considerably.
"The socialization, the camaraderie, and things of that nature probably aren't doing to be there," said Embray. "The 12th man in football in the stands, or the 11th person in the stands in a basketball game probably isn't going to be present this year."
For Glenwood's district and others in KMAland, the coronavirus pandemic followed the aftermath of the 2019 Missouri River flooding. Embray says perseverance is the main lesson students in his district have learned over the past two years.
"The virus has definitely had way more of an impact on us in a negative sense than the flood has," he said, "not to downplay the flood, but you could see light at the end of the tunnel on the flood situation, whereas with the coronavirus, it just seems like where the next step is going to be. We're hoping the vaccines are very productive, and useful, and we're hoping we'll see a turn and upward movement in the next three-to-six months."
You can hear the full interview with Devin Embray on our "Morning Line" page at kmaland.com.