LABELLE, Fla — All 5th-grade students at West Glades School in Glades County have been moved to distance learning due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Superintendent, Dr. Alice Barfield spoke with Fox 4 about their recent decision to move the grade level out of the classroom.
"It feels this time like it’s coming back more with a vengeance to me. I feel like the numbers have gone up a lot...we are seeing a lot of our schools the numbers are really high," said Barfield.
On Monday, every 5th-grade student at West Glades School regardless of a COVID-19 test will be distance learning until September 7.
Barfield says through contact tracing and speaking with the district’s health department the district realized many of the positive cases were coming from the 5th-grade class at West Glades.
She says looking at cases is something the school district does on an hourly basis, and they have put their trust in the medical professionals to tell them the best course of action.
Fox 4 asked Dr. Barfield if she believed a mask mandate is needed and she responded by saying that is a decision that needs to be made by medical professionals and state leaders.
“I went to college to be an educator and to do what’s best for kids and that’s always been my motto. I did not go to college to go into nursing or to be a medical doctor. So I have to rely on those people that have the knowledge more than I do about what’s best for a child’s health,” said Barfield.
Dr. Barfield said at the start of the year they did not determine a percentage of positive cases or thresh-hold that would indicate when they would have to move students to distance learning.
She says the decision to move their 5th-grade classes does not come as a surprise for teachers because they were told to be prepared for this at the start of the year.
On Monday, the 5th-grade class at West Glades School is the only group in the district that has moved to distance learning.