Plymouth North High School has transitioned to a fully remote learning model through Wednesday after school officials learned that students attended social gatherings during winter break that did not adhere to social distancing or other efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Since returning from winter break, 22 Plymouth North students and staff members have informed the school they tested positive for the virus, and 56 additional students are under quarantine.
In a note to the school community on Wednesday, Superintendent Chris Campbell and Principal Peter J. Parcellin emphasized that the rise in cases have not been due to in-school transmission of the virus. Instead, they wrote, the rise in cases is “the direct result” of students not following mask-wearing and social distancing policies outside of school.
“It is an understatement to say that we are profoundly disappointed to have to transition to full remote learning at Plymouth North High School based on the current developments,” they wrote.
“During this pandemic, it is important to reaffirm that even with all the effort put in at PNHS; a safe continuation of the in-person model cannot be done without everyone in the community doing their part to practice measures known to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” they continued. “Every member of our school community that enters into our building must be able to trust that every other person coming to school is doing what they can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If one person assumes risky behavior upon themselves it is not fair or safe to bring that risk upon others in a shared community.”
Plymouth North is far from the only school to pull the plug on in-person instruction after students have held parties outside of school. Some districts have even done so proactively — before any cases popped up — to avoid any potential further transmission.