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Fifth grade classes sent home at South Boston Elementary

South Boston News
Students at South Boston Elementary on opening day Aug. 30. / September 09, 2021
Fifth-grade students at South Boston Elementary School have been sent home for virtual learning after an unspecified number of students and teachers at SBES were exposed to the coronavirus this week.

Superintendent of Schools Mark Lineburg on Thursday confirmed the order to suspend in-person fifth grade classes at the school, leaving a section of the building virtually empty through next week. Lineburg said the suspension is due to exposure to the virus, not actual cases involving persons who have tested positive for COVID-19, and that students and teachers will be required to quarantine for 10 days. While they are at home, students will participate in school online.

"We've given out Chromebooks and we're having virtual instruction," said Lineburg.

Division-wide, Halifax County Public Schools reported 16 positive cases of COVID-19 through Wednesday, including three cases at SBES. The largest number of cases, four, has surfaced at Halifax County High School. Across the entire division through Tuesday, eight employees and 162 students have been required to quarantine due to virus exposure, Lineburg said. Those numbers are likely to go up as fifth grade students and teachers at SBES are added to the tally.

Other grades at SBES, Halifax County's largest elementary school, continue to go forward with in-person instruction.

Lineburg said the decision to suspend in-person education for SBES fifth graders came after school nurses — who are trained in contact tracing — established that the exposure to the virus was too widespread to handle by isolating a relatively small number of individuals. "When you get to the point where you can't get to the end of the contact trace, you [could have] an outbreak," he said. The number of cases at South Boston Elementary School is too small to deem it an outbreak site, but clustering teachers and students inside classrooms with an unknown number of them exposed to the disease would present unacceptable risks.

Also, said Lineburg, the known exposures — and resulting quarantines — have cut into the number of available teachers at SBES. "It becomes an ongoing problem and you run out of staff," he said.

The suspension of in-person instruction for fifth graders at South Boston Elementary comes as school divisions around Virginia grapple with rising caseloads and closures of entire schools. "I look everyday at Pittsylvania and Campbell County and the numbers there are strikingly similar" to what he's seeing with HCPS, said Lineburg.

He said the situation at SBES will inevitably be repeated in similar form elsewhere. "This is the first time [that classes have been suspended] and it will not be the last," Lineburg said.

This story will be updated.

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Geez hype of the fear why don't you. I am in my 60s have not wore a mask, no shot as I have medical problems. I visit my 88 year old mother in law. My wife and I both had rona and recovered. This sending people home because they might be exposed is total bs. But I bet Tom and his socialist cres love it.


@allpolitical2, since you don't have a dog in this particular fight (since you said you're in your 60s therefore don't have school-aged children and clearly don't know how transmission works), hows about you just drink this nice, tall glass of stfu and sit down for a rest?


Sorry boy you drink it. I am just following what your idols Maxine Waters, Pelosi, Creepy and other NSDAP members say. Get in their faces. I pay taxes to run the school. I had kids in this system and I got family still in the system. They are not cowards. Time for you people to go a pair. Come up with a logical argument.


NSDAP the Nazi party lol brohiem you are broken. Idols pffft who do you idolize? General Lee, Marjorie Green that other kook from South Dakota? Socialists you say? What do you call it when states like Mass, NY, NJ, CT,CA profit from taxes then share with less fortunate states AL,TN,WV,KT,IN? Its the very definition of socialism. Ignorance is not courage my friend.


Allpolitical2 you are a nobody, always will be a nobody, and will die a nobody. You are a straight up moron. Not wearing a mask doesn’t make you brave. It makes you stupid. Karma is waiting for you with a head stone in place. Night night you poor excuse for a human.


Hey informer, right back at you. I really don't care what you think.
Glad I am getting into your head Bahhhahahhahahha!

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