Football unaffected as COVID-19 forces Cass County school closure


CREIGHTON, Mo. — The Sherwood-Cass R VIII School Board held an emergency meeting Thursday night where they decided to close all district schools Friday because of coronavirus and so many students in quarantine. But that didn’t stop Sherwood High from taking the football field Friday night on “FFA Pack the Stands” night.

Superintendent Steve Ritter said they decided to still have the game because there’s only one positive case in the high school and it’s not a football player.

But at Sherwood Cass R-8’s elementary and middle schools, COVID-19 is having a big impact on learning.

“We’ve never had it to this degree,” Ritter said of the virus and variant that forced the closure on what would have been the district’s tenth day of the school year.

Twelve of the district’s 177 middle schoolers are currently infected with COVID-19, putting 57.6% of the school in quarantine. District-wide, 32.6% of students are currently quarantined.

“We closed down the school because today was not going be the best learning environment especially for our younger students. When you only have half of your students in the classroom and the other half our remote that’s a lot of learning loss,” Ritter said.

But outdoors on the football field and in the packed grandstands, the virus that’s been spreading through the schools was not as much of a concern to the district. FOX4 was not allowed to speak to anyone else on school grounds during the game to see how they felt.

The one in three students told not to come to school, also have been instructed not to attend any school events. District leaders were confident they’ll listen, but were still keeping a close eye at the gates Friday.

“Our administrators have a pretty good idea of who should be here and who shouldn’t, they have access to that list so if we need to check that we can,” Ritter said.

Masks weren’t required at the game, but the Board decided at that emergency meeting they will have to be worn at school starting Tuesday for all students and teachers until further notice.

“Unfortunately it won’t bring anybody back early but going forward it will help us out with trying to get kids back in the classroom,” Ritter said.

That’s because if students are wearing masks, they won’t have to quarantine even if they come in close contact with someone who tests positive.

Friday was Senior night, which is usually reserved for the end of the year. But they moved it up realizing future games could still be cancelled. Friday’s missed school day will be made up sometime later this school year.

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