FAIRFIELD – Maharishi School in Fairfield plans to continue with in-person classes, in contrast to the Fairfield Community School District, which went into a fully online format last week.
Co-head of Maharishi School Richard Beall said the school is fortunate to report no cases of COVID-19 this school year. Since school began in August, it has been offering students the option of in-person or online classes, and about 80 percent of its students have chosen the in-person option.
“We’re continuously monitoring the local conditions to determine whether to offer in-person after Thanksgiving, but at present, we’re not planning any changes then,” Beall said.
Beall said students were shifting from online to in-person learning since the semester began, but after COVID-19 cases surged in Iowa earlier this month, that trend has reversed, and more students are opting for online learning.
The school has asked students who are traveling for Thanksgiving to quarantine the following week and get a negative COVID-19 test before returning to school. During their quarantine, they will attend classes online.
The school announced that it will go to a fully online format for two weeks following winter break, from Jan. 4-15.
“This is a safety precaution in case our staff or families travel during that time,” Beall said.
Beall said school administrators are impressed with the vigilance of the school community in wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
“We’re particularly thankful for the extra efforts our custodial staff has made to disinfect and clean frequently,” he said.
The school has thermal scanners set up at entrances, so that everyone who enters the building receives a temperature check.
Beall said that a couple of continuing students were finally able to return to Fairfield from South Korea a few weeks ago. He said they were quarantined on campus and received negative test results before returning to the dormitory or their classes.