Days after he touted government operated schools coping quite well with COVID-19 protocols, District Superintendent, West Grand Bahama, Bimini and the Cays, Ivan Butler had to deal with a rumored virus “outbreak” and significant teacher shortage at Jack Hayward Senior High School.
Students were seen shortly after 10:30 a.m. leaving the campus.
This daily learned that the government-operated high school was dismissed early Monday (November 30), after administrators were allegedly exposed to COVID-19 and several teachers were out of classrooms.
However, Butler, in a telephone interview with The Freeport News, refuted the claims of an “outbreak” at the school.
While he confirmed that students were dismissed early, Butler said that it was not due to a “COVID-19 outbreak” on the school’s campus.
“There were rumors of a COVID case at Jack Hayward High School and as a result, many of the teachers did not show up to school on time. As a result, students were dismissed simply because teachers did not show up,” he asserted.
“We want to assure the public that there is no COVID outbreak at Jack Hayward High School,” Butler stated.
He reiterated that the students were not dismissed as a result of a COVID-19 case in the school; however, they were released early due to the fact that many of the teachers did not report to work as a result of the rumor, which he claimed had no merit.
Questioned whether school is expected to resume as normal on Tuesday, December 1, Butler responded: “Yes.”
On Wednesday, November 25, giving a general overview of the first term of the 2020/2021 academic year, Butler said that while there were issues at a few schools regarding COVID-19, all were under control and he was pleased with the way the first term was progressing.
“Schools on Grand Bahama as you may know, we have engaged in a face to face program at all of our schools and this served our community of Grand Bahama very well. In Nassau, they were doing the virtual program and so we are very pleased with the way this term went.
“We had several incidents but they were taken care of with the help of the COVID-19 Task Force and so we are very, very pleased with how our term went this far. We are looking forward to engaging in more face-to-face in the New Year.
“We are thankful to those parents that worked with us, and those that continue to work with us, in keeping our children safe. Our schools are safe zones; we do everything in our power to keep our schools safe. We want to assure our parents that it is ok to send their children to school because it is safe and we are very pleased with the face to face operations of our schools.
“Our students were out of school for a very long time last year and so the face to face operation is very important to our students and teachers this year,” concluded Butler.