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Missouri NEA praises School of the Osage’s COVID-19 dashboard, wants a statewide school coronavirus database

Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 10:01 AM CDT
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LAKE OZARK, Mo. (KY3) - With just over two weeks of classtime, School of the Osage has already seen eight students and nine staff members test positive for COVID-19, forcing 145 students and 18 staff to quarantine.

“We knew it was here. We knew it would not be business as usual when we started school," said Dr. Laura Nelson, Superintendent of School of the Osage.

The district updates active and total cases, on its website instead of sending an alert or making a phone call.

“We didn’t feel it was necessary to slam everyone with this information every time something changes, because that’s something we’ve learned that things are changing constantly," Nelson said.

The president of the Missouri National Education Association likes the School of the Osage’s dashboard.

“That’s actually very good information, the problem is not all of our districts are doing that," said Phil Murray. “Not all of our districts have the resources to do that."

Murray asked Missouri’s Department of Education for a statewide database of COVID-19 in schools so districts can report their cases.

”We’re all kind of feeling our way through, trying to make the best decisions that we can for our families, and I think that’s the most important part," Murray said.

The Missouri NEA would like that database to show what school building the cases are from, when a positive case was confirmed, how many people exposed, and what the district is doing to tell parents and limit the spread.

Nelson believes that would be a good tool.

“Anytime that there is a database out there that we can compare our data to, that does nothing but give us information that helps us make our program better," Nelson said.

DESE provided KY3/KSPR’s Andrew Havranek this statement:

"School districts and charter schools are required to report this information to their Local Public Health Agencies & the Department of Health and Senior Services. LPHAs/DHSS will be able to track COVID-19 cases in schools, and they are working on making this information public-facing. There are concerns amongst certain districts about protecting student and staff privacy.

We have forwarded the MNEA request to DHSS for their review."

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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