A student being screened for elevated temperature on September 14. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[CORRECTION: Red Bank’s action was prompted by a positive test of an adult, not a student, Rumage said.]


One person each at the middle schools in Fair Haven and Red Bank have tested positive for COVID-19, the respective district superintendents reported over the weekend.

Superintendent leading new fourth-graders into Knollwood School on “transition day” September 3. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Red Bank Middle School will switch to remote learning for sixth-graders this week because of a COVID-19 case, Superintendent Jared Rumage said in a message to the community Sunday.

From the announcement:

This letter is to inform you that an individual at Red Bank Middle School has tested positive for COVID-19. We are working closely with public health officials and following CDC, state, and local health department guidance in order to assure the health and safety of our community. Those individuals deemed to be “close contacts” were contacted by the school and the Monmouth County Health Department. The individual will spend the required time in isolation and the close contacts will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. Cleaning and disinfecting of the building were completed on Friday evening as per our normal schedule. In addition, with an abundance of caution, we cleaned and disinfected specific areas of the building on Sunday. Furthermore, GRADE 6 staff and students in the following homerooms will participate in remote instruction from Monday, October 5 through Friday, October 9: Mrs. Lynch, Ms. Coco, Mr. Cuddihy, Mrs. LoCascio, Mrs. Pape, and Ms. Hartman. All five days will follow the schedule of our standard “virtual Wednesdays”.

    • Cohort A Grade 6 students will return for in-person instruction on Monday, October 12.
    • Cohort B Grade 6 students will return for in-person instruction on Thursday, October 15.

Rumage told redbankgreen Monday that the affected adult “is doing well and only dealing with mild symptoms. It was not recommended for us to close grade 6 but we did so out of an abundance of caution. We have a good system going and we do not want to jeopardize the long-term viability of our instructional environment.”

A seventh-grader at Fair Haven’s Knollwood School has also tested positive, Superintendent Sean McNeil wrote Saturday.

From the announcement:

This positive case was present for our 7th Grade Silver Knight Cohort. The district is working to send a
communication to families of students who were present in the potentially affected classes. This communication
should be received shortly. If you have a 7th grader and do not receive the classwide communication this
evening, your child was not in class where the positive COVID case was present. Receipt of this communication
DOES NOT mean that your child must quarantine. That information is being reviewed and additional
communications will be made to the families of any individuals who must quarantine as a result of the presence of
this positive case.

As it currently stands, Knollwood School will move forward with its typical school operation for our Blended
Cohort Virtual Monday on October 5th. We currently anticipate that Knollwood School will resume its normal
in-person instruction as of Tuesday, October 6th, and continue with normal operations thereafter.

From the Fair Haven update Sunday:

This letter serves as an update to our current status regarding the positive COVID-19 case that we reported to the
community yesterday, October 3rd, that impacts Knollwood School.
We have identified a number of students who have been deemed to be close contacts of our positive case. They
will be notified via email this evening and these families will be followed up with by Knollwood School staff
tomorrow to provide further support and guidance. If you do not receive an email communication by 8:30pm this
evening regarding close contact, then your child to date has not been identified as such.
There could still be additional individuals identified as close contacts through the Monmouth County Health
Commission’s review of the situation.
Knollwood School will operate as it typically would for tomorrow, Monday, October 5th. This means that ABA
and LLD learners will be able to attend school in person tomorrow, while all other students take part in their
originally scheduled full virtual learning for Monday.
A deep cleaning will take place in our ABA and LLD rooms in the morning ahead of student arrival tomorrow.
In addition to Monday’s deep cleaning, the school is also taking precautions to prevent the introduction and
spread of viruses and other germs and is cleaning frequently touched surfaces daily.
At this time, we anticipate our cohort based in-person instruction to resume as normal on Tuesday, October 6th
and to continue for the week.
However, this situation is fluid and we will continue to provide updates as they become available.
This situation has also resulted in multiple staff members having to quarantine after having been identified as
close contacts. This is an extremely challenging situation for our district to navigate, and I am incredibly grateful
for the professionalism our staff has demonstrated in being as creative as possible in meeting our community’s
needs despite the challenges this situation presents. Please join me in thanking our staff for their dedication in
continuing to do all they can to provide our students with in-person instruction despite the current health
Sickles School remains unaffected by this case and will remain on schedule to operate as normal for this week.

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