Brevard Public Schools closed its first school of the 2021-2022 school year Friday.
James Madison Middle School in Titusville will close Monday and Tuesday due to COVID-19 cases. The decision was made with input from the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County, according to a Friday evening statement from BPS.
As of Friday morning, about 8,000 students and staff were quarantined due to possible COVID-19 exposure. The absences have put a strain on school operations, and district support staff have been sent to cover classrooms for teachers who must stay home.
Between Tuesday and Thursday, 138 students and staff were quarantined at Madison Middle School. The school had an enrollment of 470 students last year and employed 31 teachers, according to the most recent data on the Florida Department of Education website.
Students will receive “synchronous instruction via a digital method,” according to a district news release.
They will also be provided meal packets containing two breakfasts and two lunches per student, and the district will work with families who need devices or internet hotspots to continue their learning online. Meals, devices and hotspots are available for pickup at the school on Monday from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
A custodial team will deep clean and disinfect the school during the closure, according to the news release.
The district has partnered with the FDOH to provide COVID-19 testing for Madison Middle students, siblings and staff at the school Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parents will need to accompany children for them to receive testing.
A total of 1,623 students and staff have been confirmed to have COVID-19 since BPS began tracking numbers Aug. 2, and 8,303 people have been required to quarantine. Classes began Aug. 10.