UPDATE: Tuesday, 3/17
Montford Middle School won't be monitoring any of the 139 students it sent on a trip to Washington, D.C. March 9-13, as the students will all be home for the two week period set by the Florida Department of Education.
Superindent Rocky Hanna addressed the field trips, taken by three district schools to New York City and D.C., yesterday during a press conference.
"If we did have domestic travel advisories, we absolutely wouldn’t have” sent groups of students on the trips, Hanna said, adding in total roughly 400 people went to the major cities. Hanna says since returning home, some students have reported having common cold and flu.
Still, no cases of COVID-19 have been reported by state health officials in Leon County.
The Leon School district will continue to provide updates during daily afternoon press conferences.
UPDATE: Monday, 3/16, 10:30 a.m.
Deerlake Middle School, one of the Leon schools that sent students on field trips earlier this month to New York City, sent a notice to the school community Monday morning.
“We are actively monitoring the students who went on our 8th grade trips,” it says. “Those that went on the trip will be out of school for 16 days.”
Deerlake Principal Steve Mills says 173 Deerlake students went on the field trip to New York City, and there was a 1-to-8 chaperone-to-student ratio. That means roughly 190 people were sent on the trip, and returned this weekend.
What process is the school undergoing to do that monitoring?
“All our chaperones were in charge of eight kids,” Mills told WFSU, adding the school has “asked the chaperones to check in with the kids to make sure we know how they’re feeling,” and “to make sure they’re still in contact with parents.”
Mills couldn’t say whether any students from the trip have reported any COVID-19 symptoms or other sickness. But, he said, “even before spring break happened, we had kids being tested for the flu. It’s a high flu season and high cold season.”
The number of students who went on the trip represent more than a tenth of the Deerlake student population, at 1,050
WFSU has reached out to Montford Middle School, which sent students on a field trip to Washington, D.C. from March 9-13, but has yet to hear back. Though, a web page listing the details of Montford's D.C. trip says the school booked "enough hotel rooms to accommodate 134 students."
Over the weekend, the Leon school district confirmed a third school had students on a field trip to either NYC or D.C., but has not said which school.
The rest of the district, following a mandate from the Department of Education, will be out for the next two weeks.
Original story, 3/14
The Leon County School district confirms students from three district schools have recently travelled to New York and Washington, D.C. on school field trips. WFSU has requested the dates the students left Tallahassee for the trips and arrived back, the number of students and the schools involved – but has yet to hear back from district officials.