MTSD Reports First COVID-19 Cases, Revises Plan


Outside of the Millcreek Education Center where the in-person school board meetings were held in the past.


Millcreek Township School District (MTSD) reported its first case of COVID-19 on Sept. 22. District officials stated that it was a staff member, and that all CDC guidelines would be followed. Additionally, according to a parent announcement made on Sept. 29, there are four confirmed student cases.

The district website states, “We will follow the Department of Health’s guidelines for the 24-hour closure of the area where the case was in the building.” As well as closing the possibly infected areas, they are also requiring those associated with the case to present a release to work/school from a doctor following a 14 day quarantine from the date of exposure. 

 McDowell Junior, Deborah Adebayo, says she “feels no different” going into school after the COVID-19 case announcement. Adebayo is one of the many students attending school on  Millcreek’s hybrid learning plan, where she goes to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but does online learning the rest of the week. 

She says that she knows people who have contracted the virus. “It’s concerning, but I know I’m okay.” 

With the mask mandates and social distancing, Adebayo thinks that any precautions will never be enough to rid the country of the virus, but says, “We are trying our best.”  

Like Adebayo, Kevin Jeffreys, a McDowell High School English teacher, is just going about his day as normal.  

“It’s going to happen. I just know that whatever I can do to protect myself, protects me.” He says that students will be just fine as long as they follow guidelines put forth by the school district. Jeffreys’s main concern is family, “I just want to make sure I’m okay for my family.”

The school district did not respond to a request for a statement on the Millcreek cases, but in an unrelated interview, Dr. Ian Roberts, superintendent of Millcreek Township School District, says, “Once I came on board on Aug. 12, the (pandemic) plan is on my computer screen, always minimized because everyday I open it up and I take a look at it because I’m constantly thinking…is it ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all our students? For now, the answer is yes, because we don’t have all the data around its impact.”

According to a parent communication on Sept. 29, the Millcreek School Board approved revisions to the Health & Safety plan’s criteria for temporary building sanitization closures at a meeting held Sept. 28. 

“The revised criteria allows MTSD to operate with face-to-face instruction based on the total positivity rate not exceeding 1% of the lowest number of daily student enrollment,” the letter stated. “A potential shift to 100% virtual learning for the affected buildings would be made based not only on the positivity rate but also the availability of support staff and the ability for our dedicated teachers to continue to provide high quality instruction for our students.”