Nixa district works to reduce spread of coronavirus

   COVID-19 has been very difficult to navigate through with everything going on.  Nixa, among many other school districts, is taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus. But are they doing enough?

   Dr. Gearl Loden, superintendent of Nixa Public Schools, said he believes that the district is doing a great job of implementing the procedures that have been made. 

   “We have a combination of protocols and procedures in place to help us stay safe such as masking, social distancing, hand sanitizers, bottle filler water foundations, touchless faucets, UV carts, and upgraded air filters,” Loden said. “These changes have allowed us to have seated classes this year.”

  These protocols have proved successful, as proved by the percentage below. 

 “Roughly 99 percent of our students that have been quarantined have not turned positive while away from school,” Loden said. 

   Because of the way Nixa is handling COVID, we are able to participate in things like seated classes, band, choir, theater, and athletics. “We are in the process of starting our clubs back too,” Loden said. 

  Along with placing safe rules, the district has done well with following through to keep everyone safe.

 “I believe that our teachers and students have done a great job of implementing the protocols and procedures that have been put in place,” Loden said. 

   Loden has received lots of feedback about the district’s prevention of COVID. 

  “I cannot thank our parents, students, and teachers enough for the feedback that they have provided this year,” Loden said. “The feedback has allowed us to understand that our parents for the most part wanted us to offer seated classes and virtual too.”

   Loden is happy to have everyone return after the long break. 

   “As an educator, it is exciting to have our students and teachers back on our campuses,” Loden said. 

   Ryan Widel, art teacher at the Nixa High School thinks the district is doing a good job of preventing COVID, and are taking steps to assure safety.

    “One positive thing the district is doing is keeping in touch with the Christian County Health Department and other health departments,” Widel said. 

   Widel thinks there will be changes that stay in the district, even after COVID.

    “I believe COVID will cause people to be more careful and more aware of how these types of sicknesses spread. Those things will affect how we learn because they affect the day to day activities in the classroom,” Widel said. 

   Although the district is doing great, Widel believes they could improve in some areas. 

   “I think it would be great for the district to talk to students about health through wellness, prevention, and nutrition,” Widel said. 

  Amanda Stoll, english teacher at the Nixa High School said she thinks the district is doing as much as they can to ensure safety given the circumstances. Mask-wearing is one of the precautions the district has taken to reduce the number of cases. Stoll said she believes it is a necessary rule for the district to put in place.

    “Nothing is going to be a perfect solution in a pandemic,” Stoll said. “But mask-wearing is the best method of prevention we have. The district really is taking COVID-19 seriously.”

   Some students at Nixa High School do not wear their masks properly. Stoll said she understands that we have this issue.

    “While I know many students do not wear their masks properly all day, I do think all students at least have a mask on their face,” Stoll said. “That’s actually impressive compared to some other surrounding districts from what I hear.”