150 days, 1 COVID-19 case: School nears full year in classroom

As schools continue to adjust to in-person learning, there is one school that seems to have it down.

St. Paul Lutheran School in Franklin has 116 students. To date, there has only been one COVID-19 case, which affected just one classroom, since students returned to the classroom in August.

The school's COVID-19 safety protocols are something worth celebrating. Employees feel it's a miracle COVID-19 has not yet shut the doors on on-person learning.

"We thought, two weeks at most," said Principal Nathan Schulmeister. "We’ve been blessed, today’s the 150th day of school, and we’ve been in school all year."

It's a success, staff members say, that benefits more than physical health.

"Because we can be face to face, the kids have made much better gains and success in their education than they did through a computer screen back in the screen," said teacher Heath Schmidt.

Hand sanitizer, social distancing and masks are just a few of the safety measures in place. Schulmeister said communication between staff and parents has also been key -- setting aside personal viewpoints about COVID-19.

"Every time a child starts to get sick or they start to notice some symptoms they’ve contacted us, we notify the health department, and they’ve kept kids home," Schulmeister said. "Thankfully we haven’t had any issues."

The last day of school at St. Paul Lutheran is May 27. Staff hopes they can continue in-person learning through the end of the year. In the meantime, they said they are proud to be able to have done this for so long.

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