Collierville Schools creating COVID-19 data tracking program for students, staff

Updated: Aug. 19, 2020 at 11:01 PM CDT
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COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - The Collierville school district is creating its own COVID-19 data tracking program to keep students and staff safe this year. And parents are an integral part of the process.

“We knew in Collierville, we had an untapped wealth of knowledge from our parents and community members,” said Coordinated Health Supervisor Meghan Seay. “and we figured this would be a great way to bring people together and use their expertise to help guide our policies and procedures around communicable illnesses.”

Parents and community members met at Collierville High School Wednesday afternoon, the first meeting for these volunteers who will sit on the Data Evaluation Committee and the Public Health Committee.

“The primary goal is to evaluate data that we collect in school based on student illness, symptoms of cold and flu, reported flu, reported COVID and analyze that data to help us find trends in it. When we see a spike in a certain class, maybe we need to reinforce handwashing or increase social distancing,” said Seay.

Superintendent Dr. Gary Lilly says computer programmers, statisticians, doctors and nurses answered the district’s call for help in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Collierville Schools.

“I was really just blown away, by the expertise in the room today,” Lilly told WMC Action News 5. “It was amazing to see the caliber of people who came out to support us. They are definitely invested in the school system.

After weeks of tweaking the Back to School plan, Collierville shifted from all in-person learning to a hybrid model with virtual lessons. Classes started Monday. Just three days into the new year, the Bailey Station PTA brought goodies for the staff to say “thank you” for their hard work in this uncertain time.

“Everybody’s stress levels are high,” said PTA President Danielle Ridley. “And as the PTA board, I feel like we really need to represent all of the parents that are so grateful and thankful to our teachers and all our staff who made it possible for our kids to be back in school.”

Parents and educators are working together like never before in Collierville to keep everyone virus free.

“Anything we can do to minimize illness and keep students in school will be a great thing because the more students are in school, of course, the more they’re learning,” said Lilly.

The Shelby County Health Department inspected two schools in the Collierville system on Wednesday, Aug. 19, the first district to get a visit from SCHD officials. Collierville’s COVID-19 protocols received an excellent report.

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