COVID outbreak reported at Normandy High School in Parma following band trip to Disney World

Updated: Apr. 23, 2021 at 11:32 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) - Eighty nine Normandy High School students are currently quarantined and 14 students have tested positive for COVID-19 since April 12 -- the same day students came back from a school-sponsored band trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

“Most of the trip went very well,” said Parma City Schools Superintendent Charles Smialek. “On the way home, there were some breakdowns in procedures on one of our buses, and at that point, we did have four students of the 14 that have contracted; we have four that can be directly traced to that Disney trip. We got lax in terms of assigned seats and masks, in all honesty.”

Smialek said the students who went on the trip were not quarantined before returning to school.

“They were not quarantined. At that time, we were still, you know, under the impression that things had gone well. They came back in very short proximity to when we came back to school, so we’ve gone ahead, and we did allow them to come back to school not knowing that we even had the four at that point, and so that’s, that’s something that, we, we didn’t have all of the information at the time that we let them back in.”

Some parents reached out to 19 News, who now have sick kids saying the district should’ve canceled the trip and given them a full refund. Smialek said parents did receive a partial refund, but some of the money had already been spent.

“In terms of canceling it, it’s very easy to say two weeks after the fact and say we shouldn’t have went, but again you compare a band trip to what we did in football season and soccer season and basketball season, and you know the level of risk is really the same and our band kids deserve those same opportunities that all of our extracurriculars had really throughout the year,” Smialek said.

The superintendent says since the outbreak started, they have stationed school administrators at all the entrances in the morning, checking students for symptoms and fevers. He also says they will do everything they can to ensure something like this does not happen again.

“I think we’re definitely gonna have to put in place some written contracts and some signed documents in terms of what the chaperones and sponsors understand,” Smialek said.

Copyright 2021 WOIO. All rights reserved.