In September/October 2020, there were news stories that claimed that school administrators were trying to "game" the contact-tracing rules (which required registering 15 minutes close contacts between students), by having students change seating arrangements every 14 minutes (or less in some accounts).
The Des Moines Register reported that it was not mandated in Iowa's Waukee School District, but was left to individual teachers to decide.
The NY Times article reported that Montana's Billings School District encouraged teachers to do so.
However, the Billings Gazette went further:
Administrators in at least two Billings high schools have been asking educators to shuffle students in classrooms to avoid having them register as a close contact of potential COVID-19 positive cases, emails show. "Please be practicing with your classes moving every 14 minutes when students are closer than 6 feet apart and with each other for 15 minutes or more," wrote Dar Schaaf, a Career Center associate principal. "Do this to protect them from Close Contact Tracing." Kelly Hornby, the principal at West High, gave his staff similar guidance.
According to that article, district superintendent Greg Upham wrote in an email to school administrators:
Please remind your staff and students to be cognizant of this definition and whenever possible, disrupt the 15 minute timeline, through movement, distancing and masking. This will assist our contact tracers in reducing the number of students and staff who are identified as close contacts and placed into quarantine, not to mention the obvious element of overall safety for everyone.
I can easily believe that this happened. However, the article goes on to say:
The emails from administrators show that in at least some schools, the rule translated into a game of musical chairs every 14 minutes.
I interpret this as meaning that the rules were actually implemented in at least some classrooms. I am skeptical.
In Iowa it has been claimed that some schools were "trying out" the method:
Jesse Persons is the mother of a sophomore at Woodbury Central High School in Moville—the other school that is attempting the use of movement every 14 minutes. Persons said she met with the district Superintendent Doug Glackin to voice concerns she had with the practice.
Glackin told her that the school was “trying out” the 14-minute break as an effort to minimize the number of students in quarantine.
Were these "COVID Shuffle" rules - i.e. of making students swap desks every 14 minutes or so - ever carried out in any US schools?