GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – Hundreds of students in Greeley are resorting to remote learning amid concerns of coronavirus spreading within the school. A spokesperson for Greeley-Evans School District confirmed students at Billie Martinez and Madison Elementary Schools were sent home for at least two weeks after dozens of students called in sick on the same day.
A total of 20% of students at Billie Martinez, and 30% at Madison, called out sick in one day. The district requires all students to stay home if at least 20% of students call out in one day.
“Sometimes we are quarantining without a positive test because parents are refusing to have their students tested,” said Theresa Myers, Chief of Communications for the district. “Ironically we don’t have any positive tests at that school. But, we had a large amount of students out with symptoms that could be COVID.”
Myers said those two schools joined Jackson and Frontier Academy elementary schools as current schools under full quarantine. Other schools have several students under quarantine while the rest of the classes continue in-person.
“We certainly don’t take that decision lightly,” Myers said of the decision to return to remote learning. “We knew, going back to in person learning, that there was a good chance we would have to quarantine cohorts or a whole school.”
While some parents may be concerned for the health of their students, Myers assured that the district was following tight guidelines to make sure there was a mix of quality education with safe learning environment.
Students are required to wear masks in the buildings, and Myers said most are adhering without concern.
However, Myers said the concerns of the virus could better be addressed if students were tested more regularly. She said some parents are fearful of taking their students to be tested.
“For our community it was really essential that we get back to in-person learning,” Myers said. “We have a high amount of poverty in our school district. A lot of parents who work one or two jobs who don’t have good child care for their families. We feel like the system is working. We are not seeing a lot of positive tests. We will keep the learning going. And, then bring them back hopefully when it is safer for them to be in the school.”
For a list of schools with quarantines visit: https://www.greeleyschools.org/Page/24692.