PARKER, Colo. — When Shane Hanson heard full in-person learning was starting again at Chaparral High School, the sophomore was excited.
"It's easier for me to learn while I'm at school," Shane said.
He has been attending hybrid all year and spent a lot of time at home. His mother, Suzanne Hanson, said it's been too much time.
"Blanket quarantines is kind of how I'm describing it," Suzanne Hanson said.
She said her son has been quarantined six times since the beginning of the school year, most recently last week. Shane has been kicked out of the building and forced to stay home for 47 days and counting.
"I'm an educator myself," Suzanne Hanson said. "I fully support and want to keep everyone healthy. However, this not healthy for my son."
Shane said it's been difficult.
"I just feel kind of hopeless," Shane Hanson said. "It seems like it's going to keep happening and I don't really see it changing."
The Hansons said they believe Chaparral is placing entire classrooms on quarantine when someone tests positive instead of just placing those who were in close contact on quarantine.
"It feels lazy to me," Suzanne Hanson said. "It feels like the effort to really see who is in close contact is not being done."
Last week, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) had to shut down in-person learning at five schools due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Mountain Vista, Castle View and Rock Canyon High Schools have all had multiple COVID cases. Rocky Heights Middle School and Sierra Middle School have also been forced into full remote learning for 14 days.
With regards to the situation at Chaparral, DCSD released this statement:
The Douglas County School District follows the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Cases and Outbreaks Guidance for Schools. DCSD works closely with the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) to consult on the implementation of state guidance, and follow TCHD requirements as it pertains to state guidelines for school events and outbreaks in schools.
DCSD Schools continue to follow health and safety best practices to help lessen the impact of COVID-19 on our school communities. We continue to ask our families and staff members to follow health and safety mitigation measures, and to stay home if they are not feeling well. We are also continuing to work and advocate with the Tri-County Health Department to improve these practices as we move forward.
But, Dr. Bernadette Albanese said it works differently. She is an epidemiologist with Tri-County Health and said it is up to the schools to decide how to quarantine students.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment guidelines state that schools can either quarantine those in close contact with someone who tested positive or the entire cohort. Albanese said that decision is made by the schools, not Tri-County Health.
"Instead of just like throwing everybody into quarantine so like whole classes aren't being quarantined, maybe just a few kids need to be," Shane Hanson said.
Each time he's been quarantined, Suzanne Hanson said her son has tested negative for COVID-19 five days after the exposure. But, she said he is not allowed to go back to school until eight days later with a negative COVID test.
"Between the negative test on day five and day eight, nothing is done, there isn’t a further test that is required," Suzanne Hanson said. "I find that illogical."
Suzanne Hanson said Shane has also tested positive for having COVID-19 antibodies from an exposure a long time ago, but he is still not allowed to come back to school earlier.
"Our go-to people at the school are not able to speak to a lot of topics that I think we have a right to understand," Suzanne Hanson said. "I want to work together and cooperate."
Shane Hanson said he just wants to go back to school.
"It just seems like we're doing it differently than we could be," Shane said.
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