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D49 still evaluating COVID reporting policy despite state requirement

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KRDO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Three days after the state announced updated COVID-19 requirements for schools, Falcon School District 49 has not made any changes to its policy, making it unclear if the district will actually report individual cases of coronavirus.

Earlier this month at an August school board meeting, D49's Chief Education Officer said the district would exercise local control and not report single COVID-19 cases within the district to health officials. According to state COVID guidelines, school districts were 'encouraged' to report cases. However, the guidelines did not say reporting single COVID cases was a requirement.

As of Friday, the state changed the guidelines to mirror state law, now requiring all school districts to report single COVID-19 cases amongst students and staff to health officials.

As of right now, D49 tells 13 Investigates they will wait for El Paso County Public Health to notify them of positive cases in their schools.

District spokesperson David Nancarrow says they are still evaluating if they plan to follow state law and report cases to health officials.

"We don’t ask parents to disclose, but positive tests associated with our schools are reported to us through county health," said Nancarrow in an email to 13 Investigates. "We will continue providing notice to exposed individuals [students, staff, families] and cooperating with the county's investigation of outbreaks."

When we asked for further clarification on the district's policy, Nancarrow said they are evaluating what the updated guidance from the state and county means for the district.

State health officials say failure to appropriately report diseases is an unlawful act that could result in a misdemeanor charge and is subject to fines and jail time.

Colorado Springs / Investigations / Local News / Video
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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

Comments

21 Comments

  1. Hang in there D49! There are a lot of people who appreciate you standing up for their privacy and parental rights.

  2. Here’s a scoop from someone who works in D49: 227 cases so far in 6 schools. They never told their employees they couldn’t report.

    1. I am sure those numbers are incorrect. That is an avg of 37 per school. Per local guideline those schools would of have to suspend in person learning and that would definitely make the news.

      1. Could be 37 in each of 6 schools, or could be 20 in one school and 207 in another. Obviously if local guidelines say schools have to close with that number, though, then that is why they won’t report the number.

      2. Guess I read my email from the Zone leader incorrectly. Nope. That’s what it says. Sorry V.T.

  3. D49 does not care about your children. They just want what ever money they get and if your child gets sick and dies, oh well, you can have another one.

    1. Huh? They get money if a child dies. Please elaborate…..
      Did you see where last year D49 didn’t lose one student to CO_VID but had 15 suicides. So what it the bigger threat to our kids?

      1. Schools get about $10,000 per student enrolled — in some states they get over $20 a student. We have seen an increase in home schooling because parents need consistency and this “school’s in / school’s out” routine is impossible to live with. So if a district has 20,000 students and 1,000 of those students leave for private or home school because of closures, the district loses 10 million dollars. Ouch.

        So, yeah, it’s about the money.

        How many suicides on average per year does D49 see? Where did you find the stat on suicides in the district?

        1. We got a letter from D49 about their policies and procedures and the way they are approaching the new school year. This information came directly from D49 to all parents of D49 students.

          1. Wait, you’re not saying that the admin of a district used the suicide deaths of 15 students last year as an argument for their new policies? That would be sick.

            The stat of 15 deaths in itself is useless as data without comparison to other years. But using those deaths to try to get your way, wow. Please tell me I’m misunderstanding you.

    2. Actually, we’re right at the October count now. Will be interesting to see how important attendance is to the district after they have their per student money.

      1. We are not in the October Count. Again, Marie, you know nothing. Indeed it’s at the end of September and, due to the flux of schedules, in person vs virtual back and forth, etc, there are now two counts during the year. Students in online environments are counted and need not be physically present. In fact, if during the count the entire school is placed on virtual learning, it is to the advantage of the district, as it produces 100% attendance. You are actually sounding more ignorant every time you talk about education.

  4. The fun fact of the day: The Vista Ridge High School Soccer team was just QUARANTINED! Way to go D49.

    1. The suicide numbers is right in the second paragraph, it’s even in digits so it’s easy to scan.

      I don’t know why any one would send their children to a school district that cares so little about human beings that it uses the deaths of 15 children to try to get its way.

      I also don’t know why anyone would send their children to a district where statistics is understood so poorly, any yearly number of suicides is a useless statistic if you don’t know what the numbers are the previous years. They could have instead written “suicide is up X%” and been both more informative and less exploitative. Maybe this means the suicide rate did not rise, it stayed even or dropped?

      Talk about fear mongering If you don’t do what we say, your children will kill themselves. Sick, sick, sick.

    2. Wait, wait, I read the paragraph again.

      It says “in the larger community”. So these horrible people are manipulating the statistics to make it look like 15 of their students died, when it is 15 young people in the whole area (El Paso County).

      This is just criminal. The rate of teen suicide is increasing yearly, looking it up, there was a small dip or evening out for a few years (like, 13 a year instead of 15 a year) but last year we matched the 2016 level, and they are using that to justify a COVID policy? As if schools can magically this coming year stop your child from killing himself, when the Colorado rate of teen suicide among deaths doubled (11% to 21% of deaths) from 2010 to 2019 when they were all forced to be in school all day?

      Well, I’m glad schools are right on top of that problem. Putting out an anti-mask, anti-public health reporting press release, that will fix things. Monsters.

  5. Look at D49 trying to kill people. Great job. I hope the parents sue the hell out of this district if their children’s get sick or die.

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