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At-risk parent removes child from traditional school amid COVID-19 fears

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - Amid mounting concerns about the return to in-person classes in the fall, some parents are being proactive in their decision.

One Colorado Springs woman with severe asthma told KRDO she decided to cancel enrollment for her third grader at a local charter school, because she's at-risk and worried her daughter might bring the virus home.

"I'd rather be safe than sorry," AnneMarie John told us. "I walk around with an inhaler. Especially now during the allergy season, I can have an attack at any time."

While many of the local school districts are creating plans to sanitize, social distance, and require staff and students to wear a mask in the fall -- AnnMarie believes there's no realistic way to ensure the virus stays out of the classroom.

"It's one thing to tell a kid not to do something, but they're gonna forget, especially in a classroom where they're seeing their friends again after many months," she explained.

We've reached out to local school districts to see how they plan to combat COVID-19 in the classroom this fall.

"Harrison School District Two is planning to reopen schools on Thursday, August 6th. We plan for all students to attend in-person, while also providing options for students and families who are not ready or medically able to attend school in-person yet," reads a letter from the district's superintendents.

D2 also plans to give each student a "state-of-the-art laptop" to use in class and at home. The Harrison School District's website shows a full list of the precautionary measures its schools have planned.

The Fountain Fort Carson School District (D8) wrote a message on its website last week saying "Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 is committed to reopening schools on Monday, August 10 (our originally planned start date for the 2020-2021 school year) for all students to attend school in-person, on-site, five days a week."

D8 has created surveys for parents and students to "provide both feedback on remote learning this spring, as well as information and insight on reopening this fall."

Pueblo City School District (D60) said it previously surveyed parents and is starting task force meetings to work through the process. The district's task force consists of teachers, support staff, parents, students, and administrators. It plans to present recommendations by the task force at the end of July.

"We plan to return to school as close to normal as possible on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. In-person learning is our primary goal, and we are also doing our best to create alternative options for students and staff unable to attend in-person," a spokesperson for Academy School District 20 said in a statement to KRDO. "This pandemic has taught us flexibility and patience are key, so as we solidify our plans during the next three weeks, we will remain nimble and agile. Our goal is to provide more specifics after July 17, 2020."

Widefield School District (D3) told KRDO it's schools are still in their initial planning phase, but they'll follow all of the current health guidelines. The district said it should have more details in the coming weeks.

A spokesperson for Woodland Park School District RE-2 said its schools are still in the process of planning, as well.

We'll have more on this story tonight on KRDO at five and six.

Education / Health / Healthy Families / Local News / News

Julia Donovan

Julia is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Julia here.



  1. Parents can do what they want or feel is in their personal or their child’s best interests. This is not news.

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