FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Hallways were filled just last week when Maryland Frederick County Public Schools opened their doors to in-person learners; however, within the first week of school, some staff and students were asked to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure.
FCPS reported over thirty cases of coronavirus within the first week of school. School officials say they are working hard to increase safety measures, but some parents are fearful.
Many children could not wait to return and feel a sense of normalcy in school, but that quickly changed when some staff and students were told they have to quarantine due to a COVID exposure.
Parents are faced with the tough decision of whether to keep their children in person or put them on a waitlist for virtual learning.
FCPS parent Stephanie Sisson says this is a hard situation.
“I feel like we’re up against a wall here whether we choose to send their kids to school and risk that or bring them home and then you’ve got the psychological aspect of my child not getting to be around children,” said Sisson.
A big factor in parents’ hesitancy in pulling their children out is how it will impact their child’s mental and social development.
According to health experts, the shift to remote learning, and prolonged distance from friends and family, can create depression and anxiety in children. However, FCPS says they are doing their best to prevent closures.
“We have health measures in place to protect students, we are constantly sanitizing, have a mask mandate inside our buildings, on our school buses, and we strongly encourage wearing masks, even if you’re outside, We are also working on more ways to protect students and staff,” said Brandon Oland with FCPS.
As of right now Frederick County Public Schools are at capacity for their virtual schools, but students can be enrolled on a waitlist.