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Covid: Caprock Academy High School students learning at home

Just one positive case of COVID-19 was enough to keep all Caprock Academy high school students...
Just one positive case of COVID-19 was enough to keep all Caprock Academy high school students at home this week.(Jason Burger)
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 8:47 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) -

Just one positive case of COVID-19 was enough to keep all Caprock Academy high school students at home this week.

“We made the decision to send our highschool to remote on Sunday evening so we got our communication out Sunday before our kids came on Monday morning. We made it four weeks without a positive case,” said Head of School for Caprock Academy, Andrew Collins.

Now, all the high school teachers and students are in online classes. Health department guidelines required 60 students in one of the school’s cohorts be sent home, but administrators decided to play it safe and keep all 190 high-schoolers at home.

“We also had a large number of staff that might have had contact with the student so we decided to play it safe and send the whole high school home,” Collins said.

But the head of the school says the teachers were already teaching zoom classes for students that chose to stay home when school started, so the transition isn’t too taxing.

“Teachers were already operating that way, so instead of 5 kids in the remote classes, all of their students are remote,” Collins said.

But as for the rest of the K-8th grade students…

“It was a pretty easy decision to leave the kindergarten through 8th grade still in class since they are kept separate from the high school students,” Collins said.

Admins at Caprock say there’s enough separation in the building to limit exposure.

“That’s done physically because our high school mostly attends class upstairs in the building and the rest are downstairs,” Collins said.

And if there’s a positive test with younger students, the protocol would be the same, but not as drastic.

“If this happens with the other grade levels, it would likely be a smaller group of students that is sent home, just because of how high school mixes. It adds more students in the cohorts than 3rd grade, for example,” Collins said.

School officials say they’re planning on having to move students back and forth from home to in-school learning throughout the semester.

“I feel like we have a pretty good plan to go back and forth, hopefully not too much, but here and there,” Collins said.

If there are no new positive tests, high school students will be back in the classroom on September 10th.

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