UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) – Upper Arlington City Schools, one of the first in central Ohio to return to all-in, five-days-a-week education, finding itself with hundreds of students in quarantine Wednesday.
The district received a lot of pressure from some parents to resume full-time, in-person learning, and it did so starting March 1.
Now, parents who opposed a full return to classes said the school board’s decision is leading to entire classrooms being sent home.
“I hope they see this is what you did,” said one parent. “You ignored everything that everybody else said, and look what happened. Look what happened.”
What happened, as spelled out at Tuesday’s board meeting, is some level of quarantine for more than 400 students.
However, parents said by Wednesday, dozens more were added to the list. In a student body of 6,250, nearly 500 students are being told to quarantine because they are in close quarters and one exposed student puts many others at risk.
“They are not even doing six feet, they are barely doing three feet and it’s not good,” said parent Megan Colombo. “I really think they should have stayed hybrid like every other school has.”
Colombo is a parent with children in elementary, middle, and high school. She is also a nurse.
“The kids have been out for so long that I know the parents are like, ‘The kids have had mental issues,’” she said. “I know that, I do, but we have to deal with that. We have to work with science. Like, I’m sorry, there is something out there, a pandemic.”
Upper Arlington returned to full-time learning on the advice of its medical advisory board after the city’s positivity rate dropped.
Now, at least three second-grade classes and at least 80 eighth graders at Jones Middle School have been told to quarantine for 10 days, but next week is spring break for the district.
Students who are supposed to be on quarantine could be traveling.
“Well, I hope they’re not, and I would encourage people to stay home,” Colombo said. “And then they are going to come back to school after traveling, so it does worry me.”