BDS parents react to proposal reducing social distance guidelines in the classroom

Schools

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB)– With social- distancing and mask-wearing guidelines, the school year has looked different for many students across the nation.

Many students in Bay District Schools have had to quarantine due to exposure to the virus. The ruling requires all students to wear masks and if they are within six feet of someone testing positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine for 10 days and complete their coursework online.

“I’m not kidding I’ve lost count how many times they’ve been quarantined,” said Natalie Trumbull.

Trumbull is a mother of five, three of her children are enrolled at Deane Bozeman School.

Trumbull said the pandemic and being forced to quarantine have had major impacts on her children’s education.

“We’ve enjoyed the family time together, but when it comes to academics it’s been not good at all,” Trumbull said.

Stacie Bolster’s son Logan also attends Deane Bozeman. Logan is currently quarantining due to exposure to the virus on Feb. 11.

As of Feb. 19, 945 Bay District School students have been quarantined due to exposure from COVID-19, but Superintendent Bill Husfelt said very few students being quarantined are actually contracting the virus.

“We now have enough data points that show that very few students are getting COVID from the classroom settings or on the bus. Where they are getting it is the extracurricular activities they do, or the social functions they attend and the family things they do,” Husfelt said.

Husfelt said he’s looking at a reduction to the distance guideline.

“We believe that three feet is enough feet where would students would be safe, we’ve heard from local doctors that they think it’s a good idea,” Husfelt said.

Parents like Bolster and Trumbull agree.

“If we’re wearing masks, what is the purpose of the six feet?” said Bolster.

Husfelt said he feels this will keep students and staff safe while alleviating the stress of distance-learning.

“You add all those days up that they’re missing, that’s a lot. These students want to be in school. Obviously, they’re back in school- so they want to stay in school. We’re trying to make their life easier and keep them safe at the same time,” Husfelt said.

The recommendation is set to go before the school board at their meeting on Tuesday.

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