Outbreaks strand some students at home with minimal learning

Virus Outbreak Schools (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Within his first week back at school after a year and a half, 7-year-old Ben Medlin was exposed to a classmate with COVID-19, and he was sent home, along with 7,000 other students in the district, for 14 days of quarantine.

Not much learning went on in Ben's home.

On some days last week, the second-grader was given no work by his teachers. On others, he was done by 9:30 a.m., his daily assignments consisting of solving 10 math problems or punctuating four sentences, according to his mother.

“It was very much just thrown together and very, very, very easy work,” Kenan Medlin said.

As coronavirus outbreaks driven by the delta variant lead districts around the U.S. to abruptly shut down or send large numbers of children into quarantine at home, some students are getting minimal schooling.

Despite billions of dollars in federal money at their disposal to prepare for new outbreaks and develop contingency plans, some governors, education departments and local school boards have been caught flat-footed.

Also, some school systems have been handcuffed by state laws or policies aimed at keeping students in classrooms and strongly discouraging or restricting a return to remote learning.

The disruptions — and the risk that youngsters will fall further behind academically — have been unsettling for parents and educators alike.

The school board in Ben's district in Union County, outside Charlotte relented on Monday and voted to allow most of its quarantining students to return to the classroom as long as they aren’t known to be infected or have no symptoms.

Union County school officials said they are not offering virtual instruction but are contacting parents of affected children to help them line up tutors or other help for their youngsters. One in 6 students in the mask-optional district were quarantined last week.

In the rural district of Wellington Kansas students got a week off from schoolwork when a COVID-19 outbreak struck. Instead of going online, the district decided to add 10 minutes to each day to make up for the lost time when it reopened on Tuesday. Masks also are required now.

Districts in Kansas risk losing funding if they offer online or hybrid learning for more than 40 hours per student per year.

In Georgia Ware County's 6,000-student district halted schooling altogether for three weeks in mid-August. The district said it was unreasonable for teachers to have to offer virtual and in-person instruction at the same time. It also cited a lack of internet service in some rural areas.

In Missouri the Board of Education rescinded a rule in July that allowed school districts to offer hybrid and remote instruction for months at a time. Districts that close entirely because of COVID-19 outbreaks, as eight small rural school systems have done this year, now are limited to 36 hours of alternative instruction, such as Zoom classes. After that, they have to make up the time later.

The U.S. Education Department said Tuesday that states and school districts should have policies to ensure continued access to “high-quality and rigorous learning” in the event COVID-19 cases keep students from attending school.

The Illinois State Board of Education recently passed a resolution forcing districts to make remote instruction available to quarantined students.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said laws restricting virtual instruction are short-sighted. She noted that some of these states have no mask or vaccine requirements either.

“It is just crazy because this is a pandemic still, and as much as we had all hoped that it would be over, delta has made clear that it is not over,” she said.

In North Carolina, state health officials in July eliminated the requirement that districts provide remote learning for quarantining students, saying virtual options are “not supported by current evidence or are no longer needed due to the lower rates of community transmission and increased rates of vaccination.”

Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state’s top public health official, said the focus is on keeping children in classrooms.

In the meantime, parents are left with some difficult decisions to make.

Medlin said she is leaning toward pulling her two children out and home-schooling them as she did last year.

Emily Goss, another Union County parent, said she likewise is planning to home-school her 5-year-old kindergartener after he was put under quarantine six days into the school year with no remote learning option in place.

“He’s supposed to be playing outside, riding bikes and learning how to make new friends, and he’s wondering what’s going to happen to him. That’s not how childhood is supposed to be, and it’s just heartbreaking,” she said. “We can’t do this all year.”

___

Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak.

___

Follow Anderson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BryanRAnderson.

___

Hollingsworth reported from Mission, Kansas. Associated Press writers Jeff Amy in Atlanta and Collin Binkley in Boston also contributed. Anderson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Only a fifth of workers are back in the office for five days a week

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Just one in five people is back in the office five days a week as Covid restrictions ease, a new poll has revealed. ... Read more »

Covid live news update: Victoria premier to announce lockdown end date; NSW students prepare for school

LIVE – Updated at 00:42 © Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images People walk on the Williamstown foreshore in Melbourne on Saturday. Melburnians are set to learn when their long-running sixth Covid ... Read more »

Braves fans' loyalty sparked all-in trade deadline that sunk Mets, led to NLCS

ATLANTA — Instead of conceding the NL East after losing one of their top players to a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the Braves did a funny thing at the trade ... Read more »

Lelaki maut, kereta terbabas

© Provided by Sinar Harian SHAH ALAM – Seorang lelaki maut manakala rakannya cedera dalam kemalangan melibatkan sebuah kereta di Jalan Kampung Melayu Subang awal pagi Ahad. Mangsa dikenali sebagai ... Read more »

US tycoon Durst, sentenced to life in prison, is on ventilator with Covid: lawyer

© Myung J. Chun Robert Durst (L) during his sentencing hearing in Los Angeles in October 2021 US real estate mogul Robert Durst, sentenced to life in prison for killing ... Read more »

Victoria ends lockdown five days early

Victoria will end its sixth long-running lockdown five days earlier than planned, as the state races to its 70 per cent fully vaccinated target.  © James Ross/AAP PHOTOS Victorian Premier ... Read more »

New exposure sites in Bordertown and Waikerie after truck driver tests positive to COVID-19

© Provided by ABC Health The Bordertown Checkpoint has been listed as a tier 2 exposure site on Wednesday October 13.  (ABC News: Michael Clements) Health authorities have identified new ... Read more »

Cleo Smith's mother shares heartbreaking update on the search

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo The heartbroken mother of a four-year-old girl who went missing 24 hours ago from her family’s tent has shared a desperate plea to ... Read more »

Queensland hails Bunnings vaccination push as a major success

Queensland says its push to get people vaccinated at Bunnings sites has been a massive success, with the majority of those turning out getting their first dose. Queensland recorded no ... Read more »

Meghan Markle Loves This Tinted Moisturizer & It's On Sale — But Only This Weekend

© MEGA. When doesn’t Meghan Markle look flawless? Never — that’s when. The Duchess of Sussex’s skin is always glowing and naturally gorgeous-looking, so we’re always on the lookout for ... Read more »

Climate change: Our actions this decade will determine planet's fate for next 1,000 years, Prince William to warn

Prince William will call on society to "unite in repairing our planet" at the inaugural awards ceremony for his environmental prize, where he will appear alongside the Duchess of Cambridge and performers such as Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Shaun Mendes. Read more »

Malaysia racks up another 88 deaths due to Covid-19, Selangor records slight uptick in new cases

© Provided by Malay Mail Health personnel bury the body of a Covid-19 victim at the Islamic cemetery in Klang August 6, 2021. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana KUALA LUMPUR, ... Read more »

‘Captains of Zaatari' has its Mena premiere at El Gouna Film Festival

© Courtesy of Sundance Institute A still from Captains of Zaatari by Ali El Arabi, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. ... Read more »

Merck Covid pill: Asian countries are rushing to buy molnupiravir but poor countries could miss out

During the global scramble to secure vaccines, many countries in Asia-Pacific were slow off the mark. This time, they’re not making the same mistake. © Handout/Merck & Co,Inc./AFP/Getty Images Capsules ... Read more »

Gujarat: Harsh Sanghavi stops convoy after woman ‘jumped into river'

© Provided by The Indian Express Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi on Saturday stopped his convoy on seeing a crowd after a woman allegedly jumped into the ... Read more »

Union minister Shantanu Thakur flags ‘violence against minorities' in Bangladesh

© Provided by The Indian Express Shantanu Thakur, Minister of State for Port, Waterways and Shipping, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting the “plight of religious minorities during ... Read more »

‘Voter bribery' case: Gujarat assembly speaker, former BJP MLA, Patidar stir leader get court relief

© Provided by The Indian Express GUJARAT ASSEMBLY Speaker Nimaben Acharya, former BJP MLA Kantilal Amrutiya and Patidar quota agitation leader Manoj Panara got relief in a case related to ... Read more »

2 ex-staffers arrested for threatening to kill vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan: Kolkata Police

© Provided by The Indian Express Kolkata Police on Saturday said it had arrested two persons for allegedly threatening to kill renowned classical vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan and trying to ... Read more »

Holidaying Boris Johnson missed call with G20 heads about Afghanistan

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Boris Johnson missed a call with President Joe Biden and other G20 leaders about Afghanistan while he was on holiday last week. The ... Read more »

Pakej lengkap Banjaran Nakawan dan harga murah, padanlah Warung Tepi Sawah jadi tumpuan VVIP dan selebriti

MENIKMATI juadah sarapan pagi dengan pemandangan indah sawah padi terbentang luas, ditambah dengan gunung-ganang yang masih diselaputi kabus, memang impian ramai orang terutamanya mereka yang duduk di bandar besar. Pengalaman ... Read more »

Get to Know Bill Gates' Daughter Jennifer

© fotopress/Getty Images Bill and Melinda Gates’ daughter has a lot to celebrate! Jennifer Gates, a 25-year-old medical student, tied the knot with Nayel Nassar, an Olympic showjumper, on Saturday. The ... Read more »

‘You' Actress Tati Gabrielle on Where Marienne Went and What Happens If She's Found

© Provided by TheWrap You Season 3 (Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Season 3 finale of “You.”) Marienne (Tati Gabrielle) got the heck out of dodge before getting ... Read more »

Lee Hsien Yang sides with Leong Mun Wai, says vaccinations should be personal decision

© The Independent Singapore Lee Hsien Yang Disclaimer: Microsoft News is currently reviewing the accuracy of this story with the publisher due to social media source. Updates will be published ... Read more »

Venezuela halts talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited

© Provided by dw.com This banner in Caracas calls for Alex Saab’s release The Venezuelan government announced Saturday that it would suspend negotiations with the country’s opposition that were due ... Read more »

Guna minyak kelapa dara atasi sembelit, ruam pada bayi. Ini 4 lagi manfaat lain yang sangat berguna

MINYAK kelapa dara atau virgin coconut oil (VCO) sudah dikenali mempunyai pelbagai manfaat kesihatan. Ia bukan saja bagus untuk orang dewasa, malah untuk bayi dan kanak-kanak. Kenyataan itu turut diakui ... Read more »

Body found wrapped in comforter inside plastic bag, cops say

NYPD and city officials at the scene of where a dead body was found on the sidewalk in Brooklyn. Peter Gerber A dead body was found Saturday on a Brooklyn ... Read more »

6 combatants, 2 workers killed in fresh violence in Kashmir

1 / 8India Kashmir ViolenceIndian paramilitary soldiers stand guard on a road leading towards the site of a gunfight in Pampore, south of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Saturday, Oct. 16, ... Read more »

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: ‘We are doing all we can' to help her get home, says Liz Truss

Liz Truss says everything possible is being done to bring Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe home after she lost her most recent appeal in Iran — a setback that her husband described as ... Read more »

Starc wants Australia's men to emulate women's winning ways

Mitchell Starc is hoping the Australian men’s T20 World Cup squad will display the same self-belief he has witnessed first hand within the national women’s camp. Starc accompanied his wife, ... Read more »

Pressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks

The clock is ticking for President Biden and White House officials to broker an agreement among congressional Democrats on the president’s economic agenda as patience in some corners wears thin. ... Read more »

Studios Claim IATSE Deal Has Been Reached, Would Avert Major Strike

illustration of striking IATSE workers After tempestuous negotiations that extended over many months, a deal for an IATSE film and television contract has been reached, the AMPTP told The Hollywood ... Read more »

Almost two-thirds of New York state is fully vaccinated

Almost two-thirds of New York state is fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Saturday. © The Hill Almost two-thirds of New York state ... Read more »

Chelsea perkukuh status pendahulu EPL

© Provided by Sinar Harian CHELSEA memperkukuhkan cengkaman pendahulu saingan Liga Perdana Inggeris (EPL) apabila melakar kemenangan 1-0 ke atas Brentford di Stadium Komuniti Brentford. Jaringan penghujung babak pertama Ben ... Read more »

Ali Harbi Ali named as terror suspect in Sir David Amess murder

© RICHARD TOWNSHEND An undated handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Conservative MP for Southend West, David Amess, posing for an official portrait photograph at the Houses of ... Read more »

Prince William's Earthshot Prize winners set to be revealed

The inaugural winners of Prince William‘s Earthshot Prize will be unveiled Sunday at an glittering awards ceremony at London’s Alexandra Palace — in what Kensington Palace are calling “the most ... Read more »

Ogier “never changed so much” to find Rally Spain sweet spot

The seven-time world champion headed into the penultimate round of the season motivated to wrap up an eighth world title, with Spain’s tarmac roads reducing the impact of being the ... Read more »

Queensland records zero cases of COVID-19 as CHO wants 50,000 vaccinations a day

© Provided by ABC News Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young speaking at a COVID press conference. (ABC News: Scott Kyle) Queensland has recorded no new cases of coronavirus overnight.  ... Read more »

Rutgers' loss to Northwestern leaves Greg Schiano searching for answers

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano AP EVANSTON, Ill. — Ryan Hilinski threw for 267 yards and two touchdown passes on Saturday afternoon to boost Northwestern to a 21-7 victory over Rutgers. ... Read more »

NCR, rest of country to have cloudy skies, isolated rains

© Bernadette A. Parco Cloudy skies weather PHOTO BY BERNADETTE A. PARCO The National Capital Region and the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with ... Read more »

‘MAHB reshuffle' talk revives fears of Subang takeover

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Subang airport is the only MAHB property that remained profitable during the Covid-19 pandemic. PETALING JAYA: Talk of a move to replace Malaysia Airports ... Read more »