Parents pull students from public schools in response to districts’ COVID-19 procedures

Back To School

DENVER (KDVR) — As students head back to the classroom, parents are sharing their hopes for a better year and education for their kids.

Back in November, FOX31’s Nicole Fierro spoke exclusively with a panel of more than a dozen concerned moms and dads in districts across Colorado. 

Checking back in, several parents made big changes in hopes of getting their kids a better education. One family moved to Tennessee for this school year. Two other parents tell us they shifted their kids to private schools that committed to be open and in person. 

For other parents, dropping their children off at school Monday brought up a number of emotions.

“Hopeful is not right, it’s more nervous and anxious that they are just going to yank everything away,” Kelly Holdridge said.

Holdridge captured her sons’ first day smiles before masks went on and elementary school started in the Poudre School District Monday.

“They don’t quite understand anything that’s going on. I obviously don’t love that they are in masks,” Holdridge said.

“They start one way, and it’s almost like a bait and switch, so I’m just happy I’m not fighting that,” Kelli Slothouber said. 

Slothouber pulled her two girls from Douglas County public schools. She’s starting them in a private high school now and says so far, it’s all in person and masks are optional.

“That makes me very happy. I am an advocate for parent choice as well on masks,” Slothouber said. 

Both Holdrdge and Slothouber say they are also advocates for only quarantining those who show symptoms of COVID-19.

“My daughters got quarantined twice each and they never got sick,” Slothouber said. “I am afraid of them being sent home and being quarantined for no reason and then losing out. I can’t explain the mental hardship that was put on these kids throughout this whole time and now it’s still there, because they are now pitting vaccinated versus unvaccinated, masked and unmasked.”

“There’s got to be a better way to help those of us who are blessed to not be suffering right now,” Holdridge said.

Parents are also wondering how districts plan to make up for curriculum missed during the pandemic. FOX31 reached out to each district to address it. So far, a representative for Denver Public Schools provided a response. The official explained that there has been a lot of discussion on the topic, and they will put together an accelerated learning plan once students are back in school.

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