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Roseville High School returns to distant learning after many tests positive for COVID-19

Roseville High School is returning to distant learning after the district sent a letter to parents saying that 18 teachers are under quarantine.

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Just one week after returning to a full-time in-person learning model, Roseville High School is temporarily going back to distanced learning due to dozens of staffers under quarantine due to exposure to positive coronavirus cases on campus.  

Coby Estrada, a high school senior, is one of the students who chose to return to campus.  

Estrada said while he did not have a known exposure in his classes, whole classrooms of students had sent up within the first week.  In another class, his teacher taught from home while a teacher's assistant tried to physically fill the role.  

"It was complete chaos," Estrada said.

Between Jan. 3 and Jan. 10, 17 students and one staffer tested positive, according to the data from the Roseville Joint Union High School District.

In a letter to parents Wednesday, administrators said 18 teachers, two support staff, seven custodial staff, two paraeducators, and one wellness intern are under quarantine due to exposure. 

The school does not have the resources to provide in-person supervision, according to administrators. Students will be moving to a distance learning model through Jan. 22 and are scheduled to return to campus on Jan. 25.

One mother who did not want to provide her name to protect her child said she isn’t surprised. She thinks the district isn't considering the health and safety of the community.

"They either need to go back to hybrid or stay online, for a certain amount of time, to try to let the surge from the holidays go away,” the mother said.

In a petition signed by thousands, some students last month urged the school district to stay in a hybrid model.

“In the newly adopted scenario, students must pick between the inadequate online option, RSVL Academy, and the currently dangerous plan for reopening.

The RSVL Academy offers little to no AP, IB, and Honors courses, many of which students are relying on for their college plans or to earn an IB diploma,” the petition said.

But administrators emphasize, they understood campus closures would be a risk. John Becker, executive director of student engagement, said students have been on campus in some capacity for the entire school year.

"We fully understood that having to close classrooms or campuses would be a risk, but we believe learning is best achieved in-person, and as soon as we can safely return students to campus, we will do so," Becker said.

Estrada says he understands the public health concern, but as someone who struggled with virtual learning, he's hoping the quarantine period will offer a reset to reopen despite the chaotic first week.

"I know the timing isn’t great, but who knows when this virus is going to get in control? And for a lot of these kids, this is the prime of their education, and they need to be in that classroom,” Estrada said.    

Continue the conversation with Van on Facebook.

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