DENVER — Leslie O'Dell, a Denver Public Schools parent and owner of The Walnut Room restaurant, called this week "just a crazy whirlwind of just stress and sadness," as DPS moved back to remote learning for some students and Denver brought back COVID-19 restrictions.
O’Dell has had quite the stretch recently.
“I think I heard we’re going down to 25% capacity and back to remote learning within a 24-hour period. So it was pretty devastating,” she said.
The city of Denver moved to level 3 dropping restaurant capacity to 25% and the school district made the announcement bringing her 4th-grader back to remote learning after a week in class.
“It is a double whammy,” O’Dell said.
She didn't see the move back to virtual learning coming and isn't thrilled about it.
“Yeah it’s a little confusing where they get their numbers and how they make their decisions,” she said.
DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova on Wednesday said transmission rates in the district are extremely low. But disruptions due to students having to quarantine have been difficult, and Cordova also pointed to Denver's overall case rates riding.
“Honestly I’m relieved,” DPS parent Melissa Megliola said.
Megliola already opted her 11-year-old out, but sent her 8-year-old back after careful discussion.
“And that little taste of being back at school and getting that taken away was pretty disappointing for my daughter. She was pretty upset. Based on DPS’ own metrics, that’s the decision that should be made,” she said.
With the city making the decision to back to a modified “Safer at Home” posture, what choice do parents like these really have?
“I know that the remote certainly isn’t easy and it’s not ideal for many families. But I would rather everyone be safe and healthy and we can worry about the rest later on,” Megliola said.
Both parents want their younger kids to get the peer interaction. They know not everyone has the resources they do.
“I can’t be angry about it, but I know that my family is lucky that I am home,” Megliola said.
In the meantime, all they can do is wait. And O’Dell will try to manage the restrictions in her restaurant and helping her kids work remotely.
“To say that life has been stressful the last few months has been an understatement,” O’Dell said.