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Front Range parents express frustration over school districts' decisions during coronavirus pandemic

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 08:20:51-05

DENVER — Although it’s a new routine, Jorwin Russell is trying to ingrain a sense of consistency with her school work.

"I start my first class at 10 o'clock. Each class is 50 minutes and we have a 5-minute passing period in between each 50-minute class," said Russell.

She’s a senior at Cherokee Trail High School. This Wednesday, Cherry Creek School District moved all students to remote learning because of a rise in COVID-19 cases.

"It’s just been so weird going from being in a hybrid schedule to where I’m not even doing regular school and the going to remote learning all of a sudden," said Russell.

Her father, Rashide Russell, understands the district is facing tough decisions in an unprecedented time but would like to see some consistency.

"As a parent, the last thing you want to do is to constantly worry about what your child's education is going to look like in the future. You want to see a level of consistency so they can be best prepared. I look at the elementary kids, middle school kids and say like, 'how do you migrate through this minefield?' so to speak," said Russell.

In Douglas County, Jaime Woolridge, knows the grind all too well.

"Especially with my younger one who is a second grader; he hasn’t gotten the fundamentals of reading and spelling yet and he also had ADHD and so he can barely sit still and can’t focus," said Woolridge.

RELATED: Douglas County School District will move to remote learning starting Nov. 30

The school work is just one piece of it. For her four children, she also worries about the negative affects of remote learning, like anxiety, depression and stress.

"He cries everyday that we do remote learning and we have to constantly take breaks and I have to walk him around," said Woolridge.

For that reason, she’d like to see families be able to decide the way their children are taught.

"With regard to mine and many of my friends in our community, we would like to make the choice to have in-person learning," said Woolridge.

A report released Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CPDHE) stressed the importance of in-person learning and says that data show coronavirus outbreaks are much more likely to happen among high school students than students in particularly grades K-5, and to a lesser extent, grades 6-8.

The report from the CDPHE says its data suggests that schools serving grades K-8, if they properly follow the state’s case and outbreak guidance for schools, “have been able to provide a reasonably safe in-person learning environment.

MORE: Colorado report outlines priorities for schools, learning as COVID-19 spread continues across state

As thousands of families remain in limbo over what the future holds, they hope their children will receive the education they deserve.

Editor's Note: Denver7 360 stories explore multiple sides of the topics that matter most to Coloradans, bringing in different perspectives so you can make up your own mind about the issues. To comment on this or other 360 stories, email us at 360@TheDenverChannel.com. See more 360 stories here.