The return of in-person education amid a surge in the pandemic has left parents raising their hands with questions.
The Clark County School District has started the school year scrambling to address the COVID-19 resurgence, which has seen a Henderson elementary school move to distance learning as well as the cancellation of high school football games.
The Clark County School District has refused to release quarantine numbers even as the more infectious delta variant afflicts younger people.
Nevada PTA President Rebecca Dirks Garcia said the dearth of information from the district is a factor in many parents deciding to have their children learn online.
“The lack of transparency and clear communication is also one reason why you're seeing such a huge rise in parents seeking distance learning,” she said. “Nevada Learning Academy has grown into a school of more than 7,000 students in a matter of weeks.
“There are many reasons parents choose that, but seeing the implementation, and the lack of consistency in health and safety protocols, I know for a fact has driven at least some families to choose that option."
Dr. David Di John, an associate professor of pediatrics at UNLV's Kerkorian School of Medicine, said he couldn’t speak to why the district would refuse to release that information, but that he “can certainly understand” the parents’ frustrations.
"I think it would be useful to have some sense of it so we can sort of understand how the rates in school are matching what we're seeing as rates in the community," he told State of Nevada.
With the cold and flu season around the corner, Di John said parents will need to closely monitor symptoms of children when they get ill to see if they might be sick from COVID-19 or a less serious disease.
The doctor said to seek guidance from a medical professional when “the child is clearly not looking well, if they're struggling to breathe, if they have an unexplained serious cough, if they have a high fever, if they're getting dehydrated, … or they just are not looking themselves.”
Di John said he understands the inconvenience of face masks, especially for children, but they “are undoubtedly useful” in reducing the spread from the mask-wearer to others. What he fails to understand is the controversy over wearing them.
“This is kind of what's been lost in our society,” he said, “how did we get to the point where we're not concerned about the welfare of others?”
Rebecca Dirks Garcia, president, Nevada PTA; Dr. David Di John, associate professor of pediatrics, Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV
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