Group assist helps Summit dad and mom stability work and youngster care throughout faculty quarantines

The Frisco Elementary School is pictured on November 12th. Students in every class had to be quarantined this school year due to coronavirus exposure.
Photo by Liz Copan / Studio Copan

With children under 12 still not eligible for coronavirus vaccines, parents of young children need to balance work with childcare if their children need to be quarantined.

Summit School District spokesman Mikki Grebetz said the school district is following guidelines from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that require close contact quarantines if positive. She said revised guidelines are expected from the state health department before the start of the next school year.

Gretchen Broecker has a 13-year-old daughter who just got her first dose of vaccine and 10-year-old twin boys who are in fourth grade at Frisco Elementary.

Broecker’s daughter started the school year in the district’s hybrid learning program, but switched to online in the spring. When her daughter went to school in person on selected days in the fall, Broecker had to work from home every time her sons had to be quarantined. Now that her daughter is home all day, it has been easier for Broecker to go to work knowing that her daughter can keep an eye on her younger brothers.

Her two sons are in the fourth or fifth quarantine of the school year, and Broecker said this was the most difficult for them: they had to miss soccer and couldn’t go to school on their 10th birthday, Thursday May 20.

“It’s really hard because I feel like they go to school for two weeks, then there is a quarantine and they have two weeks off,” Broecker said. “I feel like I could look at the calendar and see if they were more in school than out of school. … It’s probably pretty evenly divided. “

Johanna Kugler works full time at Open Arms childcare and preschool in Breckenridge and has been working personally since June. She said her job is flexible as her children can go to work on Wednesdays when the school is online, but it has been difficult to balance work and look after her own children during quarantine.

Kugler has three children at Dillon Valley Elementary, all of whom had to be quarantined at different times. When the pandemic started last spring, she taught her students about Zoom from home and also helped her children with schoolwork.

When the whole family was back in person, she said it was easier to keep your balance until their children needed to be quarantined. Kugler said it was important to find a balance because she still wants her children to adopt life. She said they all play sports and dance at the Alpine Dance Academy and spent more time outside during the pandemic.

“I would much rather that you be careful but still enjoy life,” said Kugler. “We’re not going to make sure they’re fully protected.”

Adrienne Rynes has two kids at Frisco Elementary, and although she said she’s lucky because her job is so flexible, multitasking while the kids are at home can be difficult.

“It’s really a challenge for the kids because when they’re at home with us they still need help with schoolwork when they go to online school,” said Rynes. “Or I feel like they’re on technology all day. It’s just a real challenge and not ideal. “

Rynes and her husband are both fully vaccinated, and she said she helps protect the health of her children by leading by example and wearing a mask. She said it could be difficult for the kids because they still have to wear masks in places where many others don’t.

“Even though there are shops where you don’t have to wear a mask, we still wear masks,” said Rynes. “I think that’s a very difficult perception for kids too, because it looks like, ‘Well, why are we being punished? Why do we have to keep doing this and adults not? ‘”

Dr. Christine Ebert-Santos, a pediatrician in Frisco, said it was reasonable that school-age students must wear masks until they can be safely vaccinated. She added that the many restrictions put in place due to the pandemic keep children much healthier.

She said that regular masking and disinfection will continue to protect the children not only from the novel coronavirus but also from other regular infections.

“I think the biggest challenge right now is that kids are kids and they don’t always understand why we ask them to do something when everyone else doesn’t have to,” said Rynes.

Rynes added that the city of Frisco has made things easier for everyone by running children’s activities that kids can join every Wednesday after they finish their online learning. She also said the school created a great online learning experience for students.

Kugler said she doesn’t think she could have made it through the year without the support of the Summit community.

“I know it was very difficult for teachers in the school district, and I know it was very difficult for employers, and it was very difficult for families and children,” said Kugler. “I don’t think we would have survived without our community.”

Comments are closed.