Single mother of 4 forced to quarantine after COVID-19 scare at Raleigh elementary school

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A single mother is in quarantine with her four children after her twins came into close contact with a student who tested positive for COVID-19 at Joyner Elementary School.

It seems protocols were followed by Wake County after Shaquita Boone's twins were exposed to the virus. Her children had just got back into the classroom after a Christmas break pause until mid-February.

"They're out for two whole weeks," said Shaquita, a single mom who also has a 7-year-old and 13-year-old in Wake County Schools. "My children were very sad, honestly, because they were very excited to get back into school, to see their friends and to be in a school environment."

Boone chose the hybrid school model instead of the Virtual Academy because she felt her kindergarteners really needed to see a classroom for their first year of school.

"When there's another case, what will be the protocol? You're going to send them back home with me for two weeks?" she wonders. "If that's the case I feel there's no point in reopening schools, I feel our children are not safe."
Keith Sutton, chair of the Wake County School Board, said as long as there is COVID-19 in the community, there will be COVID-19 in schools and they are doing their best to limit the spread of the virus.

This week, Wake County Schools announced that they want to bring all elementary school students back into the classroom full time.

Students in higher grade levels will be brought back in more rotations as well.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services also announced new guidance Wednesday for K-12 schools. It instructs them to "offer in-person learning to the fullest extent possible while following public health protocols."
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The new guideline stresses offering in-person learning "to the fullest extent possible while following all public health protocols" by only allowing higher-risk students and families to opt for remote learning for their children.

"Children don't learn the same," Boone said. "All children cannot sit in front of a computer and absorb information."

Boone feels virtual learning is too strenuous for her children and she's tried to supplement it with her own teaching, as much as she admits she's no expert. She credits teachers for doing their best to keep kids engaged.

"Children need to be able to interact with children their age," she said. "They also need someone who is trained to teach as well as to monitor them."

Cases in Wake County schools have fluctuated but the numbers have been lower since the December and January peaks.

Chair Sutton believes their staff and students have been extremely compliant with protocols and that the pace of teacher vaccinations should give people reason for optimism.
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