Midstate family decides to pull kids out of school after son catches COVID

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A local family is reconsidering how their kids go to school after a run-in with COVID. Nationwide, kids make up 25% of new COVID cases. One of those cases is 11-year-old Logan Rosario.

Rosario went to Cougar Academy. He tested positive for the virus last week. His mom Lorna Sotomayor and stepdad Mario Garcia were upset by the news. “I cried,” Sotomayor said. “I was pissed off. I didn’t want to send him back to school to begin with,” Garcia said.

Now they’ve decided Logan and his two sisters, who go to high school at John Harris, won’t be going back to in-person learning.

“It’s just not healthy right now,” Garcia said. “We’re done taking chances.”

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They’re planning to put them in virtual school instead.

“They’re not going back to school. Not him, not the two girls. They’re going to have to do virtual learning here at home for the rest of the school year,” Garcia said.

The Harrisburg School District does offer students free virtual learning. Dr. Marisol Craig, Director of Virtual Learning, says they have about 500 students enrolled in their virtual learning academy.

“Our school principles and teachers and staff are really working hard to try to make sure that students are safe in school. However I know that there are parents that just are hesitant about sending their children to school,” Craig said.

She says they have seen parents changing their minds about in-person classes and making the switch. They have open enrollment so that families can make that transition if they choose.

“It has been increasing over time. It has slowed down a lot the last two weeks I would say, but we do get daily enrollments every day,” Craig said.

Garcia and Sotomayor are nervous that their kids won’t do as well academically in online school, but they’re putting health first.

“Their learning is important yes, but if something happens to them where does the learning go?” Sotomayor said.

They think more students should be moving to virtual learning as kids continue to get sick with the virus.

“You know, you know that’s going to happen. So how many kids gotta die? Or get seriously sick?” Garcia said. “I’m not risking their lives.”

Dr. Craig says they’ve done a lot of work to offer quality education at the virtual academy. However, she warns online learning isn’t the right fit for every student and it does take strong parental support to work.

You can find more about their virtual academy here.

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