APS changes parent notification protocol after two 3rd graders display symptoms of COVID-19

Two third graders at Alpena public schools, one at Sanborn and the other at Ella White, have symptoms of COVID-19.

According to a letter sent to parents of students in the same classrooms, the two children were exposed to someone who tested positive for the disease and are now displaying symptoms.

All kids in both classrooms, along with the teachers, have been sent home and asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The news of at least one of the students hit Facebook Tuesday and angered some who thought parents of children in the entire buildings should have been notified. The notification process has already been changed.

Interim Superintendent Susan Wooden says a robocall went out to the remaining parents in the two buildings Tuesday night, and the school district will use the same protocol in the future if a student displays signs of the virus. Letters will continue to be sent only to parents of students in the same classroom as a child who displays symptoms but other parents will receive the robocall.

“I wasn’t trying to hide anything,” said Wooden. “But upon further reflection, I realize it is most appropriate to inform parents of the entire building.”

Wooden said APS will place its protocol for contacting parents on COVID-19 cases, along with related information, on the district’s website.