Dozens of students quarantine from Monroe elementary school

MONROE, Wash. — Administrators for the Monroe School District confirmed 39 students and three staff members are in quarantine following possible contact with someone who was positive with COVID-19.

In a letter to parents, the district said:

“We are writing to let you know that today, November 12th, we were made aware your child has been identified as potentially having close contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. The identity of the individual will not be shared because this information is legally protected health information that must be kept confidential. Close contact means being within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes or more within a 24 hour period, or if someone with COVID-19 coughed on you, shared utensils with you, etc.”

News of the large-scale quarantine came as the Monroe School District prepared to send first graders back to in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 16.

“How is it safe now?” wondered Chelsey and Michael Brick, whose son attends first grade in Monroe.

Given everything that’s happened, they told KIRO 7 there was no way he will be coming to campus anytime soon.

“The only screening is that parents are asked to sign off that you don’t have any symptoms--- fever--- and then go to school,” they noted, saying that communication from the Monroe School District has been minimal.

To date, COVID-19 clusters have happened at three different schools within the Monroe School District, yet the Bricks said they were among many parents who didn’t hear about it until earlier this week.

“They’ve never reached out once for our opinion or our input,” said Michael. “It’s our ultimate responsibility to make sure (our son) is kept safe and healthy.”

KIRO 7 reached out to the Monroe School District five different times asking for an interview, but they never even acknowledged the requests.

We also asked if the district will now change its plans about sending first graders back to school, but they never answered that question either.

The Bricks said poor communication comes down to a lack of transparency.

“They aren’t listening to anyone’s concerns or responding to anyone’s concerns about it, and they’ve completely broken our trust,” Michael said.

One of the only things Monroe administrators did confirm is that there was a closed school board meeting on Friday, Nov. 13.

When KIRO 7 inquired about the topic of the meeting, we were told it was centered around “bargaining.”