Queen Creek Unified parents create Facebook page to monitor COVID-19 within district

Parents in the Queen Creek Unified School District are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to COVID-19 by creating a social media page with virus numbers within the district.

Parents say they want transparency from the district when it comes to cases. On Tuesday, they held a public school board meeting.

COVID-19 was not on the agenda, but some parents at the meeting brought it up.

"I'm just here to ask one question. Why has this board chosen not to share COVID statistics?" asked parent Mark Linder at the board meeting on  Aug. 10.

He, along with other parents, started a Facebook page to keep themselves informed of possible COVID-19 cases in the district, saying the district itself has failed to inform them.

"Do you want to know what’s going on? The district needs to acknowledge that COVID numbers are going up quickly again. The district doesn’t have a mitigation plan in place. They have one that they said they have from last year but they are not doing any reactions of what they did last year. There’s no classroom cleaning going on, none of the special considerations they had last year are actually happening this year so that would be a great day if we can get that happening again," Linder said.

While other districts have dashboards tracking cases, Queen Creek doesn't as of Tuesday.

Linder says that makes it difficult for parents to decide whether to send their kids to school or keep them at home.

They're also questioning whether or not to start masking up their kids.

"We would just like the district to be transparent about what’s going on. We’ve got members who have family members that are elderly family members that have medical conditions so we want to know what’s happening in the schools so we can make good decisions," Linder said.

In a statement, the district says it's taking a common sense approach to handling the virus. For parents who want to take an extra safety measure, online classes are available. 

In response to the cleaning claim, the district says it sanitizes and disinfects the school buildings on a daily basis and increased airflow throughout the buildings.

Read district's full statement below:

"For families who do not feel comfortable with in-person learning, we offer an online learning solution for students in grades K-12. Parents can enroll their children in the Queen Creek Virtual Academy at any time.

We sanitize and disinfect our school and district buildings daily and hand sanitizer stations can be found throughout our campuses. An increase of fresh air flows throughout all of our buildings; and when weather permits, we turn outdoor areas on our campuses into learning spaces.

Finally, we always stress the importance of families screening their children for any symptoms of illness before sending them to school. We also encourage our students to practice healthy hygiene habits and stay home when sick. Signs promoting these efforts are posted throughout all of our buildings.

When there is a positive COVID case in QCUSD, the positive case and identified close contacts are reported to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. Anyone identified as a close contact is sent a notification from the school/department."

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