Elmbrook Schools COVID reporting concerns parent

An Elmbrooks Schools parent is looking for answers after learning his child was exposed to someone with COVID-19 for days.

Parents are left to speculate what might have happened after getting a notification that their child was exposed to someone who tested positive. They got an email indicated exposure could have happened over the course of two school weeks.

Since the start of the school year, Elmbrook parent Gerald Leahy had received four notifications that his two children were exposed to someone positive for COVID-19.

"Typically, the notification will say something like they were potentially exposed on such a date," said Leahy.

But the latest email came with a surprise. It read: "Your child has been identified as having a school-based exposure in the classroom on September 14th through the 22nd to someone who tested positive.

"We need to know how this happened," Leahy said.

Elmbrook Schools COVID-19 exposure notice

Leahy told FOX6 News it happened at Pilgrim Park Middle School. He got the email Thursday morning, meaning his child and others could have been exposed over the course of seven school days. 

"If someone wanted to keep their kid in school because it was an inconvenience to have them home sick – or something like that – that cannot happen," said Leahy.

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Like many other school districts in the area, COVID-19 mitigation practices have parents split. An Elmbrook School Board meeting last week showed a deep divide. The district's COVID-19 dashboard indicates cases have risen in a similar pattern with the county as a whole.

"I think we really should have a full understanding of how this happened," said Leahy.

Elmbrook Schools

Elmbrook added it is relying on parents to report illnesses right away and get tested. It is that communication between parents and the district that keeps schools safe and open.

A spokeswoman for the district called this case an outlier. In a statement, he said:

In every disease investigation of a positive Covid case, we ask the family how long the child has been experiencing symptoms and if/when they were at school symptomatic. We then transparently report that information to families through a school exposure notice. The vast majority of our families are screening their children daily and keeping symptomatic children home until they receive a negative Covid test. Our ability to stay safe and stay open is dependent upon this partnership with our families.

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