Vista Unified School District

‘I'd Go Back Tomorrow': Quarantined Vista Teacher Says Classrooms Are Safe

In-class teaching was suspended at Mission Vista High School on Thursday after two students tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week

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On the day in-class teaching was suspended at Mission Vista High School, at least three other students tested positive for COVID-19 at schools in the Vista Unified School District, according to its coronavirus dashboard.

The new cases were reported at Alta Vista High School, Hannalei Elementary and Madison Middle School.

“The Madison case impacted a very small group of students because our system caught it quickly in the morning,” Superintendent Matt Doyle said in a text message to NBC 7 on Thursday.

No other information was provided on the other cases.

Since Oct. 20, nine students have tested positive at seven different schools in the district, which has resulted in the quarantining of more than 400 students and at least 17 teachers.

Tuesday night, the Vista Unified School Board voted unanimously to suspend in-class teaching at Mission Vista High after two students at the school tested positive.

Stacy McGuire, a 37-year-old 10th-grade chemistry teacher at Mission Vista, is one of the quarantined teachers who is now teaching virtually from her young son’s home nursery.

“I’m one of the teachers that was quarantined, that had a COVID exposure in the classroom," McGuire said. "I want to go back tomorrow if they’d let me."

Before being quarantined, McGuire taught one virtual class and two classroom sessions. There were 28 students in one class and 30 in another.

“The students were three to four feet apart, really well-spaced. I was six to seven feet from the students unless I was helping them," McGuire said. "I felt very comfortable going back."

McGuire said she understands and respects the concerns of parents and fellow teachers but feels that parents need to be given a choice as to whether their kids return to the classroom.

“Kids need that social interaction," McGuire said. "I believe the mental health crisis and the suicide rates are really going to be a bigger impact than COVID.”

McGuire, who is empathetic to health concerns and the idea that positive cases could impact at-risk family members, said her 2-year=old son is a cancer survivor and that she is also living with her 80-year old aunt.

“It’s very scary, but are we going to live our lives in fear, or are we going to live our lives in hope?” McGuire said.

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