NewsGetting Back to School


Cactus Shadows High School battling COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 5:32 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 21:22:28-04

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — It’s the largest number of students forced to quarantine at an Arizona school so far. Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek says as many as 100 students are in quarantine off-campus as of Monday.

Many of the students we spoke with knew classmates had tested positive for the coronavirus but are just now learning the dramatic impact it’s taken on their school.

“I guess I’m just shocked, I feel like I should have been told something,” said sophomore Cam Randolph.

One hundred students are now using the school's limited online learning model after five students tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks.

“I got an email that said somebody had tested positive in my daughter's classroom but they had not been sitting by her,” said parent Julie Clark.

Clark’s daughter was lucky and did not have to quarantine. District officials say the largest outbreak centered around the varsity football team. Coaches and team members were all placed in lockdown and their first game was canceled.

“There’s a lot of concern going on about contact tracing about where some of these students have been,” said Cadi Angeli with the Cave Creek Teachers Association.

According to the district superintendent, two of the students who tested positive may have actually gotten the virus on campus. The others appear to have brought the virus to the school. The district says because students attend five different classes per day, contact tracing led them to quarantine any students who were within six feet, and spent more than 10 minutes around those who tested positive.

“We don’t have class sizes of 40 per se, but we do have class sizes of 35 or 36 and there’s always the concern about how you keep yourself safe when you really can’t socially distance in a classroom like that,” said Angeli.

Leading to the question, are students taking enough personal responsibility on campus and off it. What we saw were students wearing masks but still congregating into groups following school Monday.

“Even if you’re going to your friend's house, how are you protecting yourself when you go there, that’s community responsibility and that’s something as educators we don’t have any control over,” said Angeli.

The district says while the number of quarantined may appear startling, it was out of an abundance of caution students were sent home and shows parents they are taking their safety seriously.