GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KREX) — The Mesa County Public Health Department data dashboard, shows there are 26 current outbreaks in Mesa County.

One school on the list is Caprock Academy, a K-12 charter school.

Andrew Collins, head of school at Caprock Academy, says, “we made it through almost of all the 2020-21 school year without having an outbreak, right until the very last day of school, is actually when we learned about a week later that some students had tested positive.”

Like many schools nationwide and on the Western Slope, learning and hygiene now look a lot different since COVID.

Collins also says, “we’ve encouraged the students to do hand washing, distancing.  We’ve had one-way hallways. We’ve had extra cleaning by our cleaning crew. Fogging of classrooms and hallways and bathrooms. Lots of disinfecting and sanitizing. Of course, masks have been a big part of that as well.”

Amelia Knaysi, Student Council President at Caprock Academy, says, “this year as a leader, I was there for my fellow students and if they had any questions or if they were struggling, I was always there for them. I would call, reach out, whatever it may be.”

Last school year, Caprock Academy transitioned to remote learning for two weeks at a time to help stop the spread, a move that along with COVID-19, made learning difficult.

Vienna Hartofil, Vice President of Student Council at Caprock Academy, says, “going into math class, this year, even our teacher, like he has to reteach us everything that I would’ve learned freshman year, sophomore year because I lost out on that.”

Knaysi also says, “it affected my mental health, it affected my grades. It’s kind of affected my personality too, but I came out on the other side stronger, more developed. I learned to appreciate the little things.”

It’s been a tough two years for most people, and most have taken away valuable lessons.

Hartofil also says, “for the rest of my life, I will appreciate things more than I ever have before.”