Dear LPS Parents, Students and Community Members:
All LPS schools and programs will move to a temporary remote learning model next week.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Tri-County Health moved Arapahoe County from “Level Yellow: Safer at Home - Concern” to “Level Orange: Safer at Home - High Risk” on the state’s dial dashboard, effective today at 5:00 p.m. While this change doesn’t mandate that schools shift to remote learning, it does provide additional evidence about the spread of COVID in our community.
As I have said in numerous settings, our goal is to have students of all ages in school for in-person learning as much as is safely possible and to move individual schools to temporary remote learning as needed while keeping other schools open for in-person learning. We will have completed 12 weeks of in-person/hybrid school since August 24, which is fantastic. I’ve heard from many students, teachers and parents that the best learning takes place when teachers and students can be together in person. Students have benefited from the social interaction with their peers and have developed a sense of community. We are grateful for our students, teachers and families whose attention to health protocols made it possible to have in-person learning for this long.
The LPS COVID Tracker provides us with important information. Since August 24, we have learned more about contact tracing, quarantines and the ability of schools to keep COVID positive cases low. LPS data and Arapahoe County data have been examined over time. We have had about 140 positive COVID cases and about 90 quarantines among 16,000 students and staff since our first day of school. This is remarkably low and a true testament to the commitment of our students, teachers, employees and families to follow health protocols and properly quarantine to prevent spread in order to keep more students in school as much as possible.
As Arapahoe County’s numbers increase, LPS numbers eventually also increase. In the past few days, LPS has reached the tipping point in the system where in-person learning is no longer feasible.
After consulting with school and district leaders and the LPS Board of Education, and taking all of the above factors into consideration, I made the decision to move all LPS schools and programs to a temporary remote learning model beginning next week, possibly for the rest of the fall semester.
Please look for a communication from your individual school(s) for important details.
While we wish we could have given families more time to prepare for this shift, with as quickly as quarantines are increasing, it is likely that many of our schools would have needed to make the shift to remote learning by next week anyway. We know many parents and staff have been planning ahead for this possibility and we truly appreciate everyone's flexibility and patience.
I want to thank all of you again for your efforts to follow our health protocols, which have allowed us to have in-person learning for 12 weeks this fall. While a temporary shift to remote learning is not what is best for students’ learning and social-emotional needs, it is necessary at this time to keep our students, staff, families and fellow community members safe during this COVID surge in our area. It remains our collective responsibility to keep one another safe during these unprecedented times. Please continue to wear your mask, wash your hands and physically distance when possible. We hope to have all of our students and staff back in school for in-person learning again in January, or sooner if possible.