Thanks to all of you for making a successful shift to fully remote learning this week. I’m hearing from students, parents and teachers that the transition is going pretty well. We are very grateful for all of the hard work that goes into moving an entire school system of 15,000 students and staff to remote learning. Thank you!
COVID positivity rates continue to surge in our community. Earlier this week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced new, more restrictive public health orders. Surprisingly, at a time when all other restrictions are being tightened, the Governor encouraged schools to continue in-person learning for grade PK–5. While we wholeheartedly agree with the Governor that in-person learning is best for our students, his statements seem unrealistic given the current surge in cases. Most, if not all, metro area school districts have had no choice but to switch to remote learning due to widespread COVID transmission, larger quarantines required at the Level 3 Orange restrictions and subsequent staffing shortages. It quickly becomes impossible in an in-person setting to provide necessary supervision, quality instruction and appropriate mental health support for students.
In our last communication, I left open the possibility of us returning to some form of in-person learning in December. However, the community and LPS positive case rates and number of staff and students caught up in quarantines continues to increase sharply. Therefore, we have made the decision to keep all LPS schools and programs in this temporary remote learning model through Friday, December 18, 2020, which is the end of the semester.
Our goal remains to have students of all ages in school for in-person learning as much as is safely possible as soon as possible. We remain hopeful that we will be able to return to in-school learning in January. Thank you for washing your hands, physically distancing when possible, and wearing a mask - especially throughout the holiday season. Doing so helps keep our community healthier and in turn allows schools to return in-person sooner.
I extend to all of you my best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving break!