As you know, Littleton Public Schools has been using four metrics (with data specific to Arapahoe County) to provide us with an additional set of information related to COVID-19. This data, along with other factors, help us determine if or when we should consider starting conversations about the possibility of shifting to a different Learning Model. These metrics are based on science and facts. They are NOT based on politics, perception, or popularity. LPS started tracking COVID data this way August 1, 2020 and has been posting the score almost daily on the district website. This method of COVID tracking is used by several school districts in the metro area.
Since then, some districts have added their school district COVID data to this formula to provide a clearer picture of what is actually happening in their schools. LPS has been working with the Cherry Creek School District for the past couple of weeks to see how they recently made this addition. On October 11, we officially added our own student COVID data point and staff COVID data point to the LPS Covid Tracker. This more comprehensive approach to COVID data tracking helps us see the difference between spread of COVID in our community versus in our schools.
While spread may be increasing within our community, the data suggests that our schools are some of the safest places for our kids and adults because we can better control masking and other overlapping health strategies. In fact, contact tracing shows that none of our students or staff who tested COVID positive contracted COVID from each other while in school, and no positive cases have emerged from a school-related quarantine. Our students, staff and parents have done a great job adhering to these protocols, which is why our positive case numbers continue to be low and COVID is not spreading within our schools.
What does this change mean?
Since August 1, 2020, LPS has tracked four Arapahoe County sets of COVID data every day:
Beginning October 11, 2020, LPS is also tracking the following two data sets in addition to the above four data sets:
For the next two weeks, we will track the data both ways - using the original four metrics and scoring system only, and also using the new scoring system with all six metrics. You can access both scores through the LPS COVID Tracker.
Some parents have asked me what would cause LPS to move to remote learning. It’s important to remember that the data must demonstrate a sustained change over seven to 14 days before it would be appropriate for LPS to begin the conversation with surrounding school districts and Tri-County Health about the possibility of shifting to less in-person learning. This data is not the only factor to be considered, but it is an important one. We also work closely with the Governor’s office, Tri-County Health, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Colorado Department of Education.
Please know that nothing is more important to us than the safety and well being of our students, our staff and our families. Safety and well being includes physical, emotional and mental health. We all look forward to the time when all of our students can resume in-person learning every day. Thank you for continuing to support us by adhering to the safety protocols in place in our schools and for being patient with us as we all navigate COVID together. We simply couldn’t do it without you.