The Bayfield school board voted unanimously Tuesday to continue home-based learning for the rest of the school year.
At least 22 Colorado school districts, with a total of 518,000 students, have canceled in-person classes for the rest of the school year because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization that reports on education issues in Colorado. The Durango and Ignacio school districts have not yet made a decision.
“In numerous statewide conference calls with school district leaders, Governor (Jared) Polis has all but assured us we will not return to face-to-face school instruction,” wrote Bayfield Superintendent Kevin Aten in a news release.
“We further believe our Bayfield family and all our stakeholders need the continuity and the certainty from knowing right now how we will close out this school year,” he said.
As of Thursday afternoon, Colorado was reporting 8,675 cases and 374 deaths caused by COVID-19.
The Bayfield School District will continue its home-based learning plan through May. The district will also wrap up its school year four (school) days early, on May 15, after changing in-service days to instruction days.
In Durango, Superintendent Dan Snowberger announced plans April 8 to reopen the schools as soon as permitted. Some residents expressed concern after the announcement because of asymptomatic transfers of COVID-19.
“We are still waiting for the governor’s decision to lift the closure or extend it,” said Julie Popp, District 9-R spokeswoman. “We are preparing for all scenarios.”
Bayfield’s commencement, originally planned for May 17, remains postponed while staff members consider community input about how to celebrate the ceremony. The district will issue a plan in May, the news release said.
School lessons and the district’s breakfast and lunch service will be closed Friday, as scheduled.
“I am asking our staff, community, students to enjoy a much-needed three-day weekend, safely at home and with good social distancing, but away from schoolwork and technology,” Aten wrote.