Aspen elementary, middle schools resume in-person learning |

Aspen elementary, middle schools resume in-person learning

Staff report

Aspen’s public elementary and middle schools will resume in-class learning Monday after a temporary stint online Friday, administrators said.

In an email sent to the Aspen School District community Saturday night, Superintendent David Baugh said “unless things change drastically between now and Sunday night,” those schools would be open this week. The Cottage preschool facility, located on the school district campus, will have its classrooms open to infants and toddlers with the exception of one group that is in quarantine, Baugh’s email said. That group will be reevaluated Monday.

The elementary and middle schools held in-person classes all of last week except for Friday because of COVID-19 concerns.

Citing an increase in COVID-19 cases among its students, Aspen High officials announced Tuesday that teachers and students were reverting to online school after starting its second quarter in-person Oct. 27. The plan is to keep that way until at least Dec. 4, officials have said.

Baugh said the school community must get accustomed to planning on the fly because of the pandemic.

“We appreciate everyone’s flexibility,” Baugh’s email said. “I would be remiss if I didn’t encourage everyone to plan for more quick pivots to remote learning. This is clearly a difficult situation and we truly appreciate everyone’s commitment. Things are extremely difficult with the surge in COVID, especially locally.”

In related news, Wamsley Elementary and Rifle Middle schools are converting to 100% remote instruction beginning Monday because of concerns over COVID-19, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported.

Students are expected to return to the schools following Thanksgiving break, a news release from Garfield Re-2 School District states. Re-2 announced Thursday night that Graham Mesa Elementary is also transitioning Monday to 100% online learning until after Thanksgiving break.

“Some of our schools have reached their capacity to meet the needs of our students for in-person instruction, others are rapidly approaching their limits,” Garfield Re-2 Superintendent Heather Grumley said in the news release. “The exponentially increasing number of COVID cases in Garfield County is dramatically impacting our capacity to keep kids learning in-person safely. We are imploring our community to be safe, 6 feet apart, wear your masks and wash your hands regularly throughout the day — for your health, for your children’s health and to keep our schools open.”

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