Basalt, 2 other Roaring Fork district high schools transition to full distance learning ahead of winter break

“Diminished staff capacity“ due to coronavirus quarantines cited

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Basalt, Roaring Fork and Bridges high schools will be transitioning to distance learning for the remainder of the final week before winter break, due to staffing issues related to COVID-19 quarantines.

“Due to diminished staff capacity, Basalt, Roaring Fork and Bridges High Schools will transition to distance learning through the remainder of this week,” according to a statement from the district sent Monday afternoon.

Bridges, the district’s alternative high school located in Carbondale, announced its full transition Sunday, while Basalt and Roaring Fork announced their transition on Monday, the release said.

“Glenwood Springs High School remains learning in-person at this time,” according to the district statement.

District PIO Kelsy Been also announced that the district will only be sending formal news releases whenever an entire grade level or school moves to distance learning, because of the increasing frequency of school-directed quarantines.

The district does update its online COVID dashboard on a daily basis, which shows the number of students, staff and cohorts currently on quarantine status and which schools are impacted.

As of Monday afternoon, Roaring Fork Schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt had 635 students on quarantine, plus 51 staff involving 27 total cohorts.

Regarding the decision to move the three high schools to 100% distance learning for the rest of the week, the district stated, “While each of the high schools have had confirmed cases of COVID-19 resulting in student and staff quarantines over the past week, the decision to transition to distance learning is based on each school’s inability to to meaningfully deliver the academic program and provide sufficient supervision given how many staff are either quarantining, at home with children who are quarantining, at home in isolation due to COVID-like symptoms, or who are out due to planned absences.”

Offered Superintendent Rob Stein in the news release: “We know that quarantines, isolation and transitions between in-person and distance learning cause great disruption for students, staff and families.

“At the same time, we know the enormous benefits of in-person learning.”

Winter break for the district begins Friday, and all Roaring Fork Schools plan to resume in-person learning after winter break on Jan. 5.

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