D-51 shuts down school until April 10th, COVID-19 concerns

MESA COUNTY, Colo. — School District 51 is shutting down all in-person schooling operations through April 10th due to COVID-19 concerns.

A letter from D-51’s Superintendent, Diana Sirko:

Dear D51 Families,

After much deliberation, consultation with health experts, and discussion of how best to address the many needs of our 22,000 students and 2,800 staff members during a large-scale shutdown, D51 leadership has made the difficult decision to close all of our schools and buildings through April 10. This was not an easy decision, and we know it will be hard for many families, but feel that it is in the best interest of our entire community.

Allowing for social distance during this time will help flatten the curve on COVID-19 cases in our community and help prevent our health care facilities from being overwhelmed. Please note that future recommendations from local, state, and federal health officials may cause us to close for even longer, so we strongly encourage families to plan for a longer closure, if needed. Please continue to check www.d51schools.org/resources/covid19 for updates as they become available.

We realize that this decision changes plans for the spring semester. Our Curriculum Team is currently working on guidance for remote learning and we will share that information as soon as possible. We plan to begin remote learning on March 30. Our Technology Department is working on a process for students to check out Chromebooks, if needed. Families who need internet can contact Spectrum at 1-866- 874-2389 to set up free access for 60 days.All district buildings, including schools and administrative offices, will be closed to the public March 18 – April 10. For district-specific questions, please contact 970-254-5100. For COVID-19 questions, please contact the Mesa County Health Department at 970- 683-2300.

The D51 Nutritional Services is developing a plan to provide meals to students. Multiple sites will be identified as drive-thru locations where families can pick up breakfasts and lunches each day. More information will be shared with families via email and at www.d51schools.org. We know that there are still a lot of questions. Our leaders are working hard to learn more and provide answers. Please continue to check your email, and www.d51schools.org/resources/covid19 for more information as this situation progresses.

Diana Sirko, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools Mesa County Valley School District 51

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