MESA COUNTY, Colo. — School District 51 has 22,000 students and is comprised of 46 schools made up of kindergarten through high school. But never before in history has the district faced a challenge like COVID-19.
One major strategy D-51 has taken to empower our young with knowledge while keeping our most precious resource safe is the delayed start of the school year by seven days.
The first District 51 School Board Meeting of the year was held at a limited capacity Monday, but dozens of people protesting in-person learning outside.
We spoke with one team of music teachers that are concerned for their child’s safety, and they’re not alone.
“Right now, there are so many moving parts, and I think the only way to stay safe right now, is to go virtual. Between the two of us we would each see over 400 kids, and bringing that home to our child would make child care very difficult.” -David and Kayli Hamaker, D-51 Music Teachers, Protesters
But, not everyone agrees. “My 6 year old is in Speech Therapy, and for him, that social interaction, being able to see people’s lips move is so important. For my son on the Spectrum, the flip side is true,” says a concerned mother.
In an aim to please both sides of the conversation, there is an online and in-person option for students and teachers who want to stay home, and students and families who have no problem with coming back to school.
In-person learning students will be in the same group most of the day, and every school day and everyone in the building will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms daily.