Grand Junction, Colo. – District 51 was the largest school district in Colorado able to stay open in 2020 and 2021 in spite of COVID-19 closing many classrooms across the state.
In the latest announcement, the district created the ‘Keeping Schools Open Plan,’ in hopes it can keep doors open for students to have an in-person learning experience in the upcoming school year,
“The plan this year is really how do we keep the school buildings open in a safe manner but try to get back to as normal of a school year as possible,” says District 51’s Brian Hill.
However, while D51 is preparing for an in-person school year, there will still be online education options through Grand River Academy for students and families that opt for alternative learning,
“Face coverings will be optional for students and staff, but are heavily encouraged for anyone who is unvaccinated,” says KREX5’s Reilly Spence.
Vaccinations will not be required for students or staff, but the vaccine is encouraged to protect people from contracting or becoming ill from COVID-19, especially with the recent spread of the Delta Variant.
Some health and safety procedures carried over from last year will include:
-Daily facility disinfection
-And physical distancing.
D51 is reminding parents this plan will change accordingly with Mesa County Public Health and statewide health and safety measures,
“If we feel like we have to reintroduce some of the protocols from last year we can do that; but we also could back off of things if our numbers get better so, this plan will continue to get modified throughout the year,” continues Hill.
D51 looks forward to seeing students return to schools very soon; middle school and kindergarten will start on August 11th, while all other D51 students will return to school on August 9th.