GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.

About 200 people filled the CMU ballroom Tuesday night at the first School District 51 board meeting with three new elected members, and dozens waited for their three minute turn to give their two cents. Board member, Andrea Haitz says, “I’m really pleased that the board decided to go beyond the 60 minute policy, and that will be something we will be looking at moving forward because I think it’s important that no one is cut off.”

Cuurrently, there’s no change to the district’s COVID protocol advised by the CDC, called the Keeping Schools Open Plan which includes masking, routine testing of unvaccinated staff, and quarantine measures for students and staff, but there was a small change to the curriculum that caused contention. Superintendent Diana Sirko says, “When you are representing over 22,000 students, and their families, there will be disagreements on what the curriculum may, or may not be. We are very careful making sure parents have a choice.”

A lot of parents protested the use of the book called, “This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons On How To Wake Up, Take Action, And Do The Work.” The book has been implemented at the Dual Immersion Academy, a bilingual middle school split between English and Spanish. “It did come to our attention that parents were not given a choice about the book, and that we made sure the books that were purchased our parents could see it, and then could ask for an alternative assignment if they did not want it,” said Sirko. Haitz said when commenting about the book, “I think it’s something we’re going to have to dig deep into.”