DENVER – Students in the Adams 14 School District will be switching to remote learning all of next week following a dramatic increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across the county.
Adams 14 School District officials said in a letter to teachers, parents and staff that the county – as a whole – has experienced a 357% increase in cases of the novel coronavirus over the past 14 days.
“In recognition of both the need to ensure continuity of student learning and quell current county-wide transmission trends, all Adams 14 schools will operate virtually for the entirety of the week of January 10-14,” Superintendent Dr. Karla Loria wrote in the letter.
The district advises students to “prepare for virtual instruction by bringing any necessary instructional materials home,” and asks that families experiencing internet or connectivity issues contact the district’s technology department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The superintendent also said meals would be provided to students for the whole week in the form of “grab and go” meals on Monday between 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. at each school site (Sanville students will be served at Central Elementary School. STARS students will be served at Rose Hill Elementary School.)
Those meals would be delivered to neighborhood locations starting Tuesday. Information on pickup locations and times will be sent directly to families in advance, she said.
Each school’s normal start and end times will remain in effect during the remote learning period, and lunch will be between 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for all students.
All classes, from PK through 12th grade, “will be expected to attend and participate in all scheduled synchronous classes in their entirety,” the district's chief academic officer, Shelagh Burke, wrote in an amended letter Saturday.
School sports for middle schoolers will be canceled for the whole week but will remain as scheduled for high school students, unless otherwise mandated by the Colorado High School Activities Association, the superintendent wrote. Administrators and/or coaches will communicate directly with students and their families with updates related to logistics and transportation.
The superintendent said grounds, maintenance, building engineers, transportation, IT, and food service personnel will need to report to work during their regularly scheduled hours next week. Teachers and staff have until the end of school Friday to tell the district whether they’ll work remotely or in-person.
Each campus will be staffed with at least one administrator on-site on a daily basis, the superintendent said.
Families, teachers and staff will be notified by the district Thursday whether remote learning will continue beyond next week.
The omicron variant now accounts for all infections across the state of Colorado as of December 26, 2021, about four weeks after the highly transmissible variant was first detected in Colorado. The more virulent variant has been shown to be more adept at evading vaccine-induced immunity, leading to more breakthrough infections compared to previous strains of the new virus.
Staying home if sick, ventilating indoor environments, physically distancing from each other, proper hand hygiene, and wearing a higher-quality, tight-fitting mask can all help cut your risk of getting infected with COVID-19 – even if you’re vaccinated and boosted, which health experts say continues to be the best tool in the fight against the pandemic.
Editor's note on Monday, Jan. 10: A previous version of this article reported elementary school children would have to report to synchronous and asynchronous classes during the mornings and afternoons, while middle and high school students would report to their classes in a synchronous manner. The district sent an amended letter Saturday, clarifying all classes - from pre-K through 12th grade - would be operating in a synchronous manner.