SHS: Transition to Off-Campus Learning

SHS: Transition to Off-Campus Learning
Posted on 11/18/2020

Weld RE-4 Families

As you may know, Windsor Middle School transitioned to off-campus learning this week. Now, three of our four secondary schools have made this transition in the span of a week. While we have not experienced a school outbreak or evidence of school spread thus far, in looking at the data and talking to public health officials, we anticipate that between the Thanksgiving and winter breaks, our secondary schools will experience quarantines to an even larger degree than they have so far. This means continuing to send cohorts into off-campus learning overnight and inevitably transitioning the entire school to off-campus learning because of limited operational capacity given our continued substitute shortage and the number of teachers affected by those quarantines.

These constant and sudden transitions are tough on our secondary students, families, and staff. Anticipating more of the same in December, we have made the decision to move all of our secondary schools to off-campus learning on November 30. Please note classes will continue in-person for Severance Middle School students this week. We expect secondary schools to resume in the hybrid model after winter break. Students’ hybrid schedule will dictate which days they are learning in real time (synchronous) and which days will be self-paced (asynchronous) off-campus through December 18. Secondary families, please look for more information from your child’s school.

Elementary students will continue learning in-person through December 18, unless a transition becomes necessary due to continued strains on the system. Because we can keep elementary students in groups with a limited number of adults (we call this cohorting), quarantines at the elementary level have impacted less staff and not required us to transition these schools to off-campus learning. This decision is also consistent with the governor’s guidance in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and UC Health to keep pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students learning in-person.

These are tough decisions to make and we recognize it’s not ideal. We want all students to be able to continue learning in-person. However, with the strain on our system, we have to press the pause button on in-person learning for secondary students for now. We will continue to share information in the coming weeks including what you can expect regarding a return to school in January.