Dear Boulder Valley Families,
As you likely have heard by now, Boulder and Broomfield counties have moved to a more restrictive level on the State of Colorado’s COVID-19 Dial. As of today, Friday, November 6, they are both in Safer at Home: Level Orange - High Risk.
Here are each counties announcements:
It is critically important that we all take this situation seriously, because the changes in level, indicate a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in both counties.
I am continuing to ask for your help. All of us in Boulder Valley must work together to flatten the curve, preventing the spread of the virus and working towards keeping our schools open, so they can continue to serve our students in-person.
Remember these simple steps to help us #StayTogetherBVSD:
- Stay home if you feel ill - many positive cases report having very minor symptoms (headache, congestion, a scratchy throat).
- Limit interactions outside of your household
- If you do have to venture out:
- Wear face coverings
- Socially distance, whenever possible
- Wash your hands often
While the move to Level Orange means increased restrictions for social gatherings and businesses, including gyms and restaurants – the state has prioritized education allowing BVSD and other school districts to continue to operate in the current modes of learning. As a result you will not immediately notice any significant changes. We are, however, continuing to work closely with our partners in public health, discussing whether additional health precautions would be helpful.
We will continue to follow their recommendations, including stricter health guidelines (as explained below).
Quarantines are doing their job
Part of the reason that schools are allowed to continue to operate, as we have before, is our layered system, which includes the grouping of students and quarantining. According to our public health partners, it is working as planned.
When we learn of confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, we work quickly to pull potentially exposed students and staff out as a precautionary measure. To date it has been effective in keeping the virus from spreading.
BVSD’s system is stretched thin
That being said, with more and more cases in our counties, we are seeing far more cases reported by individuals in our schools.
We are doing everything possible to keep schools open – knowing the impact that in-person learning has on so many of our students – but, admittedly, we are struggling to keep up.
As more and more of our outstanding teachers and staff are pulled out of the classroom, we’ve worked to fill the gap with central administration staff. With those resources tapped, there are times when we come up short. Anytime we are unable to safely operate our schools, because we cannot guarantee adequate supervision of students, we are making the difficult decision to temporarily move to remote learning.
With the move to Safer at Home Level Orange, we anticipate that these impacts may increase due to even stricter health guidelines. For instance, under Level Orange, an alternative diagnosis and a negative COVID test must be provided when a student’s COVID-like symptoms do not resolve within the timeframe of 24 to 48 hours. That could have profound impacts, especially during cold and flu season and will affect a class being quarantined or released from quarantine.
For now, we are trying to handle situations on a school-by-school basis. If this trend continues, however, we may be forced to follow other school districts across the Front Range in moving all students to remote learning. We will keep you updated.
This is a difficult situation for everyone involved – including our students, families and staff. We recognize the impacts that these decisions have on families and are doing our best to meet students’ needs in what is an incredibly frustrating time.
This November, I do want to encourage everyone in our community to consider what they are thankful for. I’m especially thankful to our hard-working teachers, staff and leaders. They are working tirelessly to meet the needs of students and families in what is an incredibly stressful time.
Please consider sending a note to those who you are thankful for during this difficult season, including our amazing educators.
It is incredibly important that we come together as a community. We will make it through this together.
Boulder Valley School District