Weekly Superintendent Update 10-30

Weekly Superintendent Update, 10-30
Posted on 10/30/2020
Dear D51 Staff and Families,

I appreciate your continued patience during this crucial time of change and adaptation.

Each week, we will continue to provide an update on how many positive cases of COVID-19 were identified throughout the week. Since our last update, 22 cases have been identified in staff and students. As a reminder, the staff and families at each school that has a positive case is notified either if they were a close contact and need to quarantine, if they were exposed but don’t need to quarantine, or a general notification. However, in the interest of continued transparency, we will start including the locations in these weekly updates. The cases this week were identified in Central High School, East Middle School, Fruita Monument High School, Grand Junction High School, Grand Mesa Middle School, Independence Academy, New Emerson Elementary, Orchard Avenue Elementary, Palisade High School, Redlands Middle School, and Summit School.

I know this might be concerning, but know that we remain committed to keeping our buildings safe for staff and students and are continuing to follow our protocols for cleaning and disinfection. Again, if there was a positive case at your school, you would have received some sort of notification. If you have any questions about your school specifically, please get in touch with them directly.

As you know, Mesa County lost its variance due to the amount of new cases in the last two weeks, resulting in tighter restrictions for things like gatherings. I know this is especially discouraging with Halloween tomorrow, and the holidays just around the corner. I cannot overstate the responsibility each of us has in this. The sooner Mesa County is able to slow the spread locally, the sooner we can return to our Protect Our Neighbors status. I was troubled to see that Denver Public Schools had to transition many students to remote learning due to their rise in cases and do not want the same for our community. We believe in the benefits of in-person learning, and I believe in this community’s ability to follow safety guidelines so our students can stay in school.

I also want to reiterate that we currently do not have any concrete intentions to go to district-wide, full remote learning following Thanksgiving. We plan to return to in-person and remain that way as long as possible. Of course, that depends on what’s happening in the community, direction from the state, and how things are going in schools. We might need to temporarily close individual schools on an individual basis, like we did with East Middle School last Friday evening (which will return to in-person learning next Wednesday). We are prepared for a remote learning situation, but will stay open as long as we can based on cases in the district and community.

As we wrap up October, I again want to recognize our incredible school leaders who were honored during National Principals Month. You can see a full gallery of the social media posts here to learn a little more about your neighborhood principal.

Thank you, don’t forget to turn your clocks back on Sunday morning as Daylight Savings time ends, and have a safe weekend!



Dr. Diana Sirko
Superintendent of Schools
Mesa County Valley School District 51
(970) 254-5193
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