Weekly Superintendent Update, June 11

Weekly Superintendent Update, June 11
Posted on 06/11/2021
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Summer is off to a great start! We celebrated our athletes earlier this week at the Daily Sentinel High School Sports Awards event, preparations are being made for the annual D51 Book Fair coming up June 15-16 at Grand Mesa Middle School, and students are settled into summer learning. A quick reminder: the D51 Dashboard will not be updated during Summer Extension, so please continue to check the Mesa County Public Health site for the latest information about COVID-19 numbers in our community. 


Summer Extension

The first full week of Summer Extension is in the books! Twenty-eight hundred students are taking advantage of this opportunity to catch up in reading, writing, and math or recover high school credits Monday through Thursday June 2-29. Busing to sites that have transportation during the traditional school year have busing this summer as well, and all students receive free school meals. Thank you to our amazing teachers, staff, Lunch Lizard and school-based food service workers, bus drivers from Student Transportation of America, and our amazing families for making summer learning run smoothly!


Back to School Planning has begun!

I am hearing from several families that they would like to know our back to school plans as soon as possible, and want you to know that we are working on it and trying to get you information in a timely manner.  Unfortunately the high rate of cases in our region make it difficult to know what decisions are necessary.  We are trying to get our plans out by early July but want to make sure we have as much information as possible to make those decisions.

We know that quarantines have been very frustrating to families and students during the last school year.  While only students who are 12 and above have been approved for vaccinations, I urge our parents who are concerned about the quarantines to consider the vaccinations for students who are 12 and over.  We know that it greatly reduces the likelihood that a student will be quarantined if they have been fully vaccinated. This would be particularly helpful for our high school student athletes who are already beginning preparation for the fall season.  We are making arrangements with the Mesa County Health Departments to make them available for certain days at each of the high schools during the summer.  That information, as well as the permission slip that must be signed by parents if your student is 18 or under, will be available on our website in the next week.  I do recognize that this is a personal family decision and are certainly not requiring it, but want you to know this will be available if you are interested.

Summer Protocols for Mask Usage in District 51 Buildings

While COVID-19 vaccination rates in Mesa County are still low compared to other parts of the state (see data by county here), all adults do have the option to be vaccinated, prompting some changes in our facial covering protocols. These protocols differ based on whether you are working in or visiting a building with children present. 

  • Students - Mask usage is required for all summer students. The age of eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine has only recently dropped to 12, and few children have had the chance to be fully vaccinated. 

  • Adults in buildings with children present - Facial coverings will continue to be required for everyone in a building with children present (such as a school hosting Summer Extension), regardless of vaccination status to provide added protection for students.

  • Adults in buildings with only adults - Facial coverings are optional for staff and visitors who are fully vaccinated in buildings with only adults present, such as D51 year-round office buildings. This will be based on the honor system. Staff and visitors who are not vaccinated will still need to wear a facial covering. 


Thank you for your patience and continued dedication to your own health and the health of those around you!

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