Weekly Superintendent Update: March 12

Weekly Superintendent Update: March 12
Posted on 03/12/2021
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Grand Junction, CO - It’s hard to believe that yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of our last day of school before COVID-19 caused us to enter a period of remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. I remember multiple late nights, early mornings, and packed days full of meetings, planning, research, and communications efforts during that time as we adjusted to a new reality for public education and for our world. 

We’ve been blessed to be the largest school district in Colorado to remain open throughout the 2020-21 school year, but not without a great deal of cooperation and willingness to adapt to change. I again want to thank all of you for getting us to this point, and hope that increased access to vaccines will help us regain some normalcy and comfort in the months ahead. For the latest information about COVID-19 numbers in District 51, please visit our D51 Data Dashboard.

Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremonies

As with last year, protocols will depend on public health recommendations at the time of graduation. We plan to use a ticket system again this year. At this time, it appears we will be able to offer at least four tickets to each graduate’s family, and we will accommodate the needs of split families. 

Graduation ceremonies are listed below. Gateway School had a December graduation and will not have a May graduation. All ceremonies will take place at Stocker Stadium unless otherwise listed. We are unable to use Suplizio Field for ceremonies this year, as JUCO is making its return in May, and the field must be prepared for the games. 

  • May 17 - Palisade High School (6 p.m.)

  • May 18 - R-5 High School (8 a.m.) and Fruita Monument High School (6 p.m.)

  • May 19 - Grand Junction High School (6 p.m.)

  • May 20 - Grand River Academy (10 a.m., Avalon Theatre) and Central High School (6 p.m.)

  • May 21 - Mesa Valley Community School (Time TBD, Two Rivers Convention Center)

Winter Sports and High School Plays

I would like to give a big shout out to all our winter athletes, many of whom are participating in state-level contests this weekend, such as girls and boys wrestling, girls and boys basketball, swimming, and spirit. We wish you great success this weekend! I want to thank our athletic directors, coaches, administrators, students, and parents for weathering the new safety regulations and conditions with resilience and determination. Thanks to D51 Athletics Director Paul Cain and D51 Athletics Specialist Stephanie Wade, who support all sports and created an easy ticket system. Also, thank you to all of our officials and gate workers who made it possible for this to happen. All of you put in an incredible amount of time and effort to get through a season that few of us will forget!

I would also like to give a big congratulations and thank you to our drama students, musicians, teachers and directors, who have put on incredible performances this past month. Each of the school plays have been so well done and had great success and participation from our staff and students. We know those are not easy tasks, especially under the circumstances, but it has been great to see the joy in our students during those productions.

All of these activities are a wonderful statement of the resilience of our students and staff! Thanks to you all!


As other states and districts make the news for their curriculum choices, you may be wondering what is taught in School District 51. Click here to see current Colorado Academic Standards, and click here to see new curriculum materials purchased by the 2017 Mill Levy Override. 

Receiving information in Spanish

Families who are are receiving this email in English and would prefer Spanish can contact our English Language Learner Department to make sure their preferred language is listed for messages from the school and the district. Information is also available on our website (d51schools.org) in multiple languages. To see website content (including this letter) translated into Spanish, Cantonese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Russian, Tagalog, or Vietnamese, visit the Language dropdown menu at the top of the home page.

Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour this weekend for Daylight Saving Time.

Have a safe and restful weekend. 

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