MONTE VISTA - Monte Vista schools spent the week of Nov. 9 in remote learning and will return to remote learning Wednesday, Nov. 18. The decision was tough to make and had many factors.
Recently cases of COVID-19 around the San Luis Valley have seen a sharp spike. “That was one of the reasons why we shut down this week and went back to remote learning,” said Wiedeman also sharing that it had to do with staffing. Wiedeman also told the board that Halloween played another factor in the decision saying, “We knew that Halloween was very eventful. We heard around the Valley. So that kind of factor into what our decision was,” said Wiedeman.
Over this last week of remote learning Wiedeman shared that the district has been revamping and taking a breather to try to get back to where they were before Thanksgiving.
“We all know there’s not one teacher in this district that doesn’t know that kids are better in school. There’s not one teacher that would argue about that. And we do have teachers that are high risk,” said Wiedeman sharing they also have teachers with high risk family members. “We understand that. We want to try and be as safe as possible,” stated Wiedeman.
Although cases around the San Luis Valley and Colorado continue to climb Wiedeman said that for the most part parents in the district have been doing the right thing. Many have been keeping their children home if they’re showing symptoms. Wiedeman shared that as students return to the classroom it needs to be clear that children whose parents are sick or showing symptoms should also stay home. “Theoretically if their parents are sick and have symptoms then the kids should probably stay home too,” said Wiedeman.
Wiedeman also shared that another factor in choosing remote learning for the week was on the recommendation of SLV Health and CDPHE. “They recommended that we shut down for the week just to take a breather, step back and look at the data, and see where we’re at,” said Wiedeman.
“We need to be aware. We need to keep reminding our parents, and staff people to wear a mask and social distance. That’s what’s really keeping us in school,” said Wiedeman as he talked about the raising COVID-19 cases in counties around the Valley.
On the Monte Vista School district’s website, they have set up a Dashboard of COVID-19 data as it relates to the district. On the Dashboard there are five levels: Green “protect our neighbors,” blue “safer at home cautious,” yellow “safer at home concern,” orange “safer at home high risk,” and red “stay at home.”
It should be noted that this article was written Nov. 13. As the situation with COVID-19 cases is constantly changing and schools are having to reassess daily some of these situations may have changed when this article is printed.