Durango School District 9-R is seeking feedback from parents about what guidelines should be in place for students and staff members to reduce transmission of COVID-19 for the 2021-22 school year, which begins Aug. 24.
“Based on the current situation, there are several mitigation strategies being considered and the district wants to solicit community input to help finalize these decisions before the final COVID mitigation plan is established for the district,” according to the district’s website.
A survey is being conducted on the district’s website that asks parents about their thoughts about mask-wearing, regular COVID-19 testing, social distancing and working in cohorts, among other precautionary measures. A community feedback session is planned from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at Durango High School. A feedback form will be available later this week for members of the public who want to provide input at the meeting.
The school district is returning to in-person learning for all students, but parents and guardians who want to continue remote learning for their children are encouraged to register with 9-R’s partner offering online learning, Connections Academy.
The school district is sharing current guidance and recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to help inform parents about various considerations.
“As with the previous school year, it is important to strike a balance between the risk and the benefit of any of these mitigation measures or practices we implement to support academic and social-emotional needs of students in school,” according to the district’s website
The CDPHE guidelines include:
- Screening for symptoms daily.
- Asking students and staff members to stay home when sick.
- Maintaining a physical distance of 3 feet.
- Encouraging regular hand washing.
- Improving ventilation in buildings.
- Isolating positive cases and requiring targeted quarantines for those who are unvaccinated and are exposed to the virus.
- Offering weekly testing for students who opt in.
- Limiting visitors and guests to schools.
As of Tuesday, 64% of La Plata County’s eligible population was fully immunized against COVID-19.
Julie Popp, 9-R spokeswoman, said when La Plata County achieves a 70% vaccination rate, the school district will likely have fewer disruptions in schools proceedings, probably won’t need to do cohorting and could offer more programming for students.
The Pfizer vaccine is available to anyone 12 and older and is widely available at local clinics.
Information about locations and times for local vaccination clinics is available on the San Juan Basin Public Health website.