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For parents in one local school district, finding its reopening plans takes some searching

Ellicott District 22 hasn't announced its plans on its website yet
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Posted at 10:07 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 09:02:58-04

ELLICOTT — As local school districts continue to announce plans for getting kids back to class this fall, News 5 found not every district has the information on where they are in that process readily available.

The search to figure out Ellicott School District 22 plans to start up school again this fall all started when a News 5 viewer sent a Facebook message asking about the district’s plans.

The message came from a D22 parent.

They said they were concerned about the lack of information they’d received from the district.

After scrolling through the district’s website, News 5 couldn’t any information about the district’s plans for the upcoming school year as of July 7.

Clicking on the district’s resources page, the top post is information about school closings during winter weather.

The next best bet was to check social media.

The most recent post on the district’s Facebook page offered a link to register for classes this fall, but didn’t offer any information on how the district plans to operate through the pandemic.

Calls to the district’s office Tuesday afternoon went to voicemail. So it was back to square one.

There was an unlikely place online that is offering some information about the district’s plans this fall. The Ellicott Colorado Community Shenanigans private Facebook group.

There, News 5 found a June 25 post from a member of the D22 school board, telling people school will be starting on time, and students won’t be required to wear masks.

That school board member is board president Jackie Chambers.

“We would encourage you to go to our district’s website. There’s not anything officially posted yet. We do plan to open school August 10,” Chambers told News 5 Tuesday.

Chambers said D22 is taking some extra steps in preparation.

“We’ve been taking extra cleaning precautions, we are disinfecting the rooms,” Chambers said.
But when it comes time for classes to start, the district is taking a cautiously optimistic approach.

“It will be school as normal for the kids,” she said. “We will not be requiring masks, we will not be requiring separate days for kids to come to school.”

When it came to getting community feedback---

“We did send out a survey to our teachers and a survey to our parents,” she said. “I’ve not yet seen the results of that.”

Chambers said the district does hope to offer some sort online alternative.

“I’m not sure if it’s going to be a full option if you don’t want to come to school, I’m sure there’ll be a discussion around it,” she said. “But we will have some e-learning options.”

As for why it took joining a private Facebook group to learn this--

“I guess the short answer is no… we probably should post something immediately… but I guess… we don’t want to post something until we have a plan,” Chambers said. “Or else the same questions you’re asking me are the same questions we don’t have answers to.”

Chambers said D22 hopes to get some information on its website officially soon.