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School districts hold emergency meetings after meeting with health department

It prompted to D49 to switch to start school all online
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Posted at 12:27 AM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 08:29:19-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — School will be in session for districts across southern Colorado as early as next week. But still, families are seeing daily changes when it comes to the plans as the COVID-9 pandemic continues.

On Monday a meeting between area superintendents and the El Paso County Health Department prompting districts to rethink their plans once again as families and teachers try to prepare for the year ahead.

After the meeting with the health department, School District 49 announced they will start their year fully online.

The district said, “it was determined that multiple critical population health measures remain higher than state and county maximum levels.”

News 5 learned School District 11 and School District 20 held emergency meetings Monday afternoon in response to that meeting with the health department, leaving plans in limbo for many families across our area.

RELATED: Find your district's Back to School plan in response to COVID-19

Parents Dan and Chelsea Schultz made it a point to find a house in Academy District 20 when they moved here 13 years ago.

“We just heard from people you want to be in District 20,” Chelsea Schultz said.

They only had one kid then. But now, “We have one in High School, Two in Middle School and one in grade school,” Dan Schultz said.

They’ve got a lot on their plate, especially since last school year ended with all of them learning from home.

“So getting ready for school my kids have been really excited because it’s been a long time since they’ve been in school,” Chelsea Schultz said.

“I miss friends a lot, said their son Cassen Schultz, who will be starting fourth grade this year.

They were planning to go back on a hybrid model in a couple of weeks.

“We only get to go two days a week,” said their daughter Leona Schultz, who will be starting sixth grade this year.

But after leaders from districts including D20 met with the health department Monday, even the hybrid model may be in jeopardy.

“It’s been really interesting to watch the progression of less and less in person,” Chelsea Schultz said.

For her family, the prospect of starting all online isn’t ideal.

”I’m sad about it I really wanted to go full time,” Leona Schultz said.

“The idea that it might change again feels stressful, but it is what it is,” Chelsea Schultz said.

But they’re ready to go with the flow.

“If anyone’s holding a schedule too tight right now, they’re making a big mistake,” Dan Schultz said. “It’s just the times we live in right now.”

As of Tuesday morning, D20 had not made any changes to its plans to start on a hybrid model with options to learn fully online, and D11 had already previously announced it will be starting fully online.

News 5 did reach out to the other major districts in El Paso County but had not heard back as of Tuesday morning.