PUEBLO COUNTY — Pueblo School District 70 Board of Education announced Wednesday they are moving students to remote learning for the rest of the semester starting Thursday, Nov. 11.
Officials cited the upward climb of positive COVID-19 cases throughout the city and county as the reason for moving students to remote learning.
“Looking at the State COVID-19 Dial Dashboard, we are technically in the red 'Stay at Home’ level of the dial,” stated District 70 PIO Todd Seip. “I know the Pueblo Health Department is working with the State Health Department to work through variance restructuring for Pueblo in an attempt to keep the dial from moving from yellow, but it is just a matter of time before it shifts.
Twelve other Colorado counties have been moved to the orange level this week and the State of Colorado notified Pueblo County Health Officials will be moving Pueblo to a more restrictive level on the States COVID-19 Metric Dial this week.
The move on the COVID-19 dial for Pueblo from safer at home yellow to safer at home orange changes the recommendations of K-12 Education delivery to “In-Person, Hybrid or Remote as appropriate
“I do believe we have approached a point where this has become overwhelming, for the building staff, building administration, nurses, and Central office. We still have no evidence of in-building transmission but there are more and more individuals getting exposed to COVID outside of our walls. That is most certainly impacting what we are delivering inside our walls,” said Director of Student Services Greg Keasling. “With that being said, we are short subs for certified and classified staff which is leaving us short of human beings in front of students.”
D70 officials said the meal services would continue with distribution at each school site from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Two days worth of food will be given on Tuesdays and three days worth will be given on Thursdays in a bundle. Those in Rye can pick up their meal bundles at Rye Elementary or Craver Middle School.
On top of the meal pickups during the day, the district will also offer its Supper Program on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
District officials said the last two weeks have been particularly difficult, with frequent, large-scale quarantines throughout many of the school sites that remain open for in-person learning. On Monday and Tuesday alone, the District COVID team was investigating probable and positive case exposure in nine schools, with 15 others already affected by some level of student or staff quarantine. Four schools have already closed to in-person learning and transitioned to Remote Learning as a result of COVID case exposures to key administrative staff and personnel.
On Wednesday alone, District officials confirmed that 5,729 students were in remote learning due to exposure investigations or exposures.
The District currently plans to reopen for in-person learning following the Christmas Holiday Break on January 4, 2021, District officials will continue to monitor cases metrics and will make an official decision at an upcoming meeting in December.
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