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District 49 to return with full in-person learning after spring break

D49 announces return to school plan
Posted at 1:57 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 15:57:45-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — District 49 officials announced Wednesday its schools would return to full in-person learning following spring break near the end of March.

The district said starting March 29, students in all grades will be able to return for in-person learning Monday through Friday. Schools will still be offering remote learning options for those who wish to attend virtually.

"Although we strongly encourage students to attend in-person, we are committed to support remote learning for families who choose that mode for the remainder of the school year. We are fully aware that community transmission levels remain at Level Yellow-Concern, but our state and county health departments support in-person learning at our current level, so long as we continue to implement safety protocols with vigilance. To support our return to more standard attendance, we will also lift the limits on bus seating capacity while maintaining masking requirements," the district stated.

The district moved students back to remote learning back in November 2020 for the rest of the fall semester due to the increase of COVID-19 cases locally at the time. The district's spring break begins March 15 with students returning March 29. Officials said it is asking families to "attend in person if at all possible" that way they are able to "moderate that extra burden on educators and support staff."

El Paso County is currently sitting in Level Yellow on the state's COVID-19 dial with the county seeing a 5.67% positivity rate and an incidence rate of 145.2 cases per 100,000 people.

"Although we are encouraged by these trends we remain cautiously optimistic as we see declining case rates flattening out above the next step down on the COVID dial. We know we may see increased transmission rates as restrictions ease and our community returns to more normal activity levels. Those dynamics will impact our schools, so we will redouble our vigilance about our safety system to prevent transmission in our schools to the greatest degree practical. We will continue to practice our system of cleaning, washing, distancing and masking to limit the spread of illness on our campuses."

The district also said it remains "very optimistic" for proms and large-capacity graduation ceremonies, but despite the return of a new schedule they will continue monitoring numbers and the situation.
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