Superintendent Coronavirus Update March 17, 2020

Dear Bayfield Families and Staff,
This is Bayfield School District official communication update for March 17. We recognize that closing school is a major decision and challenges many of our families with a lack of childcare while parents are working. Closing schools is never an easy decision, but we are in complex times as our nation responds to keep its citizens safe.

Our schools will now remain closed through Friday, March 27. Each Wednesday, our district will evaluate conditions and circumstances and determine if an extension of the closure is needed or until San Juan Basin Public Health or Governor Polis issues an executive order to close schools. As this is a rapidly changing situation, therefore, we will continue to decide one week at-a-time to ensure we have the most accurate and timely information. Additionally, looking ahead, please know we also have a staff in-service day planned for March 30, so be aware the status of that day may change.

We are going to offer “grab-and-go” lunch service from Bayfield Intermediate School beginning on Monday, March 23, through Friday March 27, at 11:00 A.M. through Noon, each day. Young people may give their name and grab meals and go. We feel this service is vital for our families. Let me be clear, any student may pick up a meal on these days (Any child from age 0-18 years will be eligible to pick up a meal).
In statewide news: The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) has extended its moratorium on all activities and athletics through April 18, beyond the original declaration of April 6. Colorado Education Commissioner Dr. Katy Anthes announced today. “With the extraordinary actions we are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s clear that we need to press pause on our CMAS tests this year,” Commissioner Anthes said. “Students and educators need to feel a sense of stability and normalcy before state tests can be administered and produce valid results. This also means we plan to pause our school and district state accountability system as it relates to state assessments for a year.”

Staff will not report on Monday, March 23, as previously communicated, but instead report on Wednesday, March 25. Our teaching staff will report to support students remotely with instructional materials should they not be in school for a longer period of time. Note: This staff day could also change if San Juan Basin Public Health or Governor Polis issues an executive order to the contrary. As we work to facilitate online learning, families will be able to access these supports via a website, learning management systems (Google Classroom or Schoology), picking up materials from an exterior location at schools, or having materials mailed to them. Teachers will be available by phone or online channels to provide further support via Google Classroom or Schoology. Should our district extend its closure, these supports will be extended to all students.

Positive mindset is everything—We will get through this outbreak. I hope we remember: Our American Spirit is best and brightest when we pull together and support each other. Let’s take care and offer grace to the person next to us, and support our families. Again, in the words of Winston Churchill, let’s ensure “this was our finest hour.” I encourage you take advantage of the opportunity to engage with your young people and family in activities and in family time. Read a book, go for a walk, play outside in your yard, engage in family game nights, and avoid large gatherings and public spaces, like playgrounds. It is essential that children be reassured that this too shall pass, and we will be stronger and wiser, and a bit kinder, as we get through this time.

Thank you for your support of Bayfield School District.
Stay safe,
Dr. K. Kevin Aten
Superintendent of Schools
Bayfield School District
"Each Student, Each Day: Wolverine Way"