Decision on Restarting Schools
Dear Cherry Creek Schools families,
As shared with our community over a week ago, the Board of Education adopted the restart plan and data-based metric to determine how to start school. We believe it is our job to follow all public health guidance when making the decision about returning safely to school and have 100% aligned our efforts to this guidance.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have taken numerous collaborative and strategic steps to ensure a safe return to school.
- We have worked collaboratively with our teachers’ association to build a comprehensive restart plan that prioritizes the health and safety of students, staff and community, as well as the learning needs of our children. This week, our teachers’ association overwhelmingly voted to support our restart agreement and the data-driven approach to determining whether to return to In-Person or Remote learning. I appreciate our teachers. Please take every step possible to support them.
- We were the first district in Colorado to develop a data-based, decision-making process to determine if it is safe to open schools, or if we should start remotely. We have transparently communicated that data to the community via our website and the data clearly shows that COVID cases have been on a sustained downward trend for the past 10 days in Arapahoe County. Additionally, the state of Colorado, the Metro Denver Partnership for Health and CDPHE are working to develop data models similar to ours.
- We have met or exceeded all health guidelines and requirements put out by state and local government agencies to safely return to school.
Over the past 10 days, Public Health Metrics show a sustained decrease in the number of COVID cases in Arapahoe County. As a result of our efforts and based on the data, the district will open In-Person starting Aug. 17 with a Phase-In Week as described in the public forum and on our website.
We will continue to monitor daily COVID rates. If we see a sustained change in the wrong direction and it becomes unsafe to maintain In-Person learning, I will not hesitate to make the call to switch to full Remote learning. I urge you to think through this possibility and to consider child care and supervision needs in case the data determines a change is necessary. I appreciate your patience and support as we continue to navigate the changing conditions of this pandemic.
Finally, our ability to start on Aug. 17, 11 days from now, and our ability to maintain In-Person learning is 100% dependent upon our collective actions and decisions. As we prepare to open, I am asking for all members of the Cherry Creek Schools community to do our part to help ensure that students can be in school. Please help your students avoid meeting with large groups of friends, maintain appropriate social distancing and have them wear a mask in accordance with the state mandate – together, as a community, is the only way this will work. Let us rise to this challenge together.
Scott A. Siegfried, Ph.D.