Dear Bayfield Staff and Families,
We are certainly living in busy and complex days. Spring Break is within reach--I know we can all use the break and the rest. Please know we are acting out of prudence and not panic.
I am sure you have been keeping up with the news about the coronavirus--both at the state and national levels. As you can imagine, this event has been occupying the vast majority of my time as Superintendent of Schools. Just as the information I sent in this this morning’s email outlines, most children who have contracted the virus have only relatively mild symptoms, but please continue to use common-sense precautions to protect vulnerable children and citizens. We currently have no know coronavirus cases is our area.
The health and safety of our students, staff, and community is truly my number one priority. This priority transcends school attendance, state testing, and yes...even student grades.
The Colorado High School Activities Association has closed all activities at the end of today, Thursday, March 12, through Monday, April 6, and we will be closing all sports, activities, travel, field trips, and practices/trainings at the end of today, except tonight’s and Friday’s performances of the spring play at the Performing Arts Center. All schools will be closed over spring break and our partners from the La Plata Family Center and Community Treehouse will be closed, as well. Pueblo Community College will also be taking a two-week spring break beginning Monday, March 16 through March 27.
On Monday, March 23, after spring break, there will be a required staff-only day to allow us to assess the situation as it develops over spring break and to implement the next steps in our plan, so please plan accordingly, as students will not be in school this day. If we receive more information from the health department or the Governor’s Office, I will offer more communication to help everyone plan accordingly. March 23, will allow us time to review our protocols and procedures and review the status of the virus, as a staff before students return from spring vacation. We recognize that many individuals may be traveling to areas where there may be community impact or other health-related issues.
Bayfield School District is working closely with the San Juan Basin Health Department, the Colorado Department of Education, our local government agencies, and surrounding school districts. We are receiving daily briefings, guidance, and even directives regarding health and safety protocols, as well as, guidance around potential school and district closures. My leadership team is also doing extensive planning and preparations around emergency operating procedures, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, contingency planning for providing educational access and online opportunities for our students should our district need to close. Moreover, my team is already planning communication coordination to ensure that our staff, students, and community are kept up-to-date with information. Our finance and human resources teams are working to ensure our bills continue to get paid and our employees will continue to receive their paychecks on time, should the district need to close for an extended period of time.
Finally, I recognize that there is much "misinformation" out there regarding potential school/district closures, and/or additional cancelations. When the time comes to communicate any information, we will do so formally-- that is...it will come from me via email and/or text. Postings on social media sites, hearsay, or “chatter" are not the official ways that we communicate in the Bayfield School District. We will work to provide timely and accurate information, and that information will come directly from me on a district platform.
Please forgive the length of this email...I know you need complete and thorough information. As always, our Bayfield Family will pull together as a big family as we navigate these complex times. As our strategic plan states, we are committed to the well-being of our community, first and foremost. I wanted you to hear that directly from me.
Stay tuned, as I am certain we could have more updates and changes in the future.
Dr. K. Kevin Aten
Superintendent of Schools
Bayfield School District
"Each Student, Each Day: Wolverine Way"