November 20, 2020
Dear Bayfield Family,
Bayfield School District is making the difficult decision to open all schools on Monday, November 30. Since August, our school district goal has been to offer as much in-person learning for our students as possible. As essential workers, our staff are making a steadfast commitment to this community by keeping our children in school with in-person learning.
This three-week operational decision could be interrupted at the classroom, school, or district-level at any time between Monday, November 30, and Friday, December 18, the last day of school before Winter Break.
Complications to our opening on November 30, include:
- Increasing COVID transmission rates and/or spikes in La Plata County may prompt emergency school or district closures.
- We have a very small pool of substitute teachers.
- If teachers are sick, with COVID or other illnesses, the limited substitute pool could make school operations impossible.
- Off-season sports training can continue, unless there is a shutdown of the high school. CHSAA sports season B begins on January 4, 2021.
Thus, personal responsibility and following the latest guidance to limit social gatherings over the next four weeks will be key factors to keep in-person learning going. This four-week period will be a shared sacrifice for everyone, for example, we all need to follow the public health order that asks no more than one family household (only people living under one roof) to gather at Thanksgiving--that will be tough, but will keep our schools open.
We will closely monitor health science on this current serious surge in outbreaks. The huge jump in cases in La Plata County began over Halloween weekend and has forced San Juan Basin Public Health to restrict our COVID risk level to RED. Simply stated, our personal choices as a community to wear a mask, to follow the public health orders, and to not gather in multiple households for Thanksgiving over the next 10 days will determine how long we will be in school in December.
We are all going to need to be flexible and get accustomed to closures and 10-14 day class shutdowns for the rest of the school year. We will continue to ask all siblings in the same household to isolate when one student has symptoms of COVID or other seasonal illness. Keeping schools open to in-person learning is our first priority, but the health and the safety of our staff and our community are equal considerations.
Even with COVID, as Americans we have so much to be thankful for this Holiday Season. As members of the Wolverine Family, we experience many amazing fortunes each day. Please follow the guidance and safely enjoy Thanksgiving so we can keep our schools open.
Dr. K. Kevin Aten
Superintendent of Schools
Bayfield School District
"Each Student, Each Day: Wolverine Way"