D51 plan to return after Thanksgiving Break

D51 plan to return after Thanksgiving Break
Posted on 11/18/2020

Dear D51 Staff & Families,

We have been closely watching the COVID-19 trends in the county, and decisions coming from the Governor’s office and Mesa County Public Health. Given the current numbers of COVID-19 in Mesa County and the announcement that the county is moving to Level Red on Friday, November 20, we feel we can make an informed decision regarding our plans for after Thanksgiving Break now. We hope this will provide students, staff, and families more time to prepare for their return after the holiday break.

- Elementary School students will continue with in-person learning on December 1.

Middle School students will return to in-person learning on December 1.

High Schools (including Fruita 8/9 & Career Center) will remain remote from November 30 - December 18. We are considering options for finals week and will have more information soon. WCCC and CMU classes will be held remotely.

Juniper Ridge and Mesa Valley Community school are continuing with remote learning until the new year. Please check with those schools for more information if needed. 

Summit School, Independence Academy, and Gateway will follow the same framework as above, with elementary and middle school students returning to in-person learning, and high school students continuing with remote learning.

School staff will report on November 30 as scheduled. The Elementary staff work day and Middle School in-service will continue as scheduled. 

The main District 51 office, Basil T. Knight, Emerson, and Hawthorne will be open, as scheduled, for November 23-25, then closed on November 26-27 for the holiday. These buildings will reopen on November 30.

There is no one framework or threshold to close a building. Several factors are considered when making that decision, and those factors often play out differently in each situation. Our main concern is whether we can manage the situation at a building based on those factors, such as contact tracing, how many are sick or quarantined, how many can we cover with substitutes so classes don’t have to be combined, how many other buildings are closed at that time, etc. We must take all known information into account to make the best decision we can for the health and safety of students and staff in that specific situation. 

We do not take any of these decisions lightly. Closing schools affects both the economic, academic, and social and emotional well-being of our students and community and can have far-reaching effects. All of these factors are considered, and these decisions are very difficult, as we know it has an impact on all of you. We must work together to serve both our students and community, wherever possible.

As we get through the next few days together, I wish you a safe and restful Thanksgiving Holiday!

Warm regards,


Diana Sirko, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Mesa County Valley School District 51


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