Weekly Superintendent Update, Aug. 27

Weekly Superintendent Update, Aug. 27
Posted on 08/27/2021
Dr. Sirko photo

Three weeks into the school year, we continue to see COVID-19 cases in our schools. While the illness process and protocols that classrooms use following one, three, or five COVID-positive cases in one cohort may seem like a lot to some, they are keeping the number of active cases relatively small (currently, 0.54% of the student population), which is necessary to keep schools open.

Unfortunately, we do have some outbreaks to report, which is defined as five or more cases among students and staff within a 14-day period. Mesa County Public Health lists outbreaks on its page here.

To view the D51 Data Dashboard, click here. The dashboard is compiled using absenteeism data from the previous day and only counts individuals who are COVID-positive - suspected cases or quarantines are not included in the count, and cases are only counted on the list from the time a person tests positive until their isolation period ends. Schools are taken off the list if there are no active cases. Please remember, student and staff cases are counted separately on the D51 Data Dashboard. Meanwhile, the Mesa County Public Health Data Dashboard counts student and staff cases together using positive test results.

School Bus Mask Protocol

As a reminder, face coverings that cover the mouth and nose are required while students are on school buses. Some of you may have heard conflicting information about whether masks were strongly suggested or required. To be clear - this is a requirement on school transit, per federal order. I have clarified this with our busing contractor, Student Transportation of America.

Strategic Plan Reminders

A quick reminder - applications for the D51 Strategic Plan Steering Committee are due by 4 p.m. today. Committee members will be selected early next week, and those who are chosen for the group will be notified by email on Wednesday, Sept. 1. Thank you to the nearly 50 people who have already applied for a chance to serve on the committee! The Strategic Plan will outline a vision for the district for the next three years and set measurable targets for achieving goals. 

If you are not able to serve on the committee, please consider joining a Listening Session to share your thoughts about the Strategic Plan. Sessions are available in English on Sept. 16, 20, and 29, and in Spanish on Sept. 14 and 21. All sessions will take place from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. over Zoom. For more information or to register for a Listening Session, click here.

Finally, the fall high school sports season is in full swing, and I want to encourage you to cheer on our student athletes! Sports schedules are linked for Central, Fruita Monument, Grand Junction, and Palisade.

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