Weekly Superintendent Update, Nov. 19

Weekly Superintendent Update, Nov. 19
Posted on 11/18/2021
Dr. Sirko

When I think of Thanksgiving and what we are grateful for, I think of all of our staff and families. We appreciate all that you have done since this pandemic began and wish you all a fun, relaxing Thanksgiving Break! It is certainly well deserved. This is a great opportunity to rest, recharge, and reflect before the last few weeks of the second quarter. A quick reminder that high schools will be back in session on Monday, Nov. 29, and students will return to elementary and middle schools on Tuesday, Nov. 30. We highly encourage and strongly recommend the use of masks in the week following Thanksgiving Break given the recent increase in COVID cases and hospitalizations locally, though it remains a personal choice. 

You can find information about the Free COVID-19 School Screening Testing Program now open to students and staff here, including a registration link and school codes. Students and staff must first be registered before they can receive a test at school. The testing is available to registered students (with consent) in grades K-12 only, not preschool. A quick reminder to students and staff registered for in-school testing that testing is only for symptomatic staff and students who start experiencing symptoms at school (please do not send a sick student to school). Anyone who needs free rapid testing for another reason can register for a test at the fairgrounds here. PCR tests are also available through COVIDCheck Colorado at Long’s Park and the Fruita 8/9 parking lot. 

I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to Career Center students who have spent this week volunteering in D51 cafeterias that were short staffed! This is an excellent example of partnership across schools, with food service-trained students helping to serve meals at Fruitvale, West, and Fruita Middle School. Thank you as well to the volunteers who have stepped up to offer their services in lunchrooms that have open positions or staff out sick. 

 All volunteers, including the students and community volunteers mentioned in the paragraph above, must complete a volunteer request form and be processed through our volunteer office. That process includes being checked against national registries. Community volunteers who work one-on-one with students or attend overnight field trips are required to complete a fingerprint-based background check which checks both FBI (Federal) and CBI (State) arrest records.

Congratulations to our HawkChallengers51 from Mesa View Elementary School, who qualified this past Saturday for the FIRST Lego League Challenge State Championship coming up on Dec. 11! Lego League students and other robotics teams in the district work so hard each year designing, building, and coding robots, and the results are amazing!

Good luck to our Palisade High School football team, who will be playing again in the state playoffs this Saturday!

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