Weekly Superintendent Update Feb 5

Weekly Superintendent Update, February 5
Posted on 02/05/2021

Dear District 51 Staff and Families:

 

As a reminder, you can find current information about COVID-19 cases and quarantines in our schools on our D51 Data Dashboard. The information is updated on each student contact day.

 

What We Have Accomplished!

Before we jump into our updates, I want to take this opportunity to again thank all of you as parents and all of our amazing staff for all you have done this year. We are the largest system in Colorado who has been in face-to-face learning for the majority of the school year. As we are watching what is happening in Chicago and now San Francisco, I am again reminded how fortunate we are to have teachers and staff who were all willing to put fears aside, follow the safety protocols and guidelines, and return to in-person learning last August to serve children. They recognized what an important role they play in our students’ and communities’ lives and what a vital difference this has made for everyone socially and emotionally, academically, and economically as parents returned or continued to work. The online program was also an important part of what we were able to offer to our students. The D51 staff and community have all done an incredible job dealing with the ups and downs and surprises and I want to make sure they realize how much they're appreciated by our Senior Leadership Team, Board, and the other community members for what they have done! They have taken a very challenging situation with the pandemic and made it possible for us to do something that very few districts have done across the country. I greatly appreciate our remote White Ice Celebration this weekend, where we get to honor many excellent educators for their work, but all deserve kudos!

 

Black History Month

D51 is proud to announce the inaugural African American Culture D51 Student Education Project, which is collecting digital media of African American leaders in our community for teachers to share with students this month. If you would like to participate, please submit digital media to tracy.gallegos@d51schools.org. Please frame your contributions around two questions: How did your cultural identity influence what you do today, and what is your message to students about the importance of African American cultural influence in our community?

 

Superintendent Candidates

While I am not retiring immediately, the Board of Education understands the importance of succession planning, especially because there are many superintendent searches happening across the country at the moment, including more than a dozen right here in Colorado. Earlier this week, the Board agreed to begin an internal process to identify qualified staff within D51 to consider for the position of future superintendent. We will share more information as the process continues.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine

Last week, Governor Jared Polis announced his plan to make vaccines available for Colorado teachers starting next week. Our nursing staff and leadership team have been working hard to create a process to provide the vaccine to staff groups on a rolling basis as vaccines become available. Staff should continue to watch their email for more information.

 

Season C High School Sports Update         

The Colorado High School Activities Association expects to hear a decision from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regarding Season C high school sports on Feb. 15. If the season is approved, District 51 will offer boys soccer and girls volleyball for Season C, with practices tentatively set to begin March 8. Details on the season will be released once we have that information.

 

Middle School Sports Update

Middle School sports in District 51 are on hold while Mesa County is in Level Orange: High Risk on the COVID dial. The only school sports approved in the state at this time are wrestling and basketball. However, we have a shortage of officials for these sports and would not be able to provide officials for middle school contests. In addition, the current restrictions for basketball and wrestling in Colorado would force us to cut players to have one 7th-grade and one 8th-grade team with a maximum of 12 players on each team. This goes against the philosophy in District 51 to provide an opportunity for all middle school students the opportunity to participate. We hope to offer middle school athletic opportunities if we are moved into Level Yellow on the COVID dial.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Diana

 

Dr. Diana Sirko

Superintendent of Schools

Mesa County Valley School District 51

(970) 254-5193

 

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