Letter from Superintendent 10.9.2020
October 9, 2020
I’ve fielded some questions regarding why we are requiring masks on school transportation. I’d like to take a little time to provide an additional explanation. First, please remember that the Board passed a resolution at the July 13, Regular Board meeting indicating that Leyton would NOT require masks for students during school. Until we are legally directed to do otherwise, that will remain our practice. However, recent events have elevated our concern regarding student quarantine. Please read the following articles regarding area schools and their very recent experiences.
The Wray Gazette
It took about a month but you can now count Wray High School among those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic after a positive test, re-ported Monday, closed the WHS campus to in person learning to be replaced by remote online classes for the next two school weeks.
RD-2 Superintendent Levi Kramer reported Monday afternoon that following discussions between himself, Wray High Principal John Cure and the Northeast Colorado Health Department, high school students will be shifting to remote learning until Oct. 16 after a student from the high school tested positive for the coronavirus. According to Kramer, Cure had sent correspondence to WHS students and their parents Monday afternoon charting the format that the students will follow to continue their education for the next two weeks as the student with the positive test, as well as anyone possibly exposed, remain quarantined. In addition, the Northeast Colorado Health Department had begun con-tact tracing protocols attempting to identify anyone else who may have been in close con-tact with the person testing positive.
Kramer stated that one of the major reasons that WHS would be forced into a remote learning model while Wray Elementary and Buchanan Middle Schools will continue to offer in person learning is due to the simple fact that a significant portion of the high school educators will be required to self-quarantine due to possible contact with the student leading to the district's inability to provide enough substitute teachers to continue with in person learning at the high school. "The decision to go to remote learning for the high school was based on the number of teachers that are being put on quarantine due to their exposure last Friday," Kramer said in a statement Monday. "We simply do not have enough substitutes to cover all of the necessary classes. Again, the decision was made because of a lack of teachers available, not a widespread outbreak within the student body." The closure of the high school, however, will not have an impact at this juncture (emphasis mine) on activities planned this week including regional cross country and the season opening home football game against Burlington, both scheduled for Thursday. "Activities for staff and students that are not on quarantine will continue as scheduled with COVID-19 screening procedures in place," Kramer said.
Quite simply, our school district is obligated to follow Panhandle Public Health District quarantines. They have provided guidance on how quarantine decisions will be made. It can be found here:
Simply stated: The ONLY way to avoid quarantine is if both the POSITIVE and CLOSE CONTACTS are wearing masks. All persons on a bus would be considered to be close contacts. We are simply doing everything we can do to try to ensure that the majority of our students and staff can remain in school. Thank you for helping ALL students continue to have access to IN-PERSON learning at Leyton. The alternative will be Virtual Instruction and possibly the cancellation of activities and events.
Please wash your hands, socially distance when possible, and wear a mask when you are close to others.
~ Chris Geary, Superintendent