Steamboat schools announce dates for return to full-time, in-person learning
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Kindergarten, first- and second-grade students in the Steamboat Springs School District will return to full-time, in-person learning on Feb. 22, according to Superintendent Brad Meeks.
Third-, fourth- and fifth-graders will return two weeks after that on March 8, the Monday after most teachers are expected to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The move comes after Routt County Public Health sent the district a letter Sunday recommending they return elementary students to full-time, in-person learning. On Monday, the Board of Education expressed a desire to get younger students back as soon as safely possible.
The Feb. 22 return is the Monday after the district’s week-long, mid-winter Blues Break.
A return to fully in-person learning is phase four of the district’s phased implementation plan. Phase three is the hybrid model, and phase two is fully remote learning.
“As we move elementary to phase four, it is more important than ever that families conduct at-home health checks and keep students home who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms,” Meeks said.
In an email that will be sent to parents Thursday afternoon, Meeks said the district is prepared to delay the move for third- through fifth-graders or shift the younger students back to a hybrid or fully remote model, if such a move is recommended by local public health officials.
“While we expect that quarantine situations will continue to occur, it is important to know that since the start of school in August, our schools have not been identified as places of transmission,” Meeks said.
When teachers are fully vaccinated, they will no longer be required to quarantine if they are close contacts to a case at school unless they start to show symptoms.
Meeks said the district is still working on a plan to bring secondary students back to full-time, in-person learning, but this will not occur until later this spring, keeping those students in the hybrid model for now.
“We are working closely with Routt County Public Health to determine if and when fully in-person learning may be safe given how many students we serve in our middle and high schools,” Meeks said.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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