October 22, 2021 Message from Supt. Grumley

October 22, 2021 Message from Supt. Grumley
This is the image for the news article titled October 22, 2021 Message from Supt. GrumleyA Message from Garfield Re-2 Superintendent Heather Grumley



Hello Garfield Re-2 Families:

Happy fall to everyone and may you be enjoying the change of the season here in the Rocky Mountains. I wanted to take a moment to reach out and about the happenings in our district.

This school year, our top priority has been keeping our students and staff safe and in-person with uninterrupted learning with their teachers. It sounds like a simple goal, but as we have all experienced, it’s been incredibly complicated.

We began the school year with a layered approach of safety protocols for our students and staff, and we decided to go without masks. This decision made many people happy while at the same time it concerned others greatly. 

We knew there was a trade-off by going this way - we would need to quarantine the close contacts of anyone that was in school and tested positive for COVID-19. The first few weeks of school went really well and we were hopeful to return to easier times for all.  

However, it wasn’t to be: 

On September 10th CDPHE changed the rules:
A 70% county-wide vaccination rate was no longer allowed to keep kids out of quarantine. 

By September 15th, our district had already endured 20 quantines, 56 positive cases of Covid , and nearly 300 student and adults quarantined and out of school;

During this same time frame,  COVID cases had increased to a critical point in two of our schools, and we were on the verge of moving them to online and shutting their doors;

On September 27, we made the decision to have all students and staff wear masks during the regular school day. Many may still be wondering why.

First, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Garfield County Public Health Department told us that if there is a positive COVID case in a routine classroom exposure, and everyone is masked, no one has to be quarantined.

When we wear masks, our students can participate in uninterrupted, in-person learning.

When we wear masks, our parents do not have to choose between child care and work.

So…….by wearing masks in school it helps to ELIMINATE  quarantines and:
•  Kids  stay in school learning with their teachers;
•  Teachers teach in school and not online;
•  Parents keep working to support their families;
•  Garfield Re-2 stays open.

Since we started requiring masks on September 27, we have had  58 positive COVID cases in our schools. We have executed zero quarantines. We know that we can’t stop the spread of Covid, however, as of Oct 22nd we have kept an estimated 857 students and 51 staff from being quarantined.

It’s our sole mission to keep learning happening face to face and keep schools open. After all, it’s what we know how to do best.

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In regards to a few other hot topics, there has been a lot of conversation about the Colorado Healthy Kids Survey.  

The Healthy Kids Survey is a questionnaire that is put out by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that collects anonymous information from students in grades 6th to 12th about health-related attitudes and behaviors.  The survey is administered every two years to randomly selected schools.

As a district, we participated in 2019. We have not been asked to participate in the survey since then. This year, we have not yet been contacted and we will not be participating. 

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Finally, it is important to take a moment to consider the school board members in our communities. These volunteers hold little power on their own, but together as a board, they can create an effective leadership team. It will be crucial for our new board to maintain strong relationships with each other and the community.

We will be saying goodbye to two board members - Anne Guettler and Tom Slappey. We thank them for their service. 

Ballots for this November’s election are due November 2.  We have three open seats - two four-year terms and one two-year term. In addition, we have a vacancy in Director District C. Anyone interested in this position should send a letter of interest to the District Office by 5 p.m. Monday, October 25. More information can be found on the Re-2 website.  

Thank you for your continued support of the district and its work.  Enjoy fall and remember while we continue to face challenges, we have much to celebrate and be thankful for.
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