Cherry Valley Elementary School switches to virtual learning

Impact of quarantines 'hit our school especially hard,' principal said

Jessica Gibbs
jgibbs@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 10/28/20

Cherry Valley Elementary School in Franktown has temporarily switched to virtual learning amid substitute teacher shortages and COVID-19 quarantines. Principal Nancy Wortmann said in an Oct. 25 …

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Cherry Valley Elementary School switches to virtual learning

Impact of quarantines 'hit our school especially hard,' principal said

Posted

Cherry Valley Elementary School in Franktown has temporarily switched to virtual learning amid substitute teacher shortages and COVID-19 quarantines.

Principal Nancy Wortmann said in an Oct. 25 letter to the school community that a positive COVID-19 case triggered quarantines at the school, leaving it without enough substitute teachers to oversee in-person classes.

“With our small size, the quarantine impact hit our school especially hard,” Wortmann said.

Cherry Vallley enrolls 35 students. Virtual learning was set to begin on Oct. 26. Students and staff can return to in-person learning on Nov. 6. Students will follow their regular class and cohort schedules during the virtual learning period.

Cherry Valley is now one of several district schools force to temporarily conduct virtual learning after large quarantines kept more teachers out of the classrooms than what substitute teachers could cover.

The Douglas County School District recently updated its quarantine protocols under new guidance from the state health department.

The changes now allow the district to take a more targeted approach in who it asks to quarantine, which district staff have said may reduce the size of quarantines moving forward.

Smaller quarantines may also lessen the disruption to students' education and alleviate stresses on the district stemming from the substitute teacher shortage if few teachers need to quarantine.

But elementary schools can't take advantage of the new rules. Personalized Learning Officer Nancy Ingalls told school board directors on Oct. 20 that schools must meet a number of requirements to use the targeted approach, but elementary schools do not qualify.

Elementary schools returned to full, in-person learning on Oct. 19. Students are together for longer than one class period, disqualifying the schools from the updated quarantine protocols.

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