Gov. Polis announces closure of schools through the rest of academic year
MCHS is currently formulating a plan regarding graduation for the Class of 2020
With the Stay at Home order nearing its end in the state of Colorado, many were left wondering what that would mean for schools across the state.
Governor Jared Polis cleared that up Tuesday morning, announcing the cancellation of all face-to-face schooling for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.
“Vulnerable populations and seniors must continue staying home except when absolutely necessary and K-12 school districts and postsecondary institutions will continue to suspend normal in-person instruction until the end of the school year,” a press release from the governor’s office said.
A separate order from the Stay at Home order closed all Colorado schools through April 30. Not wanting to wait for the Govenor’s further orders, more than two dozen school districts that serve the majority of Colorado students had previously made their own decision to close through the end of the school year.
More than half the states in the country have closed their schools for the rest of the academic year, and Gov. Polis had said repeatedly that it was “unlikely” that school would return to session in Colorado this year.
However, Polis had not previously made a formal decision, and many districts, especially in rural parts of the state, had held off on their own decisions as well.
Now, the Governor has made the decision for the state as a whole.
Moffat County School District Superintendent Dr. David Ulrich sent out a message to parents late Tuesday morning, saying that while the decision was expected, it’s disappointing for all involved to hear the news.
“While we have been expecting this announcement, it is still disappointing to hear it become official. However, your students’ teachers, administrators, and support staff have prepared for this! I can’t tell you how proud I have been of the way they have answered the call during this unprecedented time,” Ulrich said. “Parents, you have shined for your students as well. We understand that these circumstances have placed an additional burden on you and your families. It is truly humbling to see the efforts you have put in to ensure continuous student engagement.
“My heart breaks for our students and staff with this announcement,” Ulrich added. “Our students are the best part of what we do and seeing our students every day is the key component to cultivating our call to serve them. We will continue to reach out to you and your student on a regular basis, as our first concern is the well-being of your student.
“All students will finish out the school year as they have been working these last three weeks. MCHS Principal, Sarah Hepworth, and the high school team have been brainstorming alternatives to our traditional graduation. Now that it is official, her team will begin to operationalize those thoughts and determine the best way to honor our 2020 graduates,” Ulrich added. “We will keep parents and our community informed of the progress and decisions made.
“There will be many logistical questions we will need to answer to close the school year and our district is diligently working to figure out the process.”
MCSD had previously canceled Prom and now awaits a decision on graduation.
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For nearly 40 years, Jonathan Herring has pursued his passion of education as a teacher, administrator, and principal in bigger cities such as Kansas City and Las Vegas.