Gunnison School District looking at fall choices for local students

Back to school or online?

by Mark Reaman

Given the current risk level in Gunnison County according to the coronameter, the Gunnison Watershed School District is preparing to hold both brick-and-mortar classroom learning as well as provide an online learning option. Parents were sent information this week regarding both options and it was made clear that the method of learning could include a hybrid of both in-classroom and online learning if the county’s risk level changes from the current relatively safe “blue” level to one that involved more restrictions.

Currently, parents can choose to have their children go to school 100 percent online but must commit to do so for at least one semester. Learning content will be provided for home schooling and a licensed teacher will check in with the students at least once a week. If parents choose classroom learning, the students will have to undergo daily health screenings and expect to follow health protocols such as wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing.

Superintendent Leslie Nichols told the school board during their July 15 special meeting that the district will continue to provide the best online learning it can for students who may need the online option for medical or other reasons this upcoming year, but expressed that in-person learning is what’s encouraged if it works for families. “Having that more traditional school relationship with teachers and peers is our hope for all who are able to make that choice,” she said.

Parents are being asked to complete a survey by August 3 that indicates their preference on how best to conduct learning for their children. School is slated to start on Wednesday, August 26 for all students, as a full day focused on risk reduction activities around pandemic health and safety protocols.

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