Garfield Re-2 News You Can Use

August 7, 2020

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The opening of school celebration will be Thursday August 20 Time TBA.

Safe the date!!!

2020 Return to Learning Updates for Augusty 7

2020 Return to Learning Updates for August 7

Garfield Re-2 will be providing you the most up to date information as we develop, refine, and review our protocols for the 2020-21 return to learning. You can find all of this information on the Garfield Re-2 website as well at We will send out updates as soon as we have protocols established. Please keep a close eye on your email and the Garfield Re-2 website.


How will the shortage of substitute teachers affect what happens when teachers must stay home?

  • Depending upon substitute teacher availability, each school will have permanent substitute teachers available to them to support anticipated teacher isolation and/or quarantining.

  • In the event of a substitute teacher shortage, building level staff may be used to provide distance learning.

  • Schools may be required to close if the shortage of instructors interferes with the ability of the school to operate.

What is the district's plan to accommodate staff members who have legitimate health concerns? If a staff member has a doctor's note that precludes them from teaching in-person, what should they expect to happen?

  • In the event that a staff member has a medical condition we need to accommodate for, they should contact Kayla Reece HR Director @ 970-665-7641 or to discuss further medical eligibility and accommodations as they may be unique to each individual.

What if a staff member lives with someone who is high risk?

In the event that a staff member has a concern about a family member that is high risk, they should contact Kayla Reece HR Director @ 970-665-7641 or to discuss their situation as it will be unique to each individual.


If a child has a medical reason to not wear a face coverings will they be allowed to go to school without one? Will a doctor’s note be required?

    • Children (and staff) with medical conditions will not be required to wear a mask.

    • They will be required to bring in a note from their doctor indicating that they can not/should not wear a face covering.

How will the school enforce the proper wearing of face coverings and social distancing in a way that is still mentally and physically best for the kids?

  • As with all disciplinary actions, students will be treated with dignity and respect when corrective feedback is necessary to enforce the rules and policies.


What are cohorts?

Cohorting is the most important strategy to keep schools open. Cohorting significantly reduces the number of students and staff who will need to be excluded in the event of a case of COVID-19 in a school by limiting the number of close contacts of each individual.

At the elementary level, cohorts will be at the classroom level. Children will stay with their classes to minimize the spread of any illness, however, COVID-19 in particular to the greatest extent.

At the secondary level, cohorts will be larger due to the subject specialization that occurs. Every attempt has been made to minimize student movement and potential contamination. At the middle school, cohorts will likely be half of a grade level. Students will be cohorted with their four core class instructors.

At the high school level, cohorting is much more complicated due to the vast array of courses students are taking.

How will we pivot between models?

  • Garfield Re-2 is following the protocols released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: COVID-19 Guidance Cases and Outbreaks in School 7/30/2020.

  • If there is a positive case, the student stays home until released from isolation (usually 10 days after symptom onset, 24+ hours fever-free, and improving symptoms).

  • If there is a positive case, the class/cohort stays home for a 14-day quarantine. Additionally, those that may have been in “close contact” may be asked to stay home for a 14-day quarantine period.

  • The cohort will pivot to 100% distance learning the following day, led by their classroom teachers.

  • In the event that the teacher is sick and unable to teach, a substitute teacher and/or other building-level staff will work in conjunction with the educational team to deliver distance learning.

  • Lessons will continue from exactly where they left off with in-person instruction.

  • Garfield Re-2 School District may pivot to the hybrid model of learning to reduce the community spread of COVID-19 and/or to assist in reducing the strain on local hospital capacity. We will work with Garfield County Public Health regarding any decision to switch to a hybrid-model.

What specifically will distance learning look like if that happens?

Enrollment and Attendance

  • Students will remain enrolled in their physical school of attendance.

  • Middle and high school attendance will be taken for every period, just like in-person learning.

  • Elementary attendance will be taken in the morning, just like in-person learning.

  • Attendance means “actively engaged in the educational process” and in a distance setting may mean: logging into the platform, completing an assignment, communication w/the teacher like email, texts, or phone calls, demonstration of student learning, or a parent signing a form attesting to work completion.


  • Teachers will collect grades as they normally would in-person.

  • Teachers will post grades regularly to Powerschool so that parents may check how their student is doing.

  • Report cards will be issued at the end of the quarter and will be identical to in-person report cards.

  • High school students will earn credits toward graduation.

  • High school grades will be calculated as a part of their GPA.


  • PK-2nd grade students will use a new platform called SeeSaw because Google Classroom was not a great fit for our youngest learners.

  • 2nd-12th grade students will use Google Classroom.

  • All students, whether in-person or online, will use Google Classroom from the first day of school so that they are prepared to pivot to a different learning environment at any time (in-person to distance or distance to in-person).

  • Parents will have on-demand training available in the form of videos so they can support their students at home.


  • All students will have a Chromebook issued to them by their school.

  • Students who need support with Internet connection should call their school to learn about options.

  • A Help Desk will be available for parents who need tech support. Please note - we will NOT be able to provide tech support for any other device besides the district-issued Chromebook. If families choose to use a different device other than the one issued by the school, they will need to call that company for support.


  • Online students will receive instruction in the same Colorado Academic Standards as their in-person peers and on a schedule similar to their in-person peers.

  • Online students will take the CMAS, PSAT, or SAT in the spring unless the parent or guardian opts them out of the state assessment, just like their in-person peers.

  • Online students will receive instruction based on the district’s teaching and learning model identical to their in-person peers.

    • What do we want students to know?

    • How will we teach it?

    • How will we assess it?

    • What do we do if they didn’t get it or already knew it?

  • Online lessons may be synchronous or asynchronous. Asynchronous lessons will be recorded for students who may not be able to log in at a specific time.

  • Online instruction will be delivered by Garfield Re-2 teachers.

  • If online demand exceeds the number of teachers available to teach virtually, we may need the support of a 3rd party online vendor. In this event, Garfield Re-2 staff member will still serve as a liaison, mentor, and support for the family and student.

Parent Partnerships

  • Parents who choose distance learning for their students should be prepared to be “learning coaches” for their children at home. They will need to ensure that their students are completing the required work and their students are logging in when required.

  • Parents may also need to ensure their students remain focused on the learning - students of all ages may require more direct supervision to ensure they attend to their teachers and are adequately participating in their learning.

  • Parents who choose online will need to follow a schedule for their students, which may include tuning into synchronous lessons offered by the teacher. Schools will set the master schedule for online learning (for example, 6th grade ELA is 8:00-9:30, math is 9:35-11:05, etc.) If families are unable to follow the schedule, evidence of “actively engaged in the educational process” as defined above will need to provided by the parents & students.

  • Families who are habitually absent and who are not providing adequate evidence of online learning will be contacted by the school.

  • All parents will need to check Powerschool grades regularly.

Special Student Populations

  • Students with a disability will receive services as outlined in their Individual Education Plan. The IEP team may choose to revise the plan to accommodate a distance learning environment.

  • Students who are gifted will receive services as outlined in their Advanced Learning Plan. The ALP team may choose to revise the plan to accommodate a distance learning environment.

  • Students who are learning to speak English will receive services appropriate for their level of English proficiency.

Will there be any type of kindergarten round up to introduce my child to school?

Schools will host soft start events the week of August 17th. The emphasis is on building relationships with students and families.There will be no assessing of student skills. Specific schedules will be provided by the elementary schools.

Should we have to switch to a hybrid model, would it be possible to utilize Fridays by opening the schools back to a Monday - Friday schedule with half the kids attending before lunch, and the other half after lunch?

At this time, we plan to utilize Fridays to clean and disinfect all of our schools. There is no plan at this time to offer instruction on Fridays.

I am wondering what your return to learning plans will look like for the Special Education kids as they tend to require a more specific approach to learning and switching between virtual and in person isn't practical or functional for these kids and I worry not much learning will take place.

Each Special Education team, which includes both parents and school personnel, will have the opportunity to revise each student’s Individualized Education Plan to best meet the needs of the student. One size does not fit all students with special needs, and the IEP teams will be a critical component of designing appropriate instruction for these students.


What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation applies to people who:

  • Have a positive COVID-19 test.

  • Have symptoms of COVID-19 (coughing, shortness of breath and/or fever).

  • Are getting ill and think they might have COVID-19. Symptoms, especially early on, may be mild and feel like a common cold. Symptoms could include a combination of cough, body aches, fatigue, and chest tightness. Some people may not develop fever or fever may not appear until several days into the illness.

If you are sick, you will be asked to isolate (do not go to work, school, or out in public areas) until:

  • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND

  • other symptoms have improved AND

  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

    • A limited number of persons with severe illness may require an extended duration of isolation up to 20 days after symptoms first appear.

Quarantine or self-quarantine applies to people who are close contacts of a person who either has a positive test or symptoms - even early symptoms - of illness.

  • Separates people and restricts their movement if they were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. This could include exposure to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or a person with the symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Is for people who are not sick, but who may have been exposed to someone (in close contact with someone) who is sick. This could include members of your household, co-workers, or others you spend a great deal of time with (and are within six feet of for 15 minutes or more).

If you have a medical appointment, call ahead and let them know you are under quarantine (either by order or self-imposed) for COVID-19, so the office can take steps to protect other people. Otherwise:

  • Restrict activities outside your home.

  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas.

Will there be COVID testing in schools? What protocols/schedules are in place for testing of staff?

  • Per the guidance from CDPHE (p9) issued on July 30, 2020:

    • “Testing everyone in a school (either before school starts or during school) is not recommended.

    • Testing everyone has not been well-studied.

    • Social distancing and wearing masks are more important ways to prevent COVID-19.

    • A negative test means that the person did not have COVID-19 when they were tested.

    • A negative test does not mean they are “safe” or “cleared” to be at school.”

  • Staff will be encouraged to visit with a health care provider to be tested for COVID-19 if they exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms.

Is the campus daily schedule going to be adjusted for increased screening procedures?

Each school has developed a daily schedule that will accommodate the time necessary for increased screening procedures. Please contact your building Principal for the specifics.

How will physical distancing look in the schools. Will there be 25 students in a classroom?

  • 6-foot between-student spacing reduces disease transmission risk and should be preferred; 3-foot distancing still provides substantial benefits and is acceptable in the context of a comprehensive disease control strategy.

  • There are many strategies that we are implementing to maintain the safety of students and staff in addition to physical distancing including cohorting, increased hand washing, hand sanitizing stations placed around the building, additional sanitation protocols, mask requirements for students 11-years or older.

  • Please keep in mind that several families are choosing our online option, which will also limit class size for in person learning.

In a model reopening school, what is the plan for students who "show symptoms"? If a student has a cough, do they need to quarantine for 14 days? Do fellow classmates?

  • If a student or staff member exhibits any combination of the following symptoms, they will not be allowed to come to school. Students will be screened upon arrival, and if these symptoms are detected, they will be placed in an isolation room until parents or guardians arrive to pick them up.

    • Fever or chills

    • Cough

    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

    • Muscle or body aches

    • New loss of taste or smell

    • Sore throat

  • The student/staff members should remain home until they are fever-free (without medication) for 72 hours and 10 days have passed since their first symptom unless they have a clear alternative diagnosis from a medical provider. (i.e. if they go to the doctor and receive a diagnosis of strep throat, the student may return sooner than 10-days)

Will students have recess and how will that look?

Each school will set a master schedule that supports cohorts which reduces the spread of the virus. Recess may be a part of those master schedules. Teachers should visit with their principals to get more information.

Volunteers, visitors and outside entities

Until we have firmly established and we have evidence that illustrates our current safety plans are effective, we will not be able to allow volunteers or outside visitors in any of our schools. This will include facility use by entities outside of the Garfield Re-2 School District.

  • We need to protect our cohorts - if outside entities are using our schools or volunteers are working with groups of kids, our cohort concept is weakened.

  • We need time to establish our routines and procedures.

  • Our custodial staff are already tasked with keeping the schools clean and disinfected for normal operations. We don’t have the resources to clean and disinfect spaces after external entities have our schools.

What measures is Garfield Re-2 implementing to maintain safety for teachers and reduce the potential spread of the virus from one class to another where cohorts of students are necessarily larger (e.g. secondary schools)

Cohorting is one of the most important strategies to keep schools open. Garfield Re-2 will implement cohorting.

PreK - 5th Grade: Students will stay with the same cohort of students for the entire day.

6th - 12th Grade: Students will be scheduled into much smaller student groupings than what is present in the typical middle and high school experience. Teachers and parents should visit with the principal to learn more specific information for each school.


What will transportation look like this year?

  • Our goal to provide transportation to all who need it within the scope that our resources allow.

  • We will be social distancing our routes as much as humanly possible based on the duration of the ride and the age of the students.

  • The BEST way to ensure transportation services is to register and update your student information in the PowerSchool registration portal. There is a check mark saying that you need transportation.

  • Our routes will be created serving as many students as we can from that list while being socially and financially responsible. Every family who checks that box can expect a call from a transportation employee on or before August 18th designating specific route information. If your family checks that box and hasn’t heard from us by the 19th, please call us at 970-665-7630.

Garfield Re2 School Bus Protocols

  • ALL students (regardless of age) must wear masks or face coverings at all times when on the bus. Students will NOT be permitted to board a bus without a face covering/mask.

  • Parents are expected to take their child’s temperature and symptom screen before the student leaves the house to ensure that an ill student does not ride the bus.

  • Zonar/Student ID’s will be REQUIRED beginning the afternoon of the 1st day of school after they are distributed.

  • When students enter the school bus, they will seat the bus from the rear to front and unload from the front to the rear when possible.

  • When needed, students will sit in designated seats.

  • ALL windows and vents on the bus will be left open as far as possible (weather permitting) at all times to ensure improved ventilation.

  • Students will NOT be permitted to eat or drink on the bus.

  • There will be foaming hand sanitizer bottles mounted for students to utilize upon loading and unloading if they choose.

  • Employees will be required to wear masks at all times during the route. Employees are also required to wear face shields as students enter/exit, but NOT when driving per CDL regulations.

  • Drivers will be sanitizing all high touch areas after each school run.

  • Each route unit will be sanitized using a fogger daily.


The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) announced its 2020-21 interscholastic athletics and activities calendar, following months of collaboration with Gov. Jared Polis, the CHSAA Resocialization Task Force, the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, the state's COVID-19 Response team, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the CHSAA Board of Directors and administrative staff.

The 2020-21 season will be played with a modified sport schedule due to the on-going global pandemic, creating four separate sports seasons during the school year. Due to the restrictive nature of the current state guidelines, and the ability to follow school guidance by CDE and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, all contact sports have been moved to a season which will commence later in the calendar, and allow for playoffs and culminating events without creating new conflicts.

The following 2020 fall sports will begin as originally scheduled: boys golf began practice on Aug. 3, softball and boys tennis are set to begin on Aug. 10, and cross country on Aug. 12. According to the modified calendar, this is Season A.

The remaining traditional fall sports are unable to be played under current state health guidelines. These sports are field hockey, football, gymnastics, boys soccer, spirit, unified bowling and girls volleyball.

The sports played this fall will all be concluded by October 17. See the linked in CHSAA press release and calendar here for specific dates.

In anticipation of data from the state which shows a likely resurgence of COVID-19 cases in late fall, there will be a participation moratorium from Oct. 18, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021.

Sports in Season B will begin on Jan. 4, and conclude by March 6. These sports include: basketball, ice hockey, skiing, spirit, girls swimming and wrestling.

Season C, begins on March 1 and concludes with championships by May 1, includes the following sports: field hockey, football, gymnastics, boys soccer, unified bowling and girls volleyball.

Due to the specific equipment and safety rules around football, that sport will begin practice on Feb. 22, and conclude on May 8.

Season D sports include: baseball, girls golf, boys and girls lacrosse, girls soccer, girls tennis, boys swimming, track and field and boys volleyball. This season will begin with practice on April 26, and it concludes with the final championship on June 26.

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Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provided guidance on closing schools due to COVID-19. You can find the complete guidance and the summary below.


The best way to help keep our schools open is to keep COVID-19 cases in Garfield County as low as possible.

Help us by making the following commitments:

I commit to:

WEAR a mask.

WASH my hands.

WALK, ride or play 6 feet away.

WORK together safely.

IF ILL – stay home

Supply Lists are online

The supply lists for all schools that have provided them are now online a under Parents & Community/Parent Information. You can find them here. As we receive them, we will post them on this page. As a safety precaution this year, all students will need their own supplies. Students will not be allowed to share supplies.

Garfield Re-2 School District

Our vision is to Encourage, Nurture and Challenge every student, every day.