District update regarding absences and closure criteria
Dear WSD3 Families,
As the global COVID-19 information continues to develop, I want to keep you informed on our planning efforts in Widefield School District 3.
We continue to receive many questions regarding absences, both for illness and precaution, as well as questions regarding guidance to close schools. The following information will answer many of the questions we’ve received to date.
Question: What length of time will we excuse students because of concerns over COVID-19?
Answers for Immune Compromised Students
Families who have students with pre-existing health conditions that compromise their immune systems may excuse their students through the declared state of emergency as enacted by the Governor. School assignments for students absent during this time will follow our current excused absence practices. (District Student Attendance Policy JH)
Answers for Family Choice
Families who wish to keep their children home for preventative measures may do so. They will not be penalized, as their absences will be counted as excused. School assignments for students absent during this time will follow our current excused absence practices. (District Student Attendance Policy JH)
Question: Is the District considering closure and under what circumstances would that occur?
Answer: State ordered closure criteria:
- Any school in Colorado with one confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff member or student will close for a minimum of 72 hours for cleaning and social distancing.
- Any schools that are closed will partner with their local public health agency to conduct further COVID-19 testing.
- Any school with two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a staff member or student within a 30-day period requires a second minimum 72-hour closure (for a total of 144 hours) for cleaning, testing and public health investigation.
- Any school with three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in staff members or students within a 30-day period requires a closure for a minimum of 14 days.
- If three schools in a district have confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a 30-day period, all schools within the district are required to close for a minimum of 14 days for cleaning, testing and public health investigation.
- Other factors to consider when making decisions to close one or more schools, include:
- Families with students in multiple buildings
- Shared facilities
- Shared transportation
- Central kitchens
- Shared staff
We will continue to update you with information regarding our planning efforts and the impacts of COVID-19. Thank you for your partnership, patience and flexibility.
Superintendent of Schools