At 4:00 PM the student body was informed of Eagle Valley High School’s decision to transition to remote learning until after Thanksgiving Break. The announcement came a day after the Eagle County Risk Level transitioned from the yellow zone, concern, into the orange zone, high risk.
This decision came as a result of the numerous teacher and student quarantines necessary at the school.
“This week we have had more than 75 students out due to COVID-19 related health concerns,” Principal Greg Doan explains. “Teachers are having classes where there are more students online than in person.”
The number is not kept to students alone. Teachers are also testing positive and needing to quarantine due to exposure.
“Most recently, we have had two new staff test positive and quarantined an additional five staff members,” Mr. Doan explains.
For every teacher that is at home, another adult must supervise the room, even when the teacher is teaching online.
“We have struggled the last two days to keep covering for these classes in addition to our normal rate of having teachers out for other personal and health reasons,” Mr. Doan says.
In making this decision, Mr. Doan had discussions with members from the Eagle County Education Association, the local teachers union. Spanish teacher and Devil Dancers coach Ms. Libby Navarro is one of Eagle Valley High School’s representatives.
The teachers supported the decision to move to remote learning. Ms. Navarro explains, “The Association’s stance has always been health and safety first, and if our school was getting to the point where we didn’t have enough staff to operate in a safe and healthy way that we would support going remote for a little while.”
Students are going to maintain the same schedules and responsibilities for their classes in the remote model as they did in-person.
“All students will login and join their classes at the same times they would have in person,” Mr. Doan stated in an email sent out to all students Tuesday afternoon.
Classes will take place over Google Meet. Students will continue to complete assignments online during their asynchronous days.
As classes move online, many teachers are working on ways to continue to provide high quality classes for their students.
“I definitely have plans on how to keep students engaged, such as polling and breakout rooms, and just keeping them involved,” Ms. Navarro explains.
As the situation unfolds, teachers and staff hope to return in person. Eagle Valley Student Media will continue to provide updates as this story unfolds.
The official press release is available here