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Announcements all across Colorado have been sent out with regard to modified school schedules, extended school spring breaks and school closures. Here in the Central Colorado mountains, the following announcements have been made by local schools and surrounding county’s schools:

COVID-19 and Colorado School closures graphic (By Taylor Sumners)

Chaffee County

The Salida School District sent out an electronic notification through their app at 11:38 a.m. on Friday, March 13 saying, “Salida Schools are closing in order to support public health. All schools will remain closed through Spring break, March 29th. Detailed information is forthcoming.”

The Buena Vista School District announced with a letter from Superintendent Lisa Yates that it too will be taking precautions, “Starting Monday, March 16, the Buena Vista School District will be closing all school facilities for a period of 14 days.”

She continued “This necessary action is an attempt to slow the spread of infection. The closure will be from March 16 through March 27, which includes our already scheduled Spring Break. We will reassess the situation as we get closer to that end date, and decide if students and staff should return on Monday, March 30. Superintendents will be calling on the Colorado Department of Education for flexibility on mandatory seat time and state testing requirements.”

Park County School District

Park County School District put out a letter on Thursday, March 12 to their families that said, “Should we become aware of any student or staff member that tests positive for the virus, we will close school for a minimum of 72 hours for a thorough disinfecting. If we have more than one positive test result, we will close for 14 days.”

Lake County School District

Lake County School District (LCSD) provided an announcement to their community members on Thursday, March 12 and said, “Similar to districts across the country and the world, we are preparing for potential school closures. The guidance released by Governor Polis yesterday indicated that a positive COVID-19 case within the school would result in a 72-hour closure for cleaning. Multiple cases within a school, or within the district, may cause a longer-term closure per public health recommendations. It is important to note that if a building is closed, the campus (including playgrounds) will also be closed. In the event that we are forced to close a school or all schools for longer than just a few days, LCSD will consult with state agencies to determine a plan.”

Gunnison Watershed School District

Gunnison County Schools also put out an announcement regarding their school closures, “In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community, Gunnison Watershed School District will suspend all classes starting tomorrow, Friday, March 13, 2020. This includes: Lake School, Gunnison Elementary School, Gunnison Middle School, Gunnison High School, Crested Butte Elementary School, Crested Butte Secondary School and Marble Charter School.”

The Gunnison Watershed School District announcement continued, “At this point, students across the district will return to classes on campus on Monday, March 30, 2020. Learning will continue during this closure. Please watch for communication from your school about online and alternative instruction.”

Colorado Mountain College

Colorado Mountain College (CMC) announced on Thursday, March 12, “In taking precautions against the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), effective immediately, Colorado Mountain College is temporarily changing operations for all campuses and locations. These changes will affect all credit and non-credit students, as well as community members and employees.” The following is a list of modifications that CMC is making to their spring semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • For students only, spring break will be extended by one week, through March 20, 2020.
  • Beginning March 23, all credit, English as a second language and GED/HSE classes will move to an online or Webex environment for a period of three weeks, or through April 12, 2020. In early April, the college will determine whether to return to a face-to-face environment beginning April 13, or continue in a remote environment through to the end of the semester.
  • Effective immediately, all non-credit courses will be canceled for their duration and prorated refunds will be provided. Courses set to begin between now and April 12 are canceled, and students will be fully refunded. Non-credit courses scheduled to begin after April 12 will be subject to future determination as to whether they will run or be canceled.
  • The campuses and residence halls remain open at this time and residents can stay in their rooms. Dining services will resume on Sunday evening, March 15. However, the college encourages students, who are able, to stay elsewhere and not return to campus until face-to-face classes resume.

Western Colorado University

Western Colorado University announced in a letter from President Greg Salsbury on Thursday March 12, “As we watch events unfold related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know we must act quickly to mitigate risks to our campus community and find alternate ways to maintain campus operations. This morning, I announce that effective end of day today (March 12), we are suspending on-campus classes, and we intend to deliver these classes online and through teleconference from Monday, March 23 through at least Friday, April 3, ideally resuming classes on campus Monday, April 6. Classes scheduled for tomorrow Friday, March 13 are cancelled.”

The Denver Post is keeping a running list of Colorado school closures and modified schedules. The link to that list can be found here: