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At 5 p.m. on August 5, Salida High School (SHS) Principal Tami Thompson plans to host a virtual office hour for the parents of SHS students. Thompson will discuss back to school planning and registration for the upcoming year. The meeting will be held via Zoom due to COVID-19 health regulations.

Salida High School. image courtesy of Heart of the Rockies Radio

As previously reported by Ark Valley Voice, the Salida School Board voted to approve the opening of fall classes in the “Green” mode with in-person instruction, depending on conditions remaining stable. The precautions put in place include: extra space where possible, required facemasks for staff and students of certain ages, extra handwashing and basic health checks for all.

The District worked alongside Chaffee County Public Health to develop multiple modes of instruction and took into account both community input as well as health professional opinions.

District R-32-J has also created an online school where they currently have over 100 Salida families committed. Students and their families may opt into the online classes but cannot flip flop between online and in-person classes except at semester break.

Superintendent Blackburn also made it clear that masks will be required for all staff. Fifth to twelfth graders are also required to wear masks. They hope to create a positive attitude for younger students that emphasizes that it is “cool” to wear a mask.

Buses will be in use. Families will be seated next to families. Hand sanitizer must be used by students as they enter and exit the bus. Drivers will all wear masks and wipe down the bus after finishing their routes.

The district heard community input and opinion which influenced the vote. The Board wanted what was best for the health, safety and best possible education for each student in Chaffee County.

The first day of school is currently set for August 19.

Zoom meeting ID: 968-1561-5930

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