Englewood Schools to switch to online learning as COVID-19 cases climb

Decision follows prolonged period of worsening data, district says

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Englewood Public Schools will switch to fully-remote learning for at least two weeks beginning Nov. 2 in the face of climbing COVID-19 numbers, Superintendent Wendy Rubin announced on Oct. 28.

Englewood Schools agreed to offer in-person learning in the fall so long as Arapahoe County’s COVID data stayed within reasonable levels, Rubin wrote in a letter posted to the district’s website.

“Unfortunately, the data has been trending in the wrong direction for a while now, and is below the threshold for us to continue in-person learning,” Rubin said.

Like many area districts, Englewood uses a point-based ranking to track COVID rates in Arapahoe County, keeping tabs on COVID test positivity rates on a 14-day average, daily hospitalizations, the 14-day incident rate per 100,000 residents and a three-day average of daily cases.

A minimum score of 4 is required to keep district schools open to in-person learning.

See the district's COVID-19 tracking page.

The scale slipped to 4 on Oct. 14, and has been at a score of 3 every day since Oct. 24, the district’s COVID tracker page shows.

For the district to return to in-person learning, the number must remain at a 4 or above for at least a week.

Students can receive free meals from several pickup locations during remote learning, the letter said.

Families who need childcare can enroll in a full-day program, including assistance with remote learning, for children in grades K-6, at a cost of $35 per day.

The move follows a statewide and nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases, and comes a day after Arapahoe County’s COVID-related restrictions were downgraded to “Safer at Home” level 2 — down from level 1 — by the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, limiting the allowable capacity of restaurants, gyms, churches and other facilities.

COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Arapahoe County have been climbing since late September and have reached a level not seen since mid-May, according to Tri-County Health Department.

“It is my sincere hope that the data in Arapahoe County will show us that it is safe to return in two weeks,” Rubin wrote. “In order to do that, our community must stay home when possible, wear masks, stay 6 feet apart and wash hands regularly.”

Read the full text of Rubin's letter:

Dear Englewood Schools Families,

As you know, when we decided to offer in-person learning this fall, we did so with the agreement that we would keep a close eye on Arapahoe County data and would go to Rolling Remote learning if and when the data showed concerning and sustained trends. 

Unfortunately, the data has been trending in the wrong direction for a while now, and is below the threshold for us to continue in-person learning.

Because of the rise in COVID-19 cases in Arapahoe County, Englewood Schools will be moving to Rolling Remote Learning for ALL students beginning Monday, November 2 for a minimum of two weeks.

We will update families and staff members weekly on Thursdays regarding the data and how it impacts our return to in-person learning. In order to return to in-person learning, the data we are tracking needs to be at a 4 or above for a sustained period (7-14 days). 

During Rolling Remote learning, students will complete coursework through Seesaw or Google Classroom and will meet with their teachers and classmates via Zoom. Please look for more information from your school or your child’s teacher. 

If applicable, your child will need to have their school device and other materials at home in order to engage in remote learning. If your child needs technical assistance, please email webhelpdesk@engschools.net.

Free meals will be available for all students while we are on Rolling Remote. You can find the schedule and pick up sites here.

For families who still need childcare, our partners at Champions will be open for a full-day program to provide child care and assistance with remote learning for children in grades K-6. Care will be available for $35/day at school sites with meals and a snack included. Please contact Amanda Bashford at Champions (abashford@discoverchampions.com or 719-216-6014) to enroll.

I share in the disappointment that we have gotten to the point that we need to go to Rolling Remote. We know that teachers and students have benefited greatly from being able to be in-person together for learning since the end of August. We are also proud of the safe learning environment we have provided. However, with the number of cases continuing to rise in the community, we want and need to keep agreements we made to our teachers and staff to ensure the safety of everyone.

It is my sincere hope that the data in Arapahoe County will show us that it is safe to return in two weeks. In order to do that, our community must stay home when possible, wear masks, stay 6ft apart and wash hands regularly. You can continue to track the data yourself by clicking here.

As always, I appreciate our community’s flexibility, patience and willingness to do what it takes to keep everyone safe.

Kind Regards,

Wendy Rubin, Ed.D.
Superintendent
Englewood Schools

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