This story was originally published by Chalkbeat Colorado. More at chalkbeat.org.
Aurora’s school board on Friday asked to change its district’s fall reopening plan to start school online.
The new plan would have students learning remotely, not just for a minimum of two weeks as other districts have done, but for the entire first quarter.
“If we have this many questions left unanswered, I’m going to go out and say we’re not ready to start face-to-face learning,” board member Vicki Reinhard said. “I believe it’s risky.”
Rico Munn, Aurora’s superintendent, challenged the notion that the district wasn’t ready for school to restart and commended his staff for creating detailed plans. But this week he also has voiced concerns about the level of community transmission of the coronavirus.
Board member Nichelle Ortiz said board members have heard from principals who feel they aren’t ready, as well as from a number of other school staff.
“It’s not just union teachers and concerned parents, it’s every aspect of this district — nurses, admin,” and part-time staff, Ortiz said, who are “reaching out and letting us know their concerns.”
The board asked the district to survey principals about what help they need from the district to finalize their school’s plans to reopen.
Last month, Aurora’s school board approved a later school start date and a plan to bring students back into buildings. But the number of cases of COVID-19 have been rapidly rising again in Colorado and the state’s two largest districts recently stepped back from reopening plans, in favor instead of starting remotely for at least two weeks.