Email Communications for Families and students
Below are messages and communications from our Executive Director, principals, and other leadership from Pueblo School for Arts and Sciences' regarding our most recent plans for remote learning and any other important updates and announcements.
Communications for Families and Students
November 9, 2020
November 25, 2020
PSAS Families and Staff,
I hope this message finds each of you healthy and excited for the Thanksgiving Holiday. I am reaching out today to inform you that The Fulton, Homeschool and Jones campuses will return to in-person learning on Monday November 30th, 2020.
The decision to return was not an easy one to make but we do feel it is in the best interest of our students learning success. We have had minimal positive cases in our schools and will continue to use the safety protocols established earlier this year to keep exposure to a minimum. Each school will be on a case by case basis as it has been in the past for quarantines and remote status.
As we return, I wanted to thank our Staff for their diligence in care over the last several months. They are the best! I also know the disruptions at home and work for our parents has been a challenge. I understand the challenges necessary to support your children who are engaged in remote learning at home and at the same time keep up with the demands of a job. Thank you for your patience and trust as we continue through this pandemic together.
November 27, 2020
Dear PSAS families,
School districts across the state are choosing to move from in-person to remote school in light of widespread increases in COVID-19 cases. This decision is afforded to districts and schools under the level red of Colorado’s COVID-19 response framework, and is even open under a stay-at-home order as schools are defined as “critical businesses.” PSAS endeavors to remain in-person, and we had planned to remain in-person for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, we have now been forced to extend our remote learning approach at Jones Campus for at least two more weeks. This is not because of any student transmission or exposure at school, but due to quarantine/isolation protocols for several staff members who were exposed and, in some cases, have been diagnosed with COVID due to exposures outside of the PSAS environment. Accordingly, we do not have adequate staff available for in-person learning in the coming two weeks.
That said, PSAS firmly believes that in-person learning should be our goal and our priority regardless of where Pueblo stands on the COVID-19 response framework. Thus, we will be in-person at both Fulton Heights and our Homeschool Program. We will move to in-person learning at Jones Campus as soon as possible and will keep you informed with our progress on that front.
I recognize that this is an uncommon disposition to take in the current landscape, and I recognize further that there is disagreement in our school community about what the most appropriate response should be. In light of that, I do want to offer my reasons for attempting to remain in-person, even if a stay-at-home order is issued.
- Schools are defined as “critical businesses” under Public Health Order 20-36, and may “provid[e] in person learning as necessary, or other essential services to students as determined by the school or school district in consultation with the local public health agency. As Governor Polis stated, “[w]e feel that based on the data, for many families and for many kids, that [school] is the safest place they can be with the safety parameters that we have at school.";
- We determine the social and moral relationships built in-person to be necessary and essential for student learning, health, and happiness. Just last week, The Atlantic declared that “closing schools causes well-documented damage to students. Evidence from around the world shows not only that many schools should remain open, but that we should take more steps to open up classrooms.";
- We have not seen a spread of COVID-19 in our school and have been successful in preventing outbreaks.
There are more reasons that are on my mind, but which fall outside this direct justification. For instance:
- - that the burden with stay-at-home orders falls disproportionately on women and mothers who must withdraw from their careers. This is unfair burden generally and not one we wish to contribute to;
- - that children of all ages and all backgrounds need the personal engagement of peers and teachers to help form their identities. No child should be deprived of that opportunity and right except under the utmost necessity;
- - that children of all ages and all backgrounds are better prepared to lead independent and joyful lives if the normal, ordinary, and safe environment of schools is open to them;
- - that citizenship doesn’t spring up in isolation or virtually, but requires ongoing, real, and robust conversations and relationships.
Again, our firm intent is to remain open as long as it is feasible to do so. We are, however, postponing all non-school activities, which includes athletics and clubs, because these environments are harder to control given the community spread of COVID-19. Again, our dominant priority is in-person school. If anything requires us to change our approach, we will communicate quickly.