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Note from Superintendent Swanson: Sept. 23, 2020

Dear Westminster Community,

So, how are we doing?

One month after the start of in-person learning in Westminster Public Schools, that is the question I am commonly asked by students, parents, community leaders and superintendents across the state of Colorado.

My answer: “Pretty good. We have learned a lot and every day our kids are in the classroom is a success.”

There is no telling how long this “new normal” will last, but the best guess is that there will be many ups and downs in the number of people getting infected with COVID-19. That is why it is so important that we all remain vigilant and never let our guard down. 

I want to thank our community for supporting us in our decision to return to in-person learning while allowing us the flexibility to provide families with options.

For this first semester back, about two-thirds of our families chose traditional classroom instruction with enhanced safety measures, and about a third of our students enrolled in the Westminster K-12 Virtual Academy. So far, we have had a handful of cohorts, or groups of students, go to remote learning for two-week quarantine periods, with great success.

One of the lessons learned is that clear, accurate communication is essential to helping us get through this pandemic. Families need to know the facts while keeping the risks in perspective. It is important for families to understand that when a student is placed in quarantine because a classmate or teacher has tested positive for COVID-19, their actual chance of contracting the virus is really very small. 

As we were putting our bio-security plan together during the summer, one of the big concerns was about how students would react to wearing masks.

Would they do it consistently?

Would it be a discipline problem?CPR News Inside Room 132

Happily, I can tell you that students of all age groups have been fabulous. Scott Troy, a science teacher at Westminster High School, shared with us just yesterday, how impressed he was with our students. “I have had zero issues inside the classroom so far, and speaking with students in my classes, I feel that they understand the importance of mask-wearing for themselves, the other students and staff at WHS, and their family members at home,” he said.  

Still another look at how we are doing can be found in the work of Colorado Public Radio reporter, Jenny Brundin, who is airing a series of reports about how we are educating our kids during this pandemic. You can read more about our decision to let her inside one of our classrooms in this edition of What’s Up WPS.

Take care and be safe.

Kindest regards, 

Dr. Pamela Swanson

Superintendent of Schools