The Lyons schools are in the St. Vrain Valley School District and in Boulder County. This encompasses the towns of Superior and Louisville, who experienced a devastating fire last Thursday, December 30, destroying more than 1,000 homes. While there were some people who protested the School District’s plans to begin school on Wednesday, due to the emotional trauma being experienced by some students, and with many being displaced, the District sent out a letter to all schools stating that they should open as scheduled, and to obey the Boulder County Public Health guidelines.
The students are facing (1.) emotional trauma and (2.) higher rates of COVID-19 cases among the youth, than ever before. Parents should consider having a serious, comforting talk with their children.
LYONS MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL: Principal Dr Andrea Smith sent out an email to all parents on Tuesday welcoming the students back, stating: “We want to start by saying that we are deeply saddened by the recent fires in Boulder County. While I wasn’t yet a part of the Lyons Community during the floods, I definitely know that our community has a lot of empathy for those that lost their homes. Parents, please let us know if your student(s) or family are impacted in any way so that we can support you. We are excited to start a new semester! We will start tomorrow on a normal schedule. Please be sure to check the email sent by our district on December 31st. This communication includes an attached letter that Boulder County Public Health asked us to forward to our families.”
LYONS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Principal Andrew Moore sent a Welcome Back email to all parents on Thursday, stating: “It’s been a nice soft start to a great winter term here at Lyons Elementary School. Thank you so much for your ongoing communication regarding your child’s health. Per federal guidelines, the quarantine period has decreased from 10 days to 5 days. Additionally, per Boulder County guidelines, we will no longer be quarantining students for routine classroom exposures. Please reach out to me if you have any questions about changing policies. I’m happy to chat. We are very thrilled to announce that Sara Plavidall has recently become our new Health Clerk. She is doing great and is ready to help, so feel free to reach out to her for any school-based health needs.”
During the last week of December, Boulder County recorded 585.2 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. These numbers place the county at a 20.2% positivity rate. When school was released for winter break the positivity rate was under 5%.
Percent of Cases by Age Group, compared to Colorado Population (per Colorado COVID-19 data pages)
age 0 to 9 = 6.62%
age 10-19 = 12.53%
age 20-29 = 20.54%
(people over 60 years account for 14%)
Go to the State of Colorado’s web page about information on vaccines and testing for children, as well as “Frequently asked questions.”
Boulder County Public Health Mandatory Measures
In the letter sent to the schools, and to the parents, BCPH has instructed schools to implement the following mandatory measures:
==Students and staff with symptoms are to remain at home until symptoms improve and they meet the Return to Learn policies. Only healthy, non-symptomatic students and staff are permitted to attend school.
==BCPH does not anticipate quarantines in school settings for routine classroom exposure, however, it may quarantine an entire cohort if an outbreak occurs or one is anticipated.
==Partially or unvaccinated students who have a household member with confirmed COVID-19 must remain at home and quarantine. BCPH suggests but does not require these individuals to stay home if a person in their household has symptoms but does not have a positive COVID-19 test.
==Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test must remain isolated regardless of their vaccination status or if they exhibit symptoms.
==Face coverings are required for anyone over the age of 2 in public indoor settings. BCPH suggests a well-fitted surgical or KN95/N95 mask instead of cloth masks.
As in the past, parents are asked to screen students before taking them to school and to keep them home if they exhibit any symptoms. Here is a district-provided checklist to help parents determine if their student is healthy enough to go to school.
With the Omicron variant, the key symptoms are runny nose, congestion, fever and severe sore throat. Remember, you need to call the school and let them know so that your child’s record is marked as an excused absence. And, of course, contact the teacher.
The upcoming second semester will begin with a normal schedule on Wednesday, January 5 for all students, and the district will continue to implement our comprehensive and layered safety protocols, including mask wearing, social distancing as much as possible, high-quality HVAC systems with increased ventilation, heightened cleaning protocols, and asking everyone to follow our Safe with 7 protocols.
Dear St. Vrain Valley Schools Families,
Our hearts go out to all who have been impacted by the catastrophic and unprecedented wildfires that tore through Boulder County yesterday. Many are experiencing unimaginable loss and we are here to support you.
Towards this end, we have been in contact with Boulder County to see if there is anything we can do to assist. We have provided school buses for transporting families to shelter locations, and we will continue to communicate with various groups to offer assistance.
If you have been impacted by yesterday’s tragic events, please feel free to reach out to me directly. You may also reach out to Kerri McDermid in our Communications Office to be connected with resources and support (firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-702-7511).
If you have not been directly impacted but would like to volunteer or donate, please visit the Boulder Office of Emergency Management website at boulderoem.com/emergency-status.
I know that this is a very difficult time for many and we will work to support you in any way possible. Take care, and my thoughts and best wishes are with all of you.