Dear AXL Families,
Two days ago, on April 1, Governor Polis announced extended closures of schools in Colorado through April 30, 2020. Over the past several weeks, superintendents have spoken regularly and often to public health officials and state officials to better understand the timeline and path forward for the year, both with regard to COVID-19 and “traditional” school year expectations. School leaders understand that there are not specific answers to exactly how and when we return to “life as normal” during this unprecedented health crisis. Given that, we must rely upon our best judgement and place safety above all else.
What is clear is that there will not be definitive, universal guidance to proceed as normal. Rather, there will be a gradual lifting of restrictions and a step by step return to normalcy. What we do know is that once the “Stay at Home” orders are lifted, we will continue to have restrictions on social distancing and the size of group gatherings for at least several weeks, if not months. Given the nature of a school environment, these restrictions are not practical within the school setting. As such, there does not appear to be a viable way for us to convene traditional in-person learning this school year.
Collectively we believe, and are making the decision, that in the best interest of the children, staff, and the communities that we serve, just like our school district APS, AXL Academy will remain closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
A significant consideration in making this decision today is guidance from the respective health departments serving our districts. Many models currently show that the impact of COVID-19 is likely to peak in the last week of April. Even once COVID-19 reaches its peak in Colorado, we know that there will be an equivalent amount of time after the peak in which the virus continues to pose a significant threat. The continued safety and public health risk this presents for our students, staff, families and communities moves us to take the step of extended closure to in-person learning through the balance of the school year.
Additionally, providing a concrete direction now with regard to in-person learning for the duration of the school year allows us to focus our energy and attention to addressing questions and concerns, rather than ongoing uncertainty. It will also allow us, to shift to a proactive stance in that we can begin to plan for completing the current year remotely, and returning to school in August when we are able to joyfully welcome our students, staff and families back into our building.
Please know that the health and safety of our students, staff and families is paramount. We believe that finishing this school year through remote learning is one of the most effective ways in which we can do our part to avoid exposing anyone to unnecessary risk.