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Heavy school board agenda as buildings to remain closed through rest of spring

With the decision Monday to keep school buildings across Colorado closed for the remainder of the school year amid the coronavirus emergency, the Roaring Fork School District board is set to wrap its head around what all that means.

Gov. Jared Polis, in his Monday press conference announcing a slow reboot of the state’s economy come April 27, also said schools and universities are not to return to in-classroom learning this semester.

That means online distance learning, which has been in place since April 1 and went formal in terms of academic expectations this week, will remain in effect for Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt schools through June 4.

The Roaring Fork District school board meets via video conference Wednesday evening to hear reports and discuss several matters related to that new reality.

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. and can be accessed via Google Meet here.

Included will be the usual “open forum” time for any public comments for items not on the agenda to start off the meeting.

Official agenda items will include the proposed extension of a resolution approved in late March that gave certain emergency powers to Superintendent Rob Stein during the current public health emergency and the related school closures. Those powers mostly involve any decisions and contracts under $100,000 related to health and safety, student meal delivery, curriculum and delivery of online instruction.

The board agreed to revisit that resolution at this week’s regular meeting.

The board will also hear updates on how distance learning is progressing, along with information about the student meal program that’s in place during the emergency and other student and family services.

A district budget update is also on the agenda, in light of the latest 2020-21 budget forecast from the Colorado Department of Education.

In an emailed letter to staff, students and families over the weekend, the district advised it is looking at state finance reductions of anywhere from 1% to 10% as a result of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.

“Obviously, there is a big difference between a 1 and 10 percent reduction in state funding and the impact on our overall budget,” Stein said in the letter. “This wide range illustrates the uncertainty around the overall impact this outbreak will have on our economy.”

jstroud@postindependent.com


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