PI Editorial: Maintaining in-person instruction is invaluable to Garfield County community | PostIndependent.com

PI Editorial: Maintaining in-person instruction is invaluable to Garfield County community

Post Independent editorial board

Students everywhere this year are dealing with unprecedented challenges because of the pandemic.

We’re by no means immune from those challenges in Garfield County, yet we can’t help but feel blessed by the hard work of so many to keep as many kids in the classroom as possible — and working to help ensure athletics and other activities still go on as well.

Over halfway through our pandemic school year, it’s interesting to think back on some of the unknowns and anxieties at the beginning of the school year. But any doubts about the wisdom of maintaining in-person instruction as much as possible have been put to rest.

Although schools are now the top source of outbreaks statewide, that has not been the case in Garfield County, with just one active outbreak at a school right now (Rifle High School), according to the state’s outbreak tracker.

We can’t know all of the work that has gone into the school year, but we know it’s taken the collective effort of so many different groups: educators, support staff, public health, parents and the students themselves.

With the start of Season B sports, we’ve had the privilege to see firsthand some of the joy and excitement students and their families have for first-hand educational experiences. That definitely applies to sports and extracurriculars, where students have the opportunity to learn invaluable life lessons they might not get otherwise. One suggestion we have on this front is for schools everywhere to be intentional in maintaining space for some of those lessons — opposing teams might not be allowed to shake hands before or after a game, but we should still keep such traditions as part of the experience. Summit High School offered a recent example of this in a game against Glenwood Springs when they began the game with a bow to their opponents.

Everyone who has helped Garfield 16, Re-2 and Roaring Fork school districts maintain in-person instruction deserve our kudos — after all, a strong local education system benefits our entire community.

But mostly importantly, we know this is the best thing we can possibly do for our youth right now. Pandemic challenges remain aplenty for our youth in Garfield County, but we’re proud to know that they can face them with so much support from their community.

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent editorial board consists of Publisher Bryce Jacobson, Editor Peter Baumann and Managing Editor/Senior Reporter John Stroud.

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