Feb. 25 update: All students in Phase 4 in-person learning beginning March 22

Dear PSD community,  

Beginning Monday, March 22, PSD middle and high school students will join grades PK-5 for Phase 4, full-time in-person learning. 

Translations: Español - Feb. 25 Phase Update  |     عربي - Feb. 25 Phase Update

Since returning in January, PSD has had fewer cases of COVID-19 at all grade levels when compared to case levels while students were in Phase 3 hybrid learning this past fall. With cases continuing to trend downward in Larimer County, and based upon the timing of our Spring Break and start of the fourth-quarter grading period, we believe it is time to make this shift. 

Our decision was made in consultation with the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE). “Our goal has been to get students back to in-person learning as soon as it is safe to do so. We’ve worked closely with our school districts throughout this pandemic and have confidence that their COVID-19 protocols prioritize the health and safety of the students and staff,” said Tom Gonzales, LCDHE public health director, who supports this decision by PSD and the county’s two other school districts, which are also shifting all grade levels to full-time in-person learning. 

Case Comparisons Over Time by Level

Elementary School Cases

Oct. 19 - Nov. 25, 2020 (38 days) 

  • Students - 79
  • Staff - 30
  • Total - 109

Jan. 19 - Feb. 25, 2021 (38 days)

  • Students - 58
  • Staff - 12
  • ​​​Total - 70

Middle School Cases

Oct. 19 - Nov. 25, 2020 (38 days) 

  • Students - 62
  • Staff - 7
  • Total - 69

Jan. 19 - Feb. 25, 2021 (38 days)

  • Students - 34
  • Staff - 7
  • ​​​Total - 41

High School Cases

Oct. 19 - Nov. 25, 2020 (32 days) 

  • Students - 125
  • Staff - 11
  • Total - 136

Jan. 19 - Feb. 25, 2021 (32 days)

  • Students - 65
  • Staff - 10
  • ​​​Total - 75

Vaccinations and testing are contributing factors to this decision. PK-12 educators and staff became eligible to be vaccinated under the state’s tiered distribution plan on Feb. 8. Staff continue to book appointments with different providers, including UCHealth (UCH), Kaiser Permanente, Banner Health, and LCDHE – and the results are encouraging. As of Feb. 23, UCH data show that over 3,000 PSD employees have registered with UCH to receive their vaccination, with nearly 70% of those registered already receiving their first dose. Banner and Kaiser have not provided data to PSD, but we know that many staff have also booked vaccination appointments with these providers. Additionally, PSD will continue to operate its symptomatic staff rapid testing site through the end of the school year. 
Maintaining our shared health and safety culture is a must to Keep Schools Open. We will maximize social distancing and follow our safety protocols, but we also know that maintaining six feet of distancing will not always be possible. Utilizing additional layers of prevention will be important. Students and staff are still required to wear masks and the enhanced cleaning and disinfection of our schools and workplaces will continue. Ventilation will remain a focus and, as the weather improves throughout the spring, we will open doors and use our outdoor spaces more frequently. Our COVID-19 Response Teams will also continue following protocols rooted in medical best practices and public health guidance to promptly respond to cases

We know some families may not feel comfortable sending their student to school. Middle and high school students will be given opportunities to learn from home, and families should contact their school’s principal for more information regarding specific options. 

PSD has added two new teacher workdays to the calendar this spring on Friday, March 12 and Monday, April 19. On these two days, elementary students will not go to school; middle and high schoolers will participate in asynchronous online learning days.  
As we have throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor health conditions and public health guidance and make adjustments as needed. PSD remains committed to helping our students learn and grow, and we know they are at their best when they are in school each day. We are eager for their return and increased opportunities to connect with peers and participate in school-related activities. 
Thank you for your continued support, cooperation, and patience. 
Todd Lambert 
Interim Superintendent