Aspen School District

Buses fall into line at the Aspen schools campus off Maroon Creek Road recently. A joint news release from the Aspen and Roaring Fork school districts says all area schools will be closed through mid-April.

All public schools between Aspen and Parachute will be closed until April 17 in alignment with Gov. Jared Polis’ new restrictions narrowing the minimum standards for public gatherings.

This includes Garfield County School District 16, Garfield School District No. RE-2, Roaring Fork School District RE-1, Aspen School District, Aspen Community School, Carbondale Community School, Marble Charter School, Ross Montessori, Two Rivers Community School and Yampah Mountain High School, a press release from both Aspen and Roaring Fork school districts says. “All public schools are anticipated to resume on April 20 contingent that social isolation orders are lifted,” the release states.

Additionally, the Colorado High School Athletics Association has extended the moratorium on all spring athletics and activities until April 18 to mirror state guidelines.

Roaring Fork Valley schools on Friday announced they would be closing a week before scheduled spring breaks in acknowledgment of COVID-19 concerns. At that time, no online learning infrastructure was in place, so no coursework was expected to continue during the closure, Aspen School District interim superintendent Tom Heald said in communications with staff.

That will change moving forward, he said in an email Wednesday.

“In my message to district staff, I indicated that I will be following up with them about an online presence and expectations we would have to provide a free and appropriate education,” he said, adding that he expects such an update by Friday.

On Tuesday, the Colorado Department of Education suspended end-of-the-year assessments, including the Colorado Measures of Academic Success, or CMAS, for the remainder of the school year. 

“CDE is working … to generate possible solutions for the administration of the PSAT and SAT tests, which offer unique roles in Colorado’s system in terms of scholarships and college entrance,” a state press release says. 

Local school districts, which in their joint statement noted that national and state decisions surrounding COVID-19 mitigation change daily, are updating their policies as needed.

“We are not planning to make alternate arrangements and are taking CDE’s lead,” RFSD public information officer Kelsy Been said in an email Tuesday. 

School districts are communicating with the public about updates to food service and online programming via their respective websites and Facebook pages, the release adds.

Megan Tackett is a reporter for the Aspen Daily News. She can be reached at megan@aspendailynews.com or on Twitter @MeganTackett10.