Aspen School

A walkway at the Aspen schools campus is void of activity in this file photograph. The school district announced Wednesday that because of the coronavirus crisis, students will return to class (following spring break) on April 1 using online learning technology.

When Aspen students “return” to school April 1, they’ll be doing so from their home via Google Classroom, the district announced Wednesday.

“Each school has an online learning plan that can be found on the Aspen School District website and on the individual school webpage,” a Wednesday press release says. “Each school has created schedules and much more to support students and families in this remote-learning world.”

Interim Superintendent Tom Heald has said since all schools from Aspen to Parachute closed on March 18 — a week before many scheduled spring breaks — administrators were working doggedly to build the infrastructure needed for virtual classrooms. Fortunately, online learning is not without precedent in the district, the release explains.

“According to technology director Chris Durham, the district is ahead of the game with its one-to-one computer program whereby Chromebooks at the lower grades, and BYOD — Bring Your Own Device — at the upper grades have been in place for some time,” the release states. “All that students will need to do on Wednesday, April 1, is make sure their Chromebook or device of choice is charged up so that they can log onto Google Classroom for their daily instruction.”

All of the school buildings are closed, and district personnel are working remotely. Email is the best way to contact teachers and administrators, the release notes. A complete staff directory is located on the school district webpage (Aspenk12.net). 

“We hope that by mid-April, the community COVID-19 conditions will be such that we can open our doors again; however, we will monitor conditions closely and work with our public health agencies to make decisions that support the health of our entire community.”

The Aspen Education Foundation is coordinating information about supporting the district’s food program as well as volunteer and donation opportunities.

Watch The Daily Update interview with Interim Superintendent, Tom Heald: VIDEO