First day of school to be delayed for three Summit County schools |

First day of school to be delayed for three Summit County schools

Construction continues at Dillon Valley Elementary Tuesday, Aug. 21, in Dillon. Safety and accessiblity issues forced the district to delay the first day of class for DVE, Summit Cove Elementary and Snowy Peaks Junior High and High School.
Hugh Carey /

Bad news for parents, but good news for kids who want one more day of summer: Three schools in Summit School District — Dillon Valley Elementary, Summit Cove elementary and Snowy Peaks Junior High/High School — are delaying the first day of school. All other SSD schools will open on their regular schedules.

DVE students from first through fifth grade will have their first day on Friday instead of Thursday. DVE’s “Hola Hello” program will be held on Thursday from 4–5 p.m. Summit Cove Elementary’s first day will also take place Friday, with the school’s “First Hello” program held on Thursday from 4–5 p.m. Snowy Peaks Junior High and High School will open on Thursday instead of Wednesday.

All other schools in the district will open on schedule. Summit Middle School and Summit High School will open on Wednesday, while Breckenridge Elementary, Frisco Elementary and Silverthorne Elementary will all open on Thursday.

In a press release sent Monday night, the district cited accessibility and safety issues related to construction for the delay. Although construction was expected to continue into the school year, school district spokeswoman Julie McCluskie said there were issues cited by an inspector, as well as accessibility issues into and out of the schools, which forced the delay.

“We always try to ensure our schools are safe for students,” McCluskie said. “We had a couple of schools where teachers haven’t been able to access the classrooms due to construction, and it was going to be a challenge to pick up and drop off students. Aside from the confusion, it would have also created a security issue. We know this is an inconvenience for families, but we also know that they would not want their children to be in buildings that weren’t accessible.”

School district superintendent Kerry Buhler said that the late notice was due to a lengthy process involving building inspectors, who check for ongoing safety issues at the schools.

“There are so many construction projects underway and it has taken time for the inspectors to finish their work ensuring safety for students, staff and teachers,” Buhler said.

Despite the delay, the school district is looking forward to the 2018–19 school year with a focus on “Whole Child, Whole Heart.” There will be an emphasis applied to social-emotional learning for students. Buhler said that students should look forward to the school year, especially Summit High students who will be welcomed by the significant improvements made to SHS after an onerous year under construction.

Buhler also said that teachers are excited about the upcoming year after strikes and walkouts over pay and classroom funding this past spring. During a professional development day at Keystone this past Friday, strategies on how teachers can do self-care to perform their best in the classroom were discussed.

“With the support of our taxpayers, we have an $80 million bond along with a mill levy for technology infrastructure,” Buhler said. “Our staff got a healthy raise across the district and our teachers feel well-supported. There’s a lot of energy and excitement. They are completely engaged.”

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