Summit School District students will not return to the classroom this school year |

Summit School District students will not return to the classroom this school year

All in-person events, including athletics, canceled

Summit Middle School during the COVID-19 closure in March.
Photo by Liz Copan / Summit Daily archive

DILLON — Summit School District officials announced Friday evening that in-person instruction will not resume until the fall semester, meaning remote learning will continue through the end of the 2019-20 school year.

In a news release, district officials said they have been closely collaborating with the county’s public health department regarding how to move forward with the school year amid the coronavirus pandemic and resulting social distancing measures and shutdown. District Superintendent Kerry Buhler said in a statement that for health reasons, the district has decided to extend what it’s termed a “dismissal” through the remainder of the school year.

“There are many questions that need to be answered as we navigate the weeks ahead, including the status of end-of-year events, retrieving personal items from schools, preparing buildings for summer and construction plans,” Buhler wrote. “We are currently working on answering these, and other questions, and we will send updates as plans are finalized.”

In the statement, the district said the key consideration leading to the decision was guidance from county health department experts and information shared by state officials specific to COVID-19.

“Even after Colorado and Summit County reach the peak of the virus, there are still additional weeks or months that the virus can pose a severe public health risk,” Buhler wrote. “Data will determine the adaptation of state policies and gradual lifting of restrictions, but social distancing and group gathering measures may be in effect for several months.”

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As part of the district’s decision, all Summit school buildings will remain closed to in-person instruction, and all in-person events, athletics and activities will be canceled. In addition, playgrounds and athletic fields will remain closed to reinforce social distancing practices in an attempt to prevent further spread of the virus, according to the statement.

District officials said in the statement that the district will continue virtual teaching through the remainder of the scheduled school year.

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