Well, we almost made it! 

If you would have asked me over the summer if I thought we could have in-person learning from early September to mid-December, I would have not thought it possible. A number of factors paved our way, but two stand above the others: our thorough protocols and thoughtful policies that put the safety and health of students, faculty, and staff at the forefront of every decision, and the active engagement of so many families and students. Colorado Academy was able to avoid shutting down or going remote for months. To be sure, many in our CA Community had to quarantine or isolate at various times; however, our efforts to remain open largely succeeded. I want to give a big shout-out to our faculty and staff for their diligent efforts and commitment to our students. Our faculty have selflessly demonstrated their desire to serve our students in this difficult time, and I find it inspiring.

I am as disappointed as anyone that we had to go fully remote this week. We all recognize the importance of in-person learning, and we truly want to see our students on campus. We know fully remote learning presents a challenge to all families, and, particularly, for working parents. Public health guidance establishes the protocols by which we all must abide. Whenever we learn of a positive case, we report it Jefferson County Public Health. We know from the shared national and state guidelines what course of action we must follow. It may help knowing that local health authorities concurred with our decision to go fully remote today and tomorrow.

Our testing system for faculty and staff is aimed at protecting public health and providing an early warning. This added layer allows us to make right decisions, despite how tough they are.

With every event, we reflect on lessons learned. We will use the experience of this week to look at how we cohort to limit the broader impact of an exposure on campus. I think it is important to point out that, although there have been members of the CA community who have contracted the virus, at this point, no one has been hospitalized. Yet, that does not minimize the physical and emotional toll fighting this virus takes.

From conversations with those who have contracted COVID-19, I have heard the fear, anxiety, and concern they have had. For many, the impact has been minimal, but some have been very sick; others have watched aged parents or relatives struggle with life-threatening illness.

Many things keep me up at night, and the potential for serious consequences from COVID-19 for our students, families, and employees is at the top of the list. I am praying every day that we all make it through this global health crisis, and even as brighter news may someday prevail, the repair and rebuilding work from this ordeal will be monumental, and just as important as our efforts to keep people safe.

As we go into this holiday season, I ask that we be grateful for each other. I hope that we can put things in perspective. Whether remote or in person, this is a community that cares. Let’s dig in over the next few weeks and be careful about our health and others’ health.

I will host a virtual parent meeting next week, in which we will outline our plans for re-opening in January and for added health protocols, such as student testing. We are in the depths of this pandemic and will continue to be for several months. Still, there is reason for hope as we enter a new year, and I am grateful to be facing these times together.