We have received lots of questions and faced confusion when we have had classes, individual students, and staff members who have had to go into quarantine. First and foremost I would like for you to know that these decisions are made by district administration and Public Health based on guidelines set by the state. We are mandated to abide by these guidelines. Yes, they have changed from time to time, but this is true with all things COVID related as we learn more and as the situation evolves.
- Classroom Quarantines: If a student or staff member in a classroom tests positive for COVID , the classroom cohort must quarantine. Because we keep our classes in cohorts and they do not interact with students in other classes, we can quarantine just that classroom and no others. If we have staff beside the classroom teacher who has been in close contact with that student within the timeline of contagion, they will also be quarantined. The length of the quarantine is determined by the time frame of when the class was exposed, when the person who is positive was tested and/or began to exhibit symptoms. It is possible that a student or staff member is positive but the class does not need to quarantine because they were not at school during the time they are considered contagious.
- Individual Quarantines: If a student or staff member is a close contact to a friend or family member who is COVID positive, they will have to quarantine. For students, the absence will be marked as excused if the reason is clearly communicated to our health office and we will follow our regular procedures for school work. Students will not participate remotely but will be provided their work in small increments throughout their absence so they don’t fall too far behind. They will receive time after their return to make up missed assignments.
- Close Contact Definition: Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated. For asymptomatic patients, the cumulative time would start 2 days prior to COVID testing . * Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes).
- Remote Learning due to class quarantine: In the event a class quarantines, students and staff are expected to participate in learning remotely and follow the regular school schedule as much as possible. Materials will be distributed so that learning can take place at home. Teachers send out a link via email for students to remotely join their class. SMARTS teachers may be at school but will still provide instruction to the quarantined class.
- Why were Chromebooks sent home yesterday? Although cases are rising in Canon City, at the time I write this our district has not plans or intention of going remote (in spite of the many rumors out there). However, out of an abundance of caution and due to those rising cases, we decided that we would send things home that students might need if we do happen to have to go to remote learning. This would make the transition much easier than having to ask families to come to school to pick up materials. Hopefully, on November 30th, kids will just be able to bring them all back to school with them.
When the school year started, we all had to make many adjustments due to COVID 19 restrictions. We wanted to have kids in front of us and not just see them through a computer so we did what we could. One of our biggest challenges was how we were going to be able to maintain physical distancing between students in our classrooms. This proved to be especially concerning at Canon Exploratory School where, due to our Project Based Learning model, most of our primary classrooms had tables students shared rather than desks, and students in this age group are not required to wear masks. Our district did a wonderful job with the resources that were available at the time. Our Head of Maintenance, Jeff Peterson, quickly turned out dividers for each of those classrooms. Because of the high demand at that time for plexiglass, the only type of screen available then was a corrugated plastic. While this did a great job keeping kids separated, it was not exactly seethrough which created a whole new set of problems. During parent/teacher conferences, one of our amazing parents saw these dividers in her son’s classroom and went to work to remediate the problem. She reached out to McCasland Glass and some of our always generous community supporters. As a result, they were able to make clear dividers out of plexiglass that almost disappear in the classroom but still provide the separation needed to keep our kids safe and healthy. We want to send out a HUGE thank you to the following people for making this happen:
-Edie Ashley, amazing parent and organizer
-Chuck and Heather McCasland of McCasland Glass for their donation of product and service
-Debbie Betts of The Mortgage company and Carla Braddy of Coming Home Realty for their generous monetary donations
“Together We Make a Difference” is our school motto. Thank you all for demonstrating to our school and community that this is really true and for making such a positive difference in the lives of our students and teachers
From Project Proposal to Reality
Over a year ago, Mason Lenard began a project in Mrs. Montoya’s class on mountain biking and identified a need in the community for a new type of bike park. He ended up making his proposal to the Fremont Adventure Recreation (FAR) board. They thought it was a great idea and Mason’s dream began its journey to reality. From the Daily Record:
The Cañon City Area Recreation and Park District, through a partnership with Fremont Adventure Recreation, recently opened “Smooth Criminal,” a 0.8-mile one-way mountain bike flow trail in the Schepp Open Space.
This 160-acre property was donated by Walter Schepp in 2015 to create additional outdoor recreational opportunities for the community. Smooth Criminal will take mountain bikers on a terrain-induced roller coaster experience, with little pedaling. Braking will be necessary for many areas based on skill level. Participants should note that flow trails are designed for intermediate and expert level riders. This is something beginners work up to. Flow trails typically contain features such as banked turns, rolling terrain, various types of jumps and consistent and predictable surfaces.
The Recreation District was approached by Cañon Exploratory Student Mason Lenard about creating additional mountain biking opportunities on the Schepp Open Space to encourage new riders. After meeting with the Recreation District Board of Directors and speaking with FAR, a master plan was developed to create several flow trails and a bike park. In December 2019, both Mason Lenard and Brian LeDoux of FAR met with the District Board to present the plan and get approval. It was approved unanimously. The trail would be constructed using the 1% For Trails funding through FAR and their numerous sponsors. This plan will be phased in to match existing funding levels. The creation of Smooth Criminal is phase one. This project is made possible by the Recreation District, Fremont Adventure Recreation, the City of Cañon City and Fremont County all working together.
Smooth Criminal is the second addition to the South Cañon Trail System since it opened in 2016. The start of the trail is at the Ecology Park parking lot and winds through the Schepp Open Space. The trail ends when it hooks up with Gloria’s Groove, near Sand Hill. Extreme caution should be used when riding the flow trail. Riders should practice the ‘pre-ride, re-ride, free-ride’ approach to trail riding – allowing two cautious rides of the trail before riding at speed. The trail is designed to aid in skill progression, with the right-hand side of the trail supporting intermediate riders, and the left side offering larger features and jumps.
The Smooth Criminal flow trail is designed for mountain bikes only and for safety reasons no hiking, running or horseback riding is allowed. The flow trail is designed specifically for intermediate and expert level mountain biking, beginners should ease into this. All riders should do at least two pre-rides on the trail at a very slow pace to learn the trail to make sure they are more comfortable with the trail, and finally do a free ride where they are comfortable with their speed.
South Cañon Trails, which includes Schepp Open Space, Fremont County and BLM land, has many trails designed for all user groups. The Recreation District, in conjunction with groups such as FAR, will continue to look at expanding outdoor recreational opportunities close to town for all user groups in the future.
Food over Thanksgiving Break:
Thank you for reading! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
~Kelly Albrecht, CES Principal