RE-1 School District Prepares for On-line Instruction

GLENWOOD SPRINGS—When students in the Roaring Fork Valley return to school next week after spring break, it won’t be to a classroom. Welcome to virtual learning. The RE-1 School Board and staff members held a special meeting Wednesday night to discuss how teachers and students will press on with education in the face of an unprecedented pandemic. RE-1 Superintendent Rob Stein says the district is working with the Colorado Department of Education on time schedules with the goal of keeping a somewhat normal calendar.  Despite the longer than expected spring break and campus closures, Stein says there are no plans to extend the current school year or start the 2020-21 school year early. He says the focus is making sure everyone graduates on time while giving students additional support. To accomplish that it will require technology.  RE-1 Chief Academic Officer Rick Holt is coordinating that effort.  He says the plan is to offer distance learning in two phases.  The first phase is to get staff and students connected as soon as possible. The second phase will be to make sure everyone can actually get connected with a computer and internet service.  There’s also the issue of food service, particularly for those students who rely on free meals. RE-1 Chief Operating Officer Jeff Gatlin says the plan is set up three central drop off locations; Glenwood Springs Elementary, Crystal River Elementary and Basalt Elementary School.  Holt says the meals are available to anyone 18 years of age and under. District officials also assured teachers and staff members that their jobs, pay and benefits are secure. Staff members will work out details and the plan of action for distance learning next Monday and Tuesday.  The students will resume school work on Wednesday.