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Poudre School District Taking 'Intentional' Approach Amid Staffing Shortages

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - The Poudre School District says it is doing everything it can to keep students in schools as they face steep staffing shortages. Last week, officials stated in a letter to families, there were 40 custodians and 21 transportation staff out in a single day.

They say those services were threatened, but proceeded regardless.

remote learning laptop school student Boy Playing Video Game On Computer
(credit: Getty Images)

On Monday, Jan. 10, the school district said by 9:30 a.m. there were 317 employee absences.

"We have and continue to do everything we can to maintain in-person learning, planning proactively to cover open positions. At the same time, we may need to shift classes, programs, grade levels or even entire schools to remote learning. This could be due to the number of staff and student absences (COVID or illness symptoms) or a lack of staff needed to ensure we have enough caring, trained adults with our students," the district stated in the letter. "To be clear: We do NOT want to shift our entire district to remote learning and are being intentional with this targeted approach."

PSD went on to lay out its COVID-19 protocols following changes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • The length of quarantine AND isolation time has been shortened to five days, with individuals able to return on day six if their symptoms are improved.
  • Guidelines for exemption from quarantine due to vaccination status are updated.
    • Individuals who test positive for COVID in the past 90 days ARE exempt from quarantine. The CDC originally said this was not the case, but later reinstituted that guidance.
  • The county health department has asked school districts to prioritize contact tracing for high-risk COVID cases only, which could include athletics, band or choir, due to high volumes of current cases and limited resources.
  • Staff and students who test positive for COVID should receive orders from LCDHE to isolate from school settings for five days.
  • If they are asymptomatic or all symptoms are improving, they can join in regular public activities (e.g. go to grocery store) and return to school on day six.
  • Please don't return to school earlier than day six and only if all symptoms are improving (count the first day of symptoms as day 0).
  • Early Childhood Education students, as well as any students and staff who are unable to wear a mask around others due to an approved medical mask exemption, should isolate or quarantine for the full 10 days and may return to school on day 11.
  • Guidelines are different for what you are required to do if a member of your household tests positive versus if your student is exposed to a positive case at school.
    • Exposure within a household will lead to quarantines greater than five days if people in the household are unable to isolate from the positive individual, unable to wear masks, and unable to eat and sleep in separate rooms. We understand that this may not be possible in some households, especially those with young children.
    • If additional household members test positive or become symptomatic, that exposure and return date will likely change due a new exposure.

 

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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