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Riverton schools won't reopen this school year

May 1, 2020 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Riverton students will attend school remotely for the rest of the semester as coronavirus continues to spread in Fremont County, district officials determined this week.

"(We) believe that it's in our best interests, for the safety and health of both our staff and students, to remain in our adaptive learning plan for the rest of the year," Fremont County School District 25 superintendent Terry Snyder said during a board meeting Tuesday.

"With the (coronavirus) numbers coming out of Fremont County, we don't see any of the indicators, as we use data to drive our decisions, that would indicate that we could possibly not make that decision."

Reopening

During a press conference last week, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said school districts in the state could "bring back special populations ... in a very limited manner" for "in-person instruction for students in the greatest need."

Snyder said his administrative team decided not to take advantage of that option.

"We have to protect our staff," he said, adding that the district has no way to know whether incoming students have been exposed to coronavirus.

"We don't want to expose our staff to that."

Instead, he said, Riverton schools will focus on developing a "reopening plan" for the entire district.

Public health officials and the Wyoming Department of Education must approve the plan before school facilities can reopen, Balow said last week.

She asked that each district's plan include "new and enhanced protocols for health and safety," emphasizing that "reopening schools to students does not mean going back to normal."

Snyder projected that the FCSD 25 plan would include an extension of the current school year into the summer, as well as "compensatory services" for special education students.

Administrators also will consider options for the fall, he said, with alternatives ranging from the resumption of in-class learning, to the continuation of remote lessons.

"It's probably going to be something in between," Snyder said, guessing that some parents might keep their children home from school even if facilities are reopened.

The last time School District 25 schools were open was Friday, March 13.

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2020-05-28

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