School-Sponsored Travel Suspended
Out of an abundance of caution and to limit potential spreading of the COVID-19 virus, 9-R has canceled all district- and school-sponsored travel for students and staff through April 6, 2020, and this includes all Colorado High School Activities Association programs and events. This includes all domestic and international travel for staff professional development.
We understand that there are various levels of concern among our immediate community and there will be various levels of reaction to this decision. While many who come down with the virus will recover, those of advanced age or with compromised health issues may not be as fortunate. We understand this may be upsetting and disappointing news to students, staff, and families. However, out of an abundance of caution and safety for our students and community, we feel this is best at this time.
Local Authority - San Juan Basin Public Health
Please do not read this as evidence of an impending outbreak in the district or in our community; it is not. San Juan Basin Public Health is the best resource for current information about the Coronavirus, and as of the time of this letter, there are no cases in La Plata County. The district has made a communication and resource page available on the website to keep families informed at durangoschools.org
The district's decision was made after significant consideration of the current COVID-19 pandemic and its far-reaching impacts. 9-R staff will work with San Juan Basin Public Health to re-evaluate the situation and share an update about changes in travel restrictions.
School districts across Colorado, as well as other large organizations and businesses, have implemented similar travel restrictions. Some school districts have restricted travel to states that have declared a state of emergency, including Colorado.
If you have questions about 9-R’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the 9-R COVID-19 Coronavirus Response web page on durangoschools.org or any school site.
Traveling on spring break and spring break extension
9-R has also received questions about spring break travel. While 9-R cannot control if and where students and staff personally travel, we highly encourage families to consider not traveling to currently identified high-risk areas, as the district reserves the right to prevent staff or students from accessing school upon returning from spring break if they are exhibiting symptoms or are considered high-risk for exposure.
Please know that 9-R cannot test or quarantine students or staff for symptoms that appear to be related to COVID-19. Only public health agencies have that authority. The district also cannot control any travel restrictions that other countries or states implement in response to this global outbreak.
Additionally, the district has made the decision to extend spring break two more days for students. That means students will reconvene in schools on March 25, 2020 instead of March 23, 2020. We will use the two days to assess the needs of our students and our community and be best prepared for instructional continuity.
CDC travel advisories
At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has activated several travel warnings for international destinations experiencing community spread of COVID-19. Please visit the CDC website for all global travel advisories.