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WSD3 and FFC8 school districts begin some in-person classes


Last updated 8/19/2020 at 3:01pm

Both Widefield and Fountain school districts are moving forward with their plans to reopen both virtually and in person based on the latest data from the county.

Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 brought back students in lower grades on a limited basis this week, while Widefield School District 3 will begin in-person learning Aug. 24. However, both have opted to delay the in-person return for grades 6-12 another week to Sept. 15 – a week later than previously announced.

District officials cited information from El Paso County Public Health “that local infection rates have plateaued and hospitalization rates have stabilized. El Paso County has also implemented a new testing site on the southeast side of town, which will support data-driven decisions. This testing site will be able to test children ages 2–10. A list of local testing sites can be found on the EPCPH website.”

Both districts also referred to comments by Dr. Leon Kelly, deputy medical director for El Paso County Public Health, as further basis for the decision to move forward with these plans.

“Looking at recent COVID-19 trends, locally we have begun to see a stabilization and modest decline in cases and hospitalizations,” Kelly said. “Given this information, along with the recent launch of an additional community-based testing site, Public Health supports schools in their efforts to safely plan for return to learn.”

Here is an outline of each district’s plans:


Preschool – grade 5 students began in-person instruction the week of Aug. 17.

Grades 6 – 12 began remote learning after orientations the week of Aug. 17.

For the week of Aug. 17–21:

• Grades PreK – 5: All students in these grades will begin in-person instruction the week of Aug. 17 in a staggered attendance approach, adding grade levels each day that week.

• Grades 6 – 12: Each grade level will report in-person for full-day orientation one day the week of Aug. 17. Students will participate in laptop check-out, small group activities, and meet their teachers. Secondary students will begin with full remote instruction on Monday, Aug. 24. FFC8 has created a Remote Learning Guide for parents and staff to help you understand remote learning processes that may be implemented at any time during the year. The guide will be available on school websites on Friday, Aug. 14.

The goal is to bring students in grades 6 – 12 back for in-person learning Sept. 15 to begin with a hybrid schedule. In a hybrid education model, digital instruction is provided by the teacher(s) on-site from school. On specified days (two days per week), students will report to school to receive in-person instruction from their teacher(s) and special service providers for a scheduled amount of time. Mondays will be scheduled teacher planning and student workdays. Group A students will attend in person Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while Group B works remotely. Group B students will attend in person Thursdays and Fridays, while Group A works remotely. Daily attendance will be taken for all students either engaged remotely or in-person.

Middle school and high school leadership will provide more information soon. The in-person start date for grades 6 – 12 is subject to change based on updated data from EPCPH, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Governor’s Office.


PreK–5th grade students will begin in-person instruction the week of Aug. 24, and 6-12 grade students will begin distance learning on Aug. 24.

● First full day of school: Aug. 24

- Grades PreK–5: All students in these grades will return to in-person learning in a staggered start the week of Aug. 24-28 with extensive health and safety protocols in place including but not limited to hand hygiene, social distancing, wearing masks.

- Grades 6–12: All students in these grades will start with the distance learning model.

The goal is to bring students in grades 6-12 back for in-person learning Sept. 15 to begin with a hybrid learning model. In the hybrid learning model distance learning is provided by the teacher(s) on-site from school. The schedule will be similar to FFC8, with two groups staggered for in-person learning on different days.


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