LAMAR, Colo. – Lamar Middle School sixth graders will move to online only classes for the next two weeks and give the same option to all seventh- and eighth-grade students after a person at the school who is a close contact of a person positive with COVID-19 started showing symptoms.
Lamar RE-2 district officials sent notice to students and parents on Monday evening – one week after classes started back up on Aug. 10 – with the middle school on a hybrid option. Lamar is in Prowers County in southeastern Colorado – a county which had just 69 confirmed COVID-19 cases since March as of Tuesday.
“Today, we received notification that a close contact of a positive person has COVID-19 symptoms at Lamar Middle School. In accordance with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Colorado Department of Education (CDE), we must quarantine all staff and students this child has been in contact with,” District Superintendent Dave Tecklenburg wrote in the letter.
Tecklenburg wrote that while he was unable to share more details to protect the privacy of the person, the district was working with county health officials.
The middle school and district are among the first in the state that have had to move to contingency measures because of a case among a close contact, though several teachers across the state have also had close contacts or tested positive.
The district serves around 1,460 K-12 students, according to the state, and let each school choose how it would start the year. The middle school started school on Aug. 10 with a hybrid model – with students in-person two days a week and at home two days a week, with two options for 100% remote learning.
While all Lamar Middle School sixth graders will move to online only learning for the next two weeks, seventh and eighth graders can continue going to school though the hybrid model in person, or their parents can move them to remote-only learning as well.
Parents who want to make changes are asked to contact the school at 719-336-7436.
“Our greatest priority is the safety of our students, staff and community members. It is important to remember that children are greatly influenced by the reactions of adults when facing difficult circumstances. I encourage everyone to remain calm and to be empathic and respectful to those affected,” Tecklenburg wrote.
According to the middle school’s plan, students will continue to learn through Google Classroom and Google Meets, with the same class schedule at home, if the school has to be closed.