Governor, State Superintendent recommend school closures
Recommended closures to extend to April 3
March 11, 2020
UPDATED 03/15/2020 6:43 p.m. - Carbon County School District No. 2 schools will be closed from March 16 through April 3, according to Superintendent Jim Copeland.
"We may adjust these dates as we monitor developments," wrote Copeland in a district-wide email on Sunday evening. "I will post updates on the website (crb2.org) and send out e-notes during this time."
According to the email Central Office Staff, Campus Administration, Campus Office Staff and Nursing Staff will report to work as usual on March 16. All other staff, however, will not be required to report until March 17 so that the Administration Team can meet and plan the next steps.
"These are unusual times, but as we come together to decide the best way forward for our District depending on future developments, I have every confidence that all of us will continue to prioritize the safety, health and well-being of our students, staff, families and broader Carbon 2 community," Copeland wrote as he ended the email.
On the afternoon of March 15, Governor Mark Gordon and State Superintendent Jillian Balow issued a press release recommending that all schools in the State of Wyoming remain closed through April 3 due to the increasing concern over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
"This is a recommendation to local superintendents and school boards, who will make the final decisions on closures. Additionally, decisions relating to the requirement for school district staff to report to work remain with local school boards of trustees," read the press release. "Governor Gordon and Superintendent Balow will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments throughout this three-week period, with the goal of getting students back to classrooms as soon as safely possible."
The press release went on to read that the decision was "not necessarily based on epidemiological best practices but is an attempt to allow schools and communities to prepare to operate in a way that mitigates community spread of COVID-19 and minimizes negative economic impacts locally and statewide."
According to the press release, which can be found at https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WYGOV/bulletins/281528b, both Gordon and Balow urge school district leadership to work "within their schools and community to ensure the continuity of learning and essential services as determined locally." Gordon is quoted in the release as saying, "In the midst of this pandemic, communities need the latitude, empowerment and support to make difficult decisions that affect education, economy and essential function. While we safeguard the health of every person, we must also do our best to continue our daily work for the economic security of our state and nation."
Balow is also quoted in the press release about the difficulty of the decision made by her and Gordon.
“Evidence of community spread in Fremont County, two confirmed cases in Sheridan County, and pending tests from across the state have led us to this,” Superintendent Balow said. “Wyoming has over 90,000 square miles where schooling is an essential function in each community – the decision is difficult.”
On Friday afternoon, it was announced by Carbon County School District No. 2 Superintendent Jim Copeland that all school field trips, school dances/gatherings and parent teacher conferences were cancelled or postponed until the end of March.