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Superintendent Letter: haga clic aquí para la carta en español

July 27, 2021

Dear TSD Families,

I hope that this letter finds you well, and that you have enjoyed the two month reprieve since my last letter.  While we have all taken some much needed time for rest and relaxation, the school district has also been hard at work with facilities rentals and repairs, as well as wrapping up the previous school year and preparing for the upcoming one.  While there is much information to share, I will keep this first message relatively brief and focus on a few areas where I know there are questions. 

  1. For the upcoming school year, early release day will move back to Tuesdays.
  2. We plan to be back to our normal Ski PE schedule this winter, although specific dates are still to be determined.
  3. The district will not offer a 100% remote option for the upcoming school year.This decision has been made after reviewing the requirements and restrictions the state of Colorado has put on 100% online programs, which is in turn based on the state’s goal of getting students back to in-person learning.For all detailed guidance on remote learning go to: http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdefinance/auditunit_pupilcount
  4. Recent guidance has come out both from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) for schools related to mask use, quarantine requirements, COVID testing, and vaccinations.We will continue to work with San Miguel County Public Health (SMCPH) to interpret these guidelines as we make decisions on school operation.Conditions and guidance continue to be dynamic.While I wish I could state definitively exactly how we will start the school year and what will happen after that, the reality is that we still need to be prepared for things to change at any point.What I am listing below is how we plan to start the school year based on current conditions, but if the next three weeks is anything like the last three weeks, that may need to change.
  • Mask Use at School and on Buses
    • Grades 7-12: As this age group is eligible for vaccination, and our county vaccination rate is high (approaching 90%), masks will not be required at school for this grade span.Masks will be available and encouraged for students who are more comfortable wearing them, as well as for those students who are not vaccinated.This is aligned with CDC and CDPHE guidance.Masks will also not be required for athletics for this grade span unless requirements from CHSAA, CDC, or CDPHE change.While we do not foresee that we will need to change this requirement, if local, state, or federal guidelines change we may need to change along with them.
    • Grades PreK-6:As this age group is not eligible for vaccination, masks will still be required for this grade span.This is aligned with CDE and CDPHE guidance.If this age range becomes eligible for vaccination, then we will consider removing the mask requirement after a reasonable period when students have had a chance to get vaccinated.
    • Buses:Per federal requirements, masks will still be required for all students and adults on buses, with no exceptions, regardless of age.
  • Quarantine Requirements: Per the recent CDPHE guidance, Colorado is taking the position that if a community has a high vaccination rate (which San Miguel County does), then quarantines will not be required for typical classroom exposures.We plan to follow this guidance (realizing like everything it may change).Like last year, we will work with SMCPH to interpret this guidance on a case by case basis.It goes without saying that all positive and symptomatic students and staff will need to stay home.
  • COVID Testing: Our understanding is that the state of Colorado will provide for free student testing to be in place again this year.While we are still waiting for confirmation and details related to this, we plan to put student testing in place as follows:
    • Grades PreK-6: We will provide bi-weekly (and possibly weekly) testing for all students who have parent permission on file.We will likely need to collect new permission forms.
    • Grades 7-12: We will not plan to do regular testing, but will have testing available upon request for students who have parent permission on file.
  • Vaccinations:There is currently no federal or state guidance which requires COVID vaccination for school attendance, nor is there federal or state guidance which requires us to collect information on which students have been vaccinated for COVID (or not).Based on that, we have no plans to monitor the vaccination status of students.If SMCPH requires this information as part of contact tracing they might request it, and if state or federal guidelines change to require COVID vaccinations or to require vaccination status then we will comply as required.

Below are links to the federal and state guidance websites:


I apologize that my first letter for the new school year is largely COVID focused.  There are so many things we are excited about related to our move back toward normal operation, but that information will need to be shared in future messages.  Please look for continued information in the upcoming weeks.



John Pandolfo


Please go to About TSD --> Superintendent  for previous communication from Superintendent John Pandolfo.


John Pandolfo

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