CREEDE — During the public comment period at the Creede School District Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 21, three members of the public voiced their mounting frustrations with the clarity of school procedures as it relates to COVID-19.
Nina Stieler stated that though there had been communication with the school administration, there were not any direct answers to questions on how the procedures work at the school.
“I had conversations with the District in the last day and though I asked what would happen if my son was in direct contact with someone who could potentially have COVID, no one could tell me what happened next,” Stieler said.
Stieler added that even the Silver Thread Public Health District could not give a direct answer on how the school should handle potential contact only that everything suggested by Public Health was a recommendation.
“No one could tell me what would happen next if my son came in close contact with someone and I still haven’t received a straight answer,” Stieler said.
Clint Leggit also said that the mounting confusion was beginning to wear on parents and students in the District and parents were at a point that they wanted to get a straight answer.
“Protocols for the District are constantly changing," Leggit said. "One day my student can go to school and then we receive a call or email, and it changes. We don’t know what is going on from one day to the next. I also received confirmation from Public Health that everything is a recommendation, but we need to know. We want our student in school.”
Greg Pearson said that he felt the same as the other parents.
“We have got to get this figured out," Pearson said. "You put these protocols in place and then you don’t even give them the chance to work. Someone along the chain of command panics and changes things but we need to stick with our plan. Stick with it until it fails and then look back and see what needs to be fixed but you can’t constantly change it.”
New protocols were put in place at the beginning of the school year and have been confusing to students, teachers and staff.
According to the Principal's report given by John Goss, the past few weeks of school have been exceptional.
“I have been here a long time and have never quite dealt with anything like this," Goss said. "We have had some student withdrawals and we started a search for a teacher that also resigned. We had more than one day where we had five teachers out and only two substitutes.”
Goss said that though the last few weeks have been difficult to navigate, faculty at the school stepped up and beyond to make it through and keep the school running.
“I really have to praise our faculty and staff for stepping out of their comfort zones and helping us get through that week. We do still have a family here,” Goss said.
The District continues to work through the details of its COVID protocols and is open for in-person learning. The district is looking to make appropriate changes to better meet the communication needs of the community. Teachers and staff remain open to inquiries from the general public and continue to offer open-door policies in light of recent confusion.