UPDATE: Frederick High Closed for Rest of School Year

The school year will finish with distance learning and a delayed graduation

Brandon Coon

On Friday, March 13, the first case of COVID-19 appeared in Boulder County and Frederick High closed their doors until it was safe to return. Today, we learned that those doors won’t open again for students until next August. In a message to the community posted Monday evening, District Superintendent Dr. Don Haddad announced that St. Vrain Valley Schools would be moving to online learning for the rest of the school year.

This news is not wholly unexpected: fourteen Front Range school districts have suspended in-person learning for the rest of the school year in the past two weeks. Still, the announcement raises more questions than it answers around postponed events, returning district technology, and dozens of other logistical issues. We reached out to Frederick Principal Brian Young, who said that he will meet digitally with the Frederick staff before answering specific questions around how the rest of the year will work.

Two things are sure from Dr. Haddad’s message: as we reported earlier, Prom is canceled but Graduation will happen. “Due to logistical challenges and safety considerations, we will not be hosting any high school proms this year,” Dr. Haddad wrote. “However, we will continue to support as many opportunities as we can for students to connect with their peers virtually and if possible, through other events later this summer.” Dr. Haddad also provided the new date of Frederick’s graduation: July 25, 2020. “For our graduating seniors and their families, we know how especially disheartening these past few weeks have been, and we want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to honor and celebrate the culmination of your 13 years of hard work,” Dr. Haddad said.

Dr. Haddad’s decision comes in the wake of Governor Jared Polis’s announcement earlier today that all in-person learning in Colorado schools is suspended for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. This decision was part of what Polis calls a shift to “safer at home” instead of stay at home. Nonessential businesses will be able to be staffed at half their normal capacity and retailer stores may resume in-person business this Sunday. However, this doesn’t mean that social distancing is over: dine-in restaurants and venues like theatres and arenas will remain closed for the foreseeable future, citizens are encouraged to keep wearing masks while going out, and gatherings of more than ten people are still banned. These new guidelines come at a time when the infection rate for Colorado has reached a plateau and a significant number of Coloradans want the stay-at-home orders suspended. This past weekend saw dozens of angry citizens break the shelter-at-place laws and form illegal mobs that threatened the Governor to remove the orders and attempted to interfere with the efforts of local hospitals to save lives.

Since this story is just emerging, be sure to check back later in the week to see the Scout‘s coverage of what this decision will mean for Frederick High and the Frederick community in the weeks and months to come.