LARAMIE – Albany County School District No. 1 has scheduled a Friday school board meeting to decide whether schools will remain closed for the remainder of the year and what that will mean for the community.
Superintendent Jubal Yennie said in a Wednesday meeting that he will recommend schools remain closed and that the district will continue with its virtual learning model through May 29.
If the Gov. Mark Gordon issues a decision before Friday to keep schools closed for the rest of the year, the board has already given Yennie authority to confirm that decision, and the school board will not need to meet again Friday to discuss the issue.
Yennie said that he does not know whether there will be a recommendation from Gov. Mark Gordon to extend existing health orders beyond April 30, or just a determination that Wyoming is in phase one of the White House’s three-phase plan to re-open the country. That plan states that schools should remain closed through phase one.
Sweetwater County School District No. 1’s board voted last Friday to keep their schools closed for the rest of the year.
Yennie said that the general consensus among educators seems to be that it would be “very difficult – quite honestly probably impossible” to move from a virtual learning model to a transitioning model that honors social distancing in classrooms and includes procedures and equipment that allow schools do things like provide masks and take temperatures of everybody who enters the building.
“From my standpoint, I think that would be irresponsible for our community to move forward in that direction,” he said.
Board member Nate Martin asked if anyone was aware of any push from the community to reopen schools.
“I haven’t heard anybody say that to me,” board member Jason Tangeman said. “Not one person.”
Yennie said he has not seen an outpouring of concern either way, estimating that he has received a total of less than 10 emails on the subject – none asked that schools be reopened.
Board chair Janice Marshall said she did receive a request to reopen from one person – a student – but that she agrees that staying closed is the right path.