RAWLINS – Rawlins High School will turn to virtual education to start the next school week as Carbon County School District No. 1 deals with concerns about student and staff health during the coronavirus pandemic. RHS classes will be virtual on Monday and Tuesday, and all athletics and school activities will be suspended until at least Nov. 30, according to Superintendent Mike Hamel.

A press release noted that virtual education could potentially expand to other schools.

“However, at this time, Rawlins High School is experiencing a higher impact than other schools, so this intervention is being isolated at that location. Parents and staff should be prepared that this could change should health circumstances change,” the release said.

The stated goal of the district during the ongoing pandemic continues to be to protect the health and safety of our students and staff so they can keep schools open.

“Safety protocols implemented across the district have been effective in substantially reducing transmissions at school/work for students and staff. However, our communities, and the schools within them, have recently experienced a significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases which is impacting both our students’ and staffs’ health and safety,” Hamel said a in a press release.

He noted the impact is different from school to school, so administrators will take some universal steps across the district while simultaneously providing more specific steps at individual schools as necessary.

“We are hopeful to be able to keep our schools open, but in order to try and meet this goal more protective action is required to try and curb the upward trend of the virus in our district at this time,” Hamel said.

In conjunction and consultation with Carbon County Public Health and the Carbon County No. 1 Board of Trustees, the superintendent announced:

— All after school athletics and activities will be suspended until at least Nov. 30, 2020.

— Rawlins High School will have virtual education days on Monday, Nov. 23, and Tuesday, Nov. 24. Staff will still be at RHS teaching remote lessons and will be available to help provide individual assistance to students recently clearing quarantine who may need additional supports getting caught up with their studies.

— Meals will still be available for RHS students. Details on this will be forthcoming in a later update.

— The school district will re-evaluate the number of new cases, and whether or not they are connected to current known clusters, and may implement virtual education days for Rawlins High School on Thursday and Friday as well.

— Officials will re-evaluate health trends between now and the week of Nov. 23 to determine whether athletic and activity practices and events can resume on Nov. 30 or whether this temporary suspension of athletics and activities will be extended.

“Again, these steps are being taken with the goal of being able to better protect the health and safety of our students and staff so we will be able to keep our schools open. Please remember to use all appropriate precautions in terms of wearing a face covering, maintaining at least 6 feet distance from people in social settings, and frequently washing your hands. Should you or any family member experience any COVID-19 related symptoms (cough, sore throat, fever, runny nose, body aches, headache or fogginess, tightness in your chest, or recent loss of taste and/or smell) please consult with your family health care provider immediately,” the press release stated.

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