Adams 14, management company clash over return to in-person classes amid COVID surge

Adams 14 school district announced Thursday that students will return to the classroom next week, but made clear that the decision was against school and district leaders’ wishes to wait another week before ending virtual learning.

Instead, they said, the management company overseeing the district directed students and staff to be at school on Tuesday – a notion that MGT Consulting disputes – as the conflict over when to resume in-person learning has become just the latest round in the feud between the two.

“This is just one more example of patterns of activity that go beyond being unprofessional and that crosses the line into vengefulness,” said Robert Lundin, executive director of communications and special projects for Adams 14.

The relationship between Adams 14 and its state-mandated manager reached a new degree of enmity this week after it was revealed the school board is suing the company for allegedly violating state public record laws, voted to end its contract with the firm, and sent a notice to MGT Consulting stating that its manager for the district, Andre Wright, can no longer contact the district or employees.

District officials even went so far as to lock Wright out of both his work email and school buildings, according to district emails obtained by The Denver Post.

“The tension over this decision is indicative of a larger problem, which is that the district is violating the order of the State Board of Education — again,” Wright said in a statement. “Earlier this week, the superintendent inexplicably revoked my access to the district offices. This is the second time in six months that the district has locked out MGT, even though the district has agreed that MGT is the lead partner.”

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Adams 14 announced on Jan. 7  that the district planned to move all schools to virtual learning for at least a week amid a rapid increase in coronavirus infections in Adams County. The school district, based in Commerce City, has about 6,000 students.

The move wasn’t surprising given the highly contagious omicron variant is infecting more and more Coloradans, leading to a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. School officials across the Denver metro have said they are doing everything they can to keep their buildings open for in-person learning, but also warned parents to be prepared for individual schools or classes to go online as more of their staff are becoming sick.

Adams 14 is one of the first districts to move all schools into virtual learning and last week the district told parents that it would decide by Thursday on whether to remain remote or to resume in-person classes.

Adams 14 staff met on Thursday to discuss whether to reopen school buildings next week, ultimately deciding they wanted to wait another week to see what happens with cases and to give them more time to develop a system they could use to move individual campuses or classes to remote-learning based on specific metrics, such as absenteeism, instead of the entire district.

The decision was supported by the district’s …read more

Source:: The Denver Post


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