Dear Monument Academy Families,

Greetings on this cold snowy day!  I hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and warm.

I wish to follow up with you on our communication from last week.  Although we have had significant numbers of COVID cases come into ours and neighboring areas within El Paso County, we have had very limited transmission within our school.  At the East Campus, we had a confirmed positive with a staff member last Tuesday which prompted us to conduct contact tracing, precautionary quarantines, and other protective measures to ensure we continue to foster as safe an educational environment as possible. As we continued to monitor, we were notified over the weekend and today that we have an additional staff and student who also tested positive.  All three of these positive cases were identified as separate cases that were not transmitted from one to another, as can best be determined through state guidelines and our collaboration with the El Paso County Public Health Department.  This means that each were looked at for “contact exposures” as individualized situations.  The last notification of a positive case at the East Campus was received today and individuals who may need to quarantine as a result of possible exposure are currently being notified.  Also, today, the West Campus had its first positive case of a staff member who was only exposed to one other individual and both are in quarantine.

Thank you to our families for your enduring support as we continue to navigate through the challenges the COVID situation brings to our school and community.  Please know that we have created our in-person and online virtual learning platforms to be fluid so that our families have the ability to choose between in-person and virtual at any given time depending on family decisions and situations.  If your child was not asked to quarantine out of precaution and you would like to have your child stay at home out of extended caution, please know this is completely permissible and supported.

I wish to assure you that we did not suspend school at the East Campus last Wednesday and Thursday because the school became unsafe.  We suspended school so that we could use that time to transition the six quarantined teachers to at-home teaching, and because Administration was utilizing full resources with continued focus on the COVID positive, tracing, and monitoring health and wellness reports. With the short notice and numbers of precautionary quarantines, school operations were unsustainable for those days.  Although precautionary quarantines are a safe practice and medically and legally mandatory, they do not create or reflect unsafe conditions.

Both of our campuses will continue to operate in-person and distance learning options on a normal schedule with a continued and elevated health-watch status.  We remain diligent in our safety protocols for deep cleaning the buildings throughout the day, with sanitization cleanings on Fridays. We are encouraging good hygiene through frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizers, along with practicing our social distancing protocols and requiring face coverings for staff and age-appropriate students.

We ask our staff and families to maintain their partnership with us by self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19, communicating with us, and remaining home if any are experiencing symptoms so we can continue to deliver an excellent education and provide in-person learning in as healthy a school environment as possible.

Christianna Herrera

Chief Operating Officer