February 22, 2020
Dear Weld Re-8 Community,
As of yesterday, District Administration received notice that over eighty (80) Weld Re-8 licensed staff will not report to work on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Currently, this means that almost 45% of our teacher workforce will not be present to staff our schools, and we expect that number of absences to increase. Even with requesting as many substitutes as possible, we will not be able to run academic programs or provide a safe number of staff members to supervise students on March 19. For that reason, we will be canceling school for all students on Thursday, March 19.
Though students will not be present, this will still be a Work Day in the District for employees who are not using their annual leave. As a reminder, Friday March 20, 2020 is already a non-student contact day with the District closed for the start of Spring Break.
To bring attention to pressing funding issues at the State level, Thursday, March 19 has been designated as a Day of Action with a March on the State Capitol. According to materials distributed by the Colorado Education Association (CEA), educators are being encouraged to rally at our State Capitol because “Colorado students deserve a fully funded education system and educators who can afford to stay in the profession.” Additionally, CEA cites specific areas that they are intentionally targeting: “Securing a living wage for educators, passing an initiative for a statewide ballot issue in 2020 to fix the broken education funding system, and eliminating the Budget Stabilization Factor (formerly known as the Negative Factor) by 2022.” As a point of information, Weld Re-8 Schools has lost almost $21 million dollars due to the Budget Stabilization/Negative Factor since 2010. We have been informed that teachers in other Districts throughout our state will also participate in this Day of Action though it is possible not all Districts will be affected by absences to the same degree that we will experience in Weld Re-8. More information about this event is available on CEA’s website at https://www.coloradoea.org/.
We understand that this unexpected change is inconvenient for families. Please know we exhausted all resources before deciding to cancel school for students. We appreciate your support in this matter, and our intention in providing this notification now is to allow for families to plan for this change.
With the lost day of attendance for students on March 19, 2020, we will be adding Monday, April 27, 2020 as a student attendance day at all schools in Weld Re-8. Currently, that day is a non-student attendance day with a Professional Development Day for staff. We appreciate your understanding.