Dear Parents,

The Vail Governing Board will be holding a special meeting Monday, December 14th. At the meeting I will recommend a temporary transition to remote learning for a three week period for all Vail schools starting Monday, January 4th. This three week period will allow staff, students, and community
members who may have come in contact with the virus during Winter Break a period of time to quarantine before resuming hybrid learning.

There was an increase in staff and students needing to quarantine after both the Fall Break and Thanksgiving Break. This increase often made it very difficult to staff schools. We hope to avoid repeating this situation by providing this temporary period of remote learning. A final decision regarding the transition is pending Board approval on Monday evening. If approved, we plan on resuming hybrid learning on Monday, January 25th. [Editor’s note: this board adopted the above recommendation.]

Navigating the changing conditions of this pandemic is extremely difficult. We will continue to monitor these conditions closely and make adjustments if and when necessary. We also understand that decisions such as this one impact all of you. Please know that they are made from a place of deep care for our students, their families, and our staff.

If you have any questions, please email We greatly anticipate the day when we can resume normal school operations. Together we will overcome these difficult times. Thank you, again, for your continued support. Please have a very safe and happy holiday season.

John Carruth, Superintendent

PS – We also understand the current crisis in hospitals and will make accommodations to support the community by continuing to provide child care through Vail Community Programs and Vail Inclusive Preschool for hospital staff who are parents in the District. Please contact Vail Community Programs at 879-2032 or Vail Inclusive Preschool at 879-1755 for more information.

Dear Editor:

My response to [the superintendent’s] letter that was sent to parents of Vail students on December 13 is as follows:

Many parents have expressed concerns about how poor students have been able to retain information with the online versions of classes. Vail schools are known for a strong educational experience and sadly that experience is being affected by this poor learning model. So far, with the flood of emails we get from teachers, principals, and superintendent no one has talked about how these backward steps aregoing to be remedied in the future.

John Rodriguez

Dear Editor:

I am responding to Heidi Martell’s recent complaint about hybrid learning and endangering our children. This is simply not true. Reported in a recent parish bulletin was a breakdown of the current cases in Pima County. Even though the case numbers are high at this time, we must consider the numbers in the context of what occurred and how many died:

”Looking at Pima County COVID-19 cases effective 12/2/2020, the positive cases were 39,859. Of those cases, sadly, 691 died from Covid-19 or related complications. While every life matters, the death counts have gone down drastically from the early months of the pandemic. We are moving on a positive trajectory regarding how we are mitigating the spread of Covid-19 and the overall death of this terrible disease. Since the numbers may be fluid, I will use an absolute value for our purposes. If we take the death versus positivity rate in Pima County, we see that the percentage of death is low and that should give us hope. (691 deaths/39,859 positive cases =0.01733) Only 1.733% of those infected with Covid-19 have died. Additionally, we can compare these figures to the overall population of Pima County. (39,859 positive cases/1,000,047 total population =.0398) This shows we have about a 4% chance of being infected with Covid-19 in Pima County. We can also look at the death rate versus population: 691 deaths/1,000,047 population = .00069097. Only .069% of the Pima County population have died from Covid-19.”

What about children? Andrew Bostom showed that in spite of nearly 70,000 reported COVID-19 virus cases across 50 U.S. colleges and universities, there were only 3 hospitalizations and zero deaths: Similar numbers have been reported for America’s K-12 schools. Data from Europe shows that school kids were in little or no danger from the virus. City Journal reported: ”For young students, the risk of dying from COVID-19 is lower than the risk of dying from the flu, and researchers have repeatedly found that children do not easily transmit the virus to adults. The clearest evidence comes from Sweden, which did not close elementary or junior high schools during the spring COVID-19 wave, and which did not reduce class sizes or encourage students and teachers to wear face masks.” According to Swedish economists who analyzed records of COVID-19 infections and medical treatment for the entire Swedish population, not a single child died.

This proves kids are very safe returning to the classroom. We wouldn’t consider doing all this for a flu season so why the hysteria in sending kids to school? Let’s go with the facts and the science and leave behind the fear.

Mary Tanberg


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