BVSD Cancels School Until End of Spring Break, COVID-19 Case Appears in Boulder


Henry Larson

An abandoned bike lies outside Fairview High School. BVSD just announced it is closing schools.

Henry Larson and Ava Svolos

Tomorrow, Superintendent Anderson is holding a press conference with officials from the Boulder County Department of Health. We’ll be there, and we’ll cover it live.

Boulder Valley School District is closing all schools beginning March 13th through Spring Break, which ends March 29th.

“For the next two weeks, this is much like a snow day. It will be a closure without educational services. So for students, it will be essentially a break. And then, following that, towards the end of the break we will be ascertaining what the situation is, really working with our health department partners and try to determine, is it safe to bring students back or do we need to continue in an extended closure at that point,” said Chief Communications Officer, Randy Barber. 

“Obviously, when you give students time off, we don’t want to be presumptive to guess how they might use that time, but we certainly encourage and the entire purpose of this is to try to protect out students, so, to the extent possible, we would encourage students to not meet in large groups, and look for ways to socially distance,” he continued.

In an announcement to all BVSD families and students, Superintendent Rob Anderson said, “Today, we were informed by Boulder County Public Health that a person in Boulder County has tested positive for COVID-19 and came in contact with others in the community while sick.”

CDPHE, and Boulder County Public Health, have not publicly reported a case in Boulder Valley. It is unclear what the location is exactly.

“After further conversations with public health, we have decided it is time to take extraordinary measures to protect the health and wellness of our students, staff and community,” he continued.

According to the email, buildings will remain open during normal school hours to pick up personal items, but classes will not continue.

“We regret the impact this will have on our families. We hope that the closure ends quickly so that we can be back to learning in our school environments. We will be sharing additional information regarding online learning and other updates next week,” said Anderson.

The email also stated that further information regarding at-home learning will be announced within the coming days.

Aurora Public Schools, Denver Public Schools, Brighton’s school district and the Cherry Creek School District are going on an “extended spring break,” according to the Denver Post.

Aurora, Brighton and Cherry Creek will close starting Monday, and through March 27th.

Denver will close Monday through April 6th.

The night of the 12th, CU Boulder was alerted about an employee who has received a presumptive positive test for the coronavirus, according to the university’s twitter account and a message sent to employees. People who have been in contact with this employee have been asked to stay at home for 14 days, as per CDC guidelines.

Previously, the university had moved to online classes to try and limit spread of COVID-19. All International and domestic trips were cancelled, but the school doors and facilities remain open to students.

Earlier on the 12th, in a communication to the BVSD community, Superintendent Dr. Rob Anderson announced that “all activities, including spring sports, performances and other gatherings, will be canceled through April 6.”

This will be in effect starting Friday, March 13th, and is put in place for all BVSD and CHSAA. Practices and competitions for today will continue.

Additionally, all CHSAA music festivals are cancelled through April 6th.

“This action will help reduce exposure to our students and staff and allow our custodial teams to focus on cleaning classrooms and other common areas, as well as conserve cleaning materials,  which are becoming hard to secure, as many of you are likely experiencing,” said Anderson.

Clue, the school play, will hold one show tonight. Those who purchased tickets to the Friday or Saturday shows will be allowed to attend. However, there isn’t enough room for everyone.

“We’re going to have to turn people away, which really bums me out,” said Technical Coordinator Sarah Halstead.

Chief Communications Officer Randy Barber said he understands the disappointment that these cancellations bring.

“We realize and we regret the impact that this will have on our students, it is not an easy decision, and  I will say we really grappled with it today in deciding, knowing that we have several music and plays and performances that are coming up this weekend, like tonight, we have a lot going on just right this minute,” he said.

“We know that those are things that you worked hard on, that you were looking forward to, the reason for doing that is to protect students and keep them healthy but at the same time I want them to know that we don’t do this lightly, we understand the impact and we regret it.”

BVSD officials have also discussed directly communicating to students directly, rather than going through the parent channel.

“We are definitely having conversations about when is the right time to communicate to students, at this time we have been mostly communicating […] to parents about this outside of social media, so this is something that we’re working on,” said Barber. 

The communication about school closures was sent to all students and families.


For the latest information about COVID-19, visit the CDPHE’s website.