LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus and Online Learning


Ava Svolos and Henry Larson

5:25pm(4/30/20): Fairview’s grading system for online learning was altered to the district-wide grading policy, allowing students to work with teachers for a pass/no grade system. According to the policy, the default is that assignments will be graded and attendance is based on completion. Students who have trouble completing assignments may talk to their teacher and they should “lead with grace and understanding.”


4:56pm(4/24/20): Boulder county, along with Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson County extended the stay-at-home order to May 8th, allowing non-critical businesses to begin curbside delivery.


1:07pm(4/24/20): Principal Stensrud said that Fairview will transition to a pass/no grade system for the spring semester after announcing that all finals will be cancelled on Thursday. However, if students want to have letter grades, they will give you the option to ask for it.

“We are going to allow kids to […] tell their counselor ‘I want to have letter grades,” said Stensrud. “Kids can have the choice between pass or no grade or have a letter grade. The letter grade would be based on whatever your grade was pre-pandemic and if you’ve been an active participant, your grade is what you had when you left back in March.”

The grades could potentially go up if the student does every assignment and shows perfect attendance. The teachers will determine if the grade should rise for each student. An email from Stensrud outlining the grading system will go out to families on Monday.

“We don’t want to have anybody get hurt by a grade or not have the ability to pull it up,” said Stensrud.


3:57pm(4/23/20): Fairview High School has cancelled its finals, per an email from Principal Stensrud today.

“We believe that while Home Learning continues, students engaging with their teachers and completing the tasks assigned to them should be the determining factor for our students’ final grades, rather than an assessment that we cannot guarantee will be delivered to students in an equitable way,” said Stensrud.


8:06pm(4/20/20): Following Jared Polis’ press conference, BVSD suspended in-person learning for the rest of the school year. Superintendent Dr. Anderson said in the email that BVSD is committed to holding graduation ceremonies this year, with Fairview’s tentatively scheduled for Thursday, July 23rd. On May 1st and 15th, school Principals will hold a meeting with students and parents about going forward with a graduation ceremony. Spring sports will not resume, and more information about picking up belongings will come from each school shortly. Food distribution will continue until July 16th.


4:29pm(4/20/20): In a press conference Monday, Jared Polis did not extend the stay-at-home order, but stated new regulation for businesses. Retailers may re-open May 1st, and businesses on May 4th. State epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said that it is still necessary that we practice social distancing and wear masks in public to not overflow hospitals. Schools will remain closed to follow social distancing at a level of 65%, rather than the previous 75% to 85%.


1:07pm(4/16/20): BVSD officials and students offered opinions on a Google Meet meeting about plans for a Graduation ceremony. The overwhelming majority agreed that if possible, an in-person ceremony would be the best, even if it is in August. Additionally, students suggested that for future meetings, the discussions should be limited to individual schools, as different schools are subject to different circumstances, such as class size.


7:27pm(4/14/20):The BVSD Board of Education met on Tuesday to discuss the progress that has been made since Jared Polis extended the stay-at-home order to April 26th. If you didn’t watch, here’s some things to know:

  • All High Schools have adopted a grading system for home learning that assures that grades can not go down after an investigation of the individual student’s situation. This consists of consulting the teacher, the school Principal, and the engagement specialist. Any questions about this system should go to the individual school Principals.
  • Some employees have been infected with COVID-19
  • 71,000 meals total have been distributed to families in need, as well as $250,000 raised from donors
  • 7 schools will be closed for the rest of the school year due to the BOND work being slowed down by the lowered workforce and material deliveries. The idea is to get the projects done by August 1st.
  • Not all students who needed Chromebooks have received them, but the IT department has started a “IT Prime” service, where they deliver Chromebooks and even hotspots to individual families.
  • On the topic of Graduation, Superintendent Rob Anderson said, “We have a meeting tomorrow with students and parents to talk about ways that as a district we can collectively celebrate the Class of 2020. We’re continuing to look at how we might be able to do in-person ceremonies, my preference certainly would be to do an in-person ceremony in some way shape or form over the summer versus a virtual ceremony.”


8:35am(4/13/20):An email sent from Principal Stensrud on Sunday stated that Graduation will be postponed to either July or early August.  The ideal outcome is an in-person Graduation ceremony, if allowed.

“We will get it done,” the email said.


5:00pm(4/10/20): Principal Stensrud reportedly met with other principals across the district to discuss their plans for the future of grading. Some administrators at Fairview have called for a move to a pass/fail system.


6:39pm(4/6/20): Governor Jared Polis extended the stay-at-home order to April 26th, in an address to the state on Monday. This is 16 days after the prior expiration date, but Polis remains hopeful.  Polis encouraged people to follow social distancing protocols. He also advised wearing a cloth mask when going outside.

“We need to take bold action,” he said in the address. “The data and the science tell us that staying at home is our best chance, our only realistic chance, to avoid a catastrophic loss of life.”


10:15am(4/5/20): BVSD Superintendent Rob Anderson released a statement saying that he will not make a decision about whether or not to close schools for the rest of the year.

“All signals point to traditional school being over for this school year, but knowing the value of in-person instruction, especially for our most vulnerable students, we will remain hopeful that some level of in-person learning will be possible before the end of the school year on May 21,” he said in a prepared statement.


12:16am(4/3/20): Schools in the Denver area will be closed for the rest of the academic year. Boulder county has yet to follow suit, but a decision will be made soon.

“A decision has not been made. We have a meeting with leadership later this afternoon to discuss,” said Randy Barber, Director of Communications for BVSD. Here is the list of schools that will continue online learning for the rest of the school year as of now:

27J Schools
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Adams 14 Schools
Aurora Public Schools
Cherry Creek School District
Clear Creek School District
Denver Public Schools
Douglas County Schools
Englewood Schools
Jeffco Public Schools
Littleton Public Schools
Mapleton Public Schools
Sheridan School District 2
Westminster Public Schools


10:00am(4/3/20): BVSD has asked teachers to switch off of Zoom video conferencing, according to Principal Stensrud in an email to teachers yesterday. Zoom has undergone data privacy investigations as it has become more popular due to the transition to online education and work. All Fairview teachers will now be using Google Hangouts for their digital “office hours.”


2:55am(4/1/20): School closures will extend until at least April 30th, announced Governor Polis. “Colorado children will not fall behind academically,” he said at a press conference n Wednesday. Critics in school districts have begin to raise concerns about the effectiveness of online learning, due to complications in home life and self isolation. Previously, Polis had ordered a school closure until the 17th.


12:05am(4/1/20): BVSD has canceled all graduations across the district in May, with the hope of moving them to the summer. CU had previously canceled their in-person graduation this year, along with all other large gatherings.


10:07am(4/1/20): Schoology is yet again malfunctioning, making it difficult for students to access instruction and complete online assignments. According to the email from Fairview administration, students should keep refreshing their pages while Schoology tries to fix the issue.


3:06pm(3/31/20): Mayor of Denver Michael Hancock extended the stay at home order for Denver to April 30th, to combat the spread of COVID-19.


11:30am(3/31/20): Fairview administrators are reportedly considering a pass/fail system for the remainder of the school year, as it looks more and more unlikely that Fairview students will return to the building by the end of the spring.


9:00am(3/31/20): Teachers report that BVSD has instructed them that “no student’s grade will drop.” The move comes to hopefully help students ease into online learning as the COVID-19 situation worsens around the globe. However, teachers have not been restricted to a specific grading policy as of yet.


11:00am(3/30/20): Fairview administration sent an email informing students that Schoology is now working as of 10:52 A.M. They will continue to oversee the condition to communicate any further information.


9:40am(3/30/20): At 9 A.M. on March 30, students received an email from BVSD IT notifying them that Schoology, one of the instruction platforms being used for distance learning, went down.

Later, Principal Don Stensrud sent an email stating that they will inform students as soon as they get more information, and said to be patient, as “this is a learning experience for everyone.”


This is a developing story. Check back for updates.