October 24, 2020

(versión en español)

Dear Telluride School District Families, 


As I see COVID numbers increase around the state, country and world, and as I see the literature and data about what is working and what is not, I am reminded of how much we are doing right as a community and as a school district.  Everyone is working hard, to the point of exhaustion, but we have managed to get through one quarter of the school year with our lower grades in-person the entire time and our older students phased into hybrid learning, and with no positive cases in staff or students.  Many of the recommended best practices coming out in the most recent articles and studies are things we are doing: regular staff testing; maintaining physical distancing; taking a more cautious approach with older students, and more.  We know that we will inevitably be faced with positive cases in our schools, and we are as well prepared for that as we can be, but we still know it will be difficult when it happens.  I have to thank our amazing staff for getting us to this point, and acknowledge that the uncertainty they experience every day, and constant new challenges they face, can seem overwhelming.  I also have to thank our amazing students, as well as our families and community, for their collective effort and support.


Here are some highlights and information:

Monday, October 26, at 5:15pm is our next District Accountability Meeting.  The Agenda will be: 

o Update on Ski PE for this school year

o Update on remote learning in parts of December and/or January

o Other updates from the Superintendent

Zoom Link:


The Telluride Compassion Campaign continues.  Please visit the following link to learn more:

After much discussion and as a result of all of the challenges involved, we will not hold Ski PE this year as a Telluride School District activity.  TSSC will use Wednesday afternoons for club students in Grades 4 and up to train, and will add extra Sundays and holidays for club students in Grades 3 and below.  Our schools will consider other outdoor activities which might be easier to implement with the COVID restrictions we face. 

While the weather has been beautiful for quite some time, I am looking forward to the change which is forecast for the days ahead.  Our tents have now come down off the athletic field; we were fortunate to have them up for the past nine weeks.  Once we get through the next few days of precipitation, we will still plan to set up tables for students to be outside on nicer days, but we are prepared to transition to indoor lunches when necessary, and will also move back to an open campus lunch plan for grades 9-12.

San Miguel County Public Health has sent along the following recommendations surrounding the upcoming Halloween holiday: 

o If you are sick or feeling under the weather at all, please stay home. The safest option to protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19 is to celebrate at home. 

o Trick-or-treat close to home. We strongly recommend staying close to and within walking distance of your home. Coordinate with your family and neighbors to make Halloween extra special while staying close to home.

o Wear a mask. Everybody enjoying Halloween should wear a multi-layer cloth or surgical mask. Costume masks do not protect you or others from COVID-19. Make a protective mask a part of your child’s costume.

o Door-to-door is spooky. If you plan to give out candy, get creative, do so in a way that does not require trick-or-treaters to approach your door. Maintain six feet of distance. Individually wrap treat bags, use a table to distribute treats, slide candy down a slide or toss it instead.

o Avoid buckets of loose candy. Find ways to allow trick-or-treaters to touch only their treats. Line your fence, sidewalk or driveway with treat bags or candy.

SMART will be closing their survey soon and requested I send notice out one more time seeking your input:  For more information please see my communication from last week.

The Colorado Department of Education is looking for input on the following: “Given the impacts of COVID-19, what should be our priority considerations as we recommend adjustments to student state assessments, accountability/accreditation, and educator effectiveness?” You can participate in the CDE COVID-19 Stakeholder Group via the thought exchange survey. This survey is a great way to have district and school staff, community members, and parent groups provide feedback.


San Miguel County’s 14-day Positivity Rate is now at 2.4%, and the 14-day Incidence Rate is now at 122.3 per 100,000 people.  The CO state Ro is at 1.25.  After discussion at last week’s COVID Task Force meeting, I will recommend to the BOE that we remove Ro as a metric on our matrix.  To see the Positivity Rate and Incidence Rate on the newly revised Sam Miguel County Dashboard, go to:

To See Ro, go to:


Please see the chart below for a summary of our TSD staff COVID testing:


Testing Round

#of test results reported

# of positive results

Baseline (8/19-8/20)



Round 1 (8/31-9/11)



Round 2 (9/14-9/25)



Round 3 (9/28-10/9)



Round 4 (10/12-10/23)

120 so far


COVID Check Colorado, the COVID testing service we use for staff testing, continues to expand their services and clientele successfully.  We are investigating whether we can use CCC for testing of symptomatic and exposed students in the future.  Look for more information to come.


Please be well and stay safe!

John Pandolfo


Previous Messages

October 17, 2020 English (versión en español)

October 3, 2020 English (versión en español)

September 30, 2020 English (versión en español)

September 26, 2020 English (versión en español)

September 19, 2020 
English (versión en español)

September 11, 2020  English (versión en español)

September 3, 2020 English (versión en español)

August 27, 2020 English (versión en español)

August 21, 2020 
English (versión en español)

August 14, 2020 English (versión en español)

August 11, 2020 English  (versión en español)

August 5, 2020 English (versión en español)

July 31, 2020 English (versión en español)

July 24, 2020 English (versión en español)

July 17, 2020 English (versión en español)

July 9, 2020  English (versión en español)

July 2, 2020  English (versión en español)


John Pandolfo, Superintendent 

Telluride School District Mission Statement
"Through quality education, our students will achieve personal success." 
As a result of our efforts, students will...

  • Master rigorous academic standards required to meet the challenges of their future.
  • Direct and own their learning through the use of effective tools and processes.
  • Interact globally and contribute locally to improve the human condition and environment.
  • Be ethical and healthy individuals.
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