The controversy over the reopening of campuses in the Westminster School District came to the sidewalks and curbs outside the WSD’s central offices on Friday.
A group of several dozen parents and pupils gathered in front of the district administration building on Cedarwood Avenue for two hours at midday, holding up signs for passing motorists and calling for a move away from “distance learning.”
“We want schools open so that our kids can learn in the way that is appropriate for them,” said Erika Paulsen, a parent who organized the protest. “I don’t want to take away online schools for those that need it or want it or it works for them, but for the majority of students, it’s not working for them.
“My kids are behind, the parents that are here, their kids are behind. We’re having to pay for tutors outside of school, just to get our kids educated properly, because they are not getting it online,” she said.
At its Feb. 11 meeting, the WSD board, after a meeting that stretched past midnight, decided to steer away from the original plan to reopen to in-person instruction on Feb. 16 and instead wait until one week after a weighted average of coronavirus test positivity rates in the four zip codes where the district has campuses reaches 8 percent or lower. As of Wednesday, the WSD average is down to 9.69 percent, according to the district website.
In addition to Friday’s demonstration, some of the protesters arranged a “zoom-out” by taking a day or two off from the virtual learning process.
District and board contacts were unavailable for comment as of the writing of this article.
The WSD is a K-8 district with 17 campuses serving most of Westminster and portions of adjacent cities.