Roughly 4,000 Castle Rock students learning virtually amid quarantines, sub shortage

Teacher quarantines, substitute shortage force the switch to virtual learning

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Two high schools in Castle Rock will switch to virtual learning for two weeks as COVID-19 quarantines keep teachers out of the classroom and the school district struggles to maneuver a substitute teacher shortage amid the pandemic.

The Douglas County School District notified both Douglas County High School and Castle View High School that students will learn virtually for two weeks beginning on Sept. 28.

Letters sent to each school community on Sept. 25 said the transition was primarily because the number of positive COVID-19 cases at each school resulted in “quarantines involving a large number of staff members.”

The pool of available substitute teachers is limited, the letters said.

A spokeswoman said approximate enrollment at Douglas County High School is 1,800 students and at Castle View High School is 2,200 students.

The transition will also run into fall break, meaning students won't return to in-person learning until Oct. 19. Athletic activities will continue as scheduled and follow CHSAA guidelines.

Earlier in the week, the district also transitioned Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch to virtual learning under similar circumstances. Mountain Vista's enrollment is approximately 2,300. 

The Douglas County School District opened the 2020-21 school year on a “hybrid” learning model, where students attend school with a mix of in-person and online learning.

The district plans to bring elementary schools back to full, in-person learning in October, although principals have told school board directors that would be impossible to do at the high school level while also maintaining social distancing.

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