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Adams 14 and MGT Consulting clash over in-person classes as COVID-19 cases soar

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Adams 14 and MGT Consulting clash over in-person classes as COVID-19 cases soar

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The Adams 14 School District announced Thursday that students will return to class next week, but said the move goes against school and district leaders’ wishes to wait another week before to end virtual learning.

Instead, they said, the management company overseeing the district ordered students and staff to be at school on Tuesday – a notion that MGT Consulting disputes – because the dispute over when to resume the learning in person has only become the last round of the feud between the two.

“This is just one more example of business models that go beyond unprofessionalism and cross the line into revenge,” said Robert Lundin, executive director of communications and special projects for Adams. 14.

Adams 14’s relationship with his state-mandated principal reached a new level of enmity this week after it was revealed that the school board is suing the company for allegedly breaking state laws on public records, voted to end his contract with the company, and sent a notice to MGT Consulting stating that their district manager, Andre Wright, can no longer contact the district or employees.

District officials have even gone so far as to lock Wright down from both his work email and school buildings, according to district emails obtained by the Denver Post.

“The tension over this decision is indicative of a larger issue, which is that the district is again violating the order of the National Board of Education,” Wright said in a statement. “Earlier this week, the superintendent inexplicably revoked my access to district offices. This is the second time in six months that the district has locked MGT out, even though the district has agreed that MGT is the primary partner.

Adams 14 announced on Jan. 7 that the district plans to move all schools to virtual learning for at least a week amid rapidly increasing coronavirus infections in Adams County. The school district, based in Commerce City, has approximately 6,000 students.

The move was not surprising given that the highly contagious omicron variant is increasingly infecting Coloradans, leading to an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Denver metro school officials said they are doing everything possible to keep their buildings open for in-person learning, but also warned parents to be prepared for individual schools or classrooms to be put on hold. line because more and more of their staff are falling ill.

Adams 14 is one of the first districts to move all schools to virtual learning and last week the district told parents it would decide by Thursday whether to stay remote or resume in-person classes.

Adams 14 staff met on Thursday to discuss whether to reopen school buildings next week, ultimately deciding they wanted to wait another week to see what happens with cases and give them more time to develop a system they could use to move individual campuses or classes to distance learning based on specific metrics, such as absenteeism, instead of the entire district.

The decision was supported by district superintendents, and Superintendent Karla Loria asked both the school board and Wright, the MGT superintendent, to approve the recommendation by 3 p.m., Lundin said.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., Lundin emailed the directors saying that “Mr. Wright issued a directive instead that all instructions were to take place in person for the next week or so.” No further explanation was given, ”according to a copy of the email reviewed by The Post.

The newspaper did not see the initial email sent by Wright or MGT Consulting, but another email sent at 4:20 p.m., by an employee of MGT Consulting on behalf of Wright – his email was disconnected – has told district staff that this week was supposed to have been spent putting their plan in place and addressing teachers’ demands related to mitigating the spread of the virus.

“This district has had enough time to do this work and any extra time is having a negative impact on the community,” the email reads. “My recommendation is to return to in-person learning on Monday until further notice.”

Lundin said MGT Consulting’s response was a “directive” the district was required to follow and noted that it came two days after the school board voted for the second time to sever ties with the company. . (After the first time, the State Board of Education forced the district to work with the company and briefly revoked Adams 14 accreditation.)

“We have no idea what the implications will be,” Lundin said. “It is understandable that families feel destabilized and lose self-confidence. Children should not be caught in the crossfire of the adult agenda.

MGT Consulting said it made a recommendation.

“After assessing the current situation at Adams 14, I recommend that schools reopen for in-person learning next week,” Wright said in his statement. “Our schools and offices take many precautions, and in-person learning is essential for students, especially after the disruptions of the past two years.”

At least part of the conflict over whether to resume in-person classes is happening because MGT Consulting’s response came from Wright.

Adams 14 and MGT Consulting clash over in-person classes as COVID-19 cases soar

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