The move is not unexpected, but more Mesa County students are going to be learning from home for a while.

Mesa County Valley School District 51 announced Friday several middle schools are switching to remote learning - at least until Thanksgiving. It was previously announced that all Mesa County high schools would transition to remote learning on November 16.

In a statement, the school district said the decision to move schools to remote learning came "after considering the amount of positive cases and students and staff in quarantine impacting each middle school."

Here is the list of schools being impacted by the decision and will move to remote learning beginning Monday, November 16.

* Bookcliff Middle School
* East Middle School
* Grand Mesa Middle School
* Mount Garfield Middle School
* Orchard Mesa Middle School
* Redlands Middle School
* West Middle School

The statement indicated Fruita Middle School would continue with in-person learning because they have not been as heavily impacted by positive COVID cases and quarantines.

Meanwhile, high school students at Gateway will move to remote learning on Monday while the middle school and elementary students will continue with in-person learning.

At this point, all Mesa County elementary schools are continuing with in-person learning, but that could change. The school district says elementary school situations are being considered on a case-by-case basis and it's possible some classes or grades could be temporarily switched to remote learning if necessary.

The school district has indicated their hope and intention to have all students back in the classroom immediately after Thanksgiving. A final decision on that will be made no later than November 25 and will be communicated to parents.

Local residents may recall what happened a year ago at this time when Mesa County schools were dismissed early for the Thanksgiving holiday break because of a major influenza outbreak. At least in this situation, students are able to continue the learning process while the school district grapples with the pandemic.

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