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Montezuma-Cortez school superintendent placed on administrative leave, district suspends COVID-19 contact tracing

Montezuma-Cortez RE-1 School District Superintendent Risha VanderWey has been placed on paid administrative leave by the school board. This is a developing story.

In a statement, school board president Sheri Noyes says, "A quorum of highly qualified administrative staff members will assume the superintendent's responsibilities until further notice."

VanderWey's administrative leave is pending her resignation, according to a source in the district who spoke to KSJD News on the condition of anonymity.

The move comes as the district announced it is also suspending COVID-19 contact tracing notifications.

In a separate statement addressed to parents, guardians, and staff, district administration says contact tracing is no longer possible due to delays in test results, high case-numbers in the county, and staff shortages in the district. The district urges parents, guardians and staff to take appropriate measures to prevent transmission of the virus, such as masking, social distancing, and getting vaccinated. It also says they should assume they are "exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual on a daily basis."

Montezuma-Cortez RE-1 School District Administration
A statement sent out to parents, guardians and staff says the Montezuma-Cortez RE-1 School District will suspend COVID-19 contact tracing.

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Lucas is the News Director for KSJD Community Radio. His work focuses on serving the public of the Four Corners with responsible, factual reporting.