Districts 2, 11 to offer free meals for kids 

Southeast Colorado Springs students will continue to get free meals through Spring Break, Harrison School District 2 announced Monday.  In addition, more than 1,000 boxes of pantry staples are headed to five D2 schools for distribution on Tuesday.

Harrison students up to 18 years old may get a free bagged breakfast and lunch between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., at the following locations:

  • Sierra High School, 2250 Jet Wing Drive;
  • Fox Meadow Middle School, 1450 Cheyenne Meadows Road;
  • Centennial Elementary School, 1860 S. Chelton Road;
  • Stratmoor Hills Elementary School, 200 Loomis Ave.;
  • Stratton Meadows Elementary School, 610 Brookshire Ave.; and
  • Turman Elementary School, 3245 Springnite Drive.

On Tuesady, March 24, the district will also host a food distribution event for families and residents. The distribution is slated for 10 a.m. to noon at Sierra high, and at Centennial, Stratmoor Hills, Stratton Meadows and Turman elementaries.

Starting Monday, March 30, meals will be available at every D2 school between 10 a.m. and noon.

District 11, meanwhile, is offering kids two bagged meals from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. East and Southeast-area pick-up sites include:

  • Mitchell High School, 1205 Potter Drive;
  • Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy, 4220 E. Pikes Peak Ave.; and
  • Mann Middle School, 1001 E. Van Buren St.

That matters because in the 11,500-student D-2, some 8,674 youths — about 75 percent — are eligible for free or reduced lunch this year, according to the Colorado Department of Education. In District 11, some 14,867 students — roughly 57 percent of its 26,040-child population — qualify.

** Related content: D2, 11 announce two-week closure **
** CHSAA suspends springs sports, activities **

Both districts are closed until April 17 in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. In addition, the Colorado High School Activities Association announced it would suspend all spring sports and activities through at least April 18.

“The decision to close our school district was extremely difficult, but it was made out of an abundance of caution and in consultation with superintendents throughout El Paso County,” D11 Superintendent Michael Thomas said in a letter posted on the district website. “We know closing our schools will have a significant impact on our families, but we also believe strong, urgent action must be taken to prevent the spread of this disease and to protect lives.

“We are facing an unprecedented public health crisis in our community.”

You can read Thomas’ statement in its entirety here.

In a letter to District 2 parents, Co-Superintendents Wendy Birhanzel and John Rogerson emphasized that there were no reported cases of COVID-19 among students or staff. They encouraged family members to not panic, but to practice good personal and respiratory hygiene, and to avoid going to work or sending their students to school if sick, among other virus-curbing efforts. You can read their note to the community here.

“The health and safety of our students, staff and visitors will always remain our number one priority as we work with the community to mitigate the impact of challenges created by COVID-19,” the superintendents wrote.

For updates on the district closures, visit the Harrison School District 2 website, the Colorado Springs School District 11 site or follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Keep watching for updates on this developing story.

Play it safe
The following are some simple steps you can take to help reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the novel COVID-19 virus:
  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. You may also sneeze or cough into your inner elbow or sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick and keep children home if they are ill.
  • Clean surfaces in your home or office, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
  • Be calm and prepared. For Federal Emergency Management Agency guidance, click here. To access the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on preparing your household for COVID-19, click here. The Colorado Division of Environmental Health & Sustainability offers cleaning guidance for COVID-19 in English, in Spanish, in simplified Chinese and in Vietnamese.

Founding Editor and General Manager Regan Foster holds dual bachelor's degrees in journalism and Spanish, with a minor in Latin American studies, from the University of Iowa and a master's degree in journalism with specialization in political reporting and media management from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Over the course of nearly two decades, she has worked and lived in Alaska, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois and Colorado. Before being tasked with launching the Southeast Express, Foster was the youngest person and first woman ever hired to serve as The Pueblo Chieftain's editorial page editor, where she also worked as both the entertainment editor and the Life editor.


Founding Editor and General Manager Regan Foster holds dual bachelor's degrees in journalism and Spanish and a master's degree in journalism with specialization in political reporting and media management.