El Paso County Educational Community COVID Recovery Town Hall to be held Aug. 4

The Aug. 4 event will discuss how K-12 schools and higher education institutions can safely reopen in the fall.

Colorado education leaders and local media are invited to the El Paso County Educational Community COVID Recovery Town Hall, an interactive panel discussion on how COVID-19 has affected education and how K-12 schools and higher education can safely reopen in the fall.

A panel of health and education leaders from the Pikes Peak region will offer a moderated Q&A, discuss the latest updates on COVID-19 guidelines and share how schools and universities can reopen safely. Valerie Martin Conley, dean of the UCCS College of Education, will moderate the panel discussion. Audience members may submit questions to be answered through the live chat.

The town hall will take place Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Panelists will speak at the Shockley-Zalabak Theatre in the UCCS Ent Center for the Arts. To adhere to social distancing protocols, attendees are invited to tune into the event livestream. Register here.

The panelists include:

  • Dr. Michael Roshon, chief of medical staff, Penrose-St. Francis
  • Dr. Robin Johnson, medical director, El Paso County Health
  • Dr. Michael Thomas, superintendent, Colorado Springs School District 11
  • Erika Tunson, principal, Monterey Elementary, Harrison School District 2
  • Joel Ellis, secondary English teacher, Simla High School
  • Cory Notestine, executive director of student success and wellness, Colorado Springs School District 11
  • Susan Payne, K-12 school districts and higher education liaison, El Paso County Emergency Coordination Center
  • Christopher Noll, director of athletics, activities and physical education, Colorado Springs School District 11
  • Marigny Klaber, epidemiologist, El Paso County
  • Chip Benight, director, National Institute for Human Resilience
  • Tom Christensen, provost, UCCS
  • Nate Gibson, athletics director, UCCS
  • Stephanie Hanenburg, executive director of health and wellness, UCCS

Panelist lineup is subject to change.

Topics to be discussed include:

Health and Safety

  • Health, wellness and resiliency
  • A COVID vaccine and whether or not antibody testing is effective
  • Student hospitalizations
  • Outbreak management, including testing and tracing capabilities, isolation and quarantines in the school setting
  • At-risk populations
  • Distinguishing COVID from the winter flu and other common illness
  • El Paso County variance plans
  • How long the pandemic could go on


  • Opportunities for education innovation in a COVID world
  • Instructional delivery methods for the fall
  • Exploring challenges and successes with online instruction
  • New protocols and procedures to keep classrooms safe
  • The challenges and advantages of remote learning
  • Student access to resources and minimizing the equity gap in education
  • Leveraging new technology to educate students differently
  • Athletics and sporting events
  • Student mental health in the remote environment

Register online. To learn more about the event, contact University Communications.