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Aspen School District superintendent 'guardedly optimistic' heading into 2022-23

Aspen High School is just off Maroon Creek Road.
Courtesy Aspen School District
Aspen High School is just off Maroon Creek Road.

Students in the Aspen School District head back to school this week.

After two years of starts and stops due to COVID-19, Aspen School District officials are looking forward to a less turbulent year. But remote learning and changing health advisories were not the only challenges that the district has faced.

Teacher shortages and consistent staffing has long been an issue, as has finding housing for those employees.

Mental health challenges are a concern, brought to the forefront not just by COVID-19 but by deadly school shootings — such as the one at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas — that have students and families questioning whether their schools are safe.

Dave Baugh is the superintendent for Aspen School District
Courtesy Dave Baugh
Dave Baugh is superintendent for Aspen School District.

Aspen Public Radio reporter Caroline Llanes sat down with Aspen School District Superintendent Dave Baugh to discuss some of those challenges and what the district is doing to ensure a "normal" learning experience — if there's even such a thing.

Caroline Llanes is a general assignment reporter at Aspen Public Radio, covering everything from local governments to public lands. Her work has been featured on NPR. Previously, she was an associate producer for WBUR’s Morning Edition in Boston.