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DPS superintendent provides update ahead of return to in-person learning for all elementary students

The district has already delayed in-person learning for middle and high school students.

DENVER — Denver Public Schools Superintendent (DPS) Susana Cordova held a media briefing Tuesday to provide updates and take questions from reporters one day before all elementary school students whose families have chosen to do so return to in-person learning. 

Students in kindergarten through second grades have already returned. 

“We are finding that our students are adapting appropriate to the new health and safety protocols," Cordova said. “We’ve found our students are wearing masks.”

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Cordova said many of the families who have opted to continue remote learning are from Latinx and and African American communities. 

“Latinx communities, African American communities have been more heavily-impacted by COVID, so I understand the families are more cautious about in-person learning," Cordova said. 

During her news conference, she also touted the district's new COVID-19 tracking dashboard, which shows the virus' spread in the community. 

This comes after Denver Mayor Michael Hancock limited gatherings to five people and instituted an outdoor mask mandate in response to increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations and positivity in the city.

The new orders do not apply to schools.

Last week, DPS announced that older students will not be returning to in-person learning this month as previously planned.

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"We definitely know that this is a big disappointment for our secondary students and our schools and staff," Cordova said. "We've been working really hard to make plans to safely reopen our doors. It was not an easy decision to make and yet we know that the most important thing we can do is focus on health on safety."

Elementary school students will begin in-person learning this week.

In the meantime, DPS plans to evaluate how to proceed regarding middle and high school students by the end of the month.

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