DENVER — Many school districts across Colorado are gearing up for the spring semester, and some have opted to return to in-person learning within the first few weeks.
For months, education leaders across the state have stressed the importance of in-person learning, especially for young students. But districts have faced staffing shortages among other challenges while navigating education during a pandemic.
"... schools do not have enough staff members available (including substitutes, bus drivers and nutrition services personnel) to come to school every day to support in-person learning," Littleton Public Schools Superintendent Brian Ewert said in a letter to staff and parents on the district's website.
However, Gov. Jared Polis last month said on-site testing for those who are symptomatic, contact tracing, symptom screening, cohorts, handwashing, ventilation and mask-wearing are among the tools schools will leverage to return to in-person learning in 2021.
Here are the plans school districts along the Front Range have made for returning to in-person learning:
The district said it intends to begin the first week of the second semester on Jan. 5, fully remote for all students. Then students can return to in-person instruction Jan. 12 if that option was previously selected by the student's family.
27J Schools has more than 18,000 students in parts of Adams, Broomfield and Weld counties.
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Remote learning begins for all students on Jan. 7 and limited in-person learning begins Jan. 11, the district said.
Grades P-5 will return to full-time in-person learning Jan. 25, and hybrid learning for grades 6-12 and a full-time learning option continues for those who previously selected it.
Adams 12 serves more than 39,000 students in Adams County.
Aurora Public Schools
All APS staff are expected to report to work in person at schools starting Jan. 11 unless they are exempt, the district said. The full week will remain a remote learning week for students.
Then students from the “A” group along with all preschool students will begin in-person learning on Jan. 19. “B” group students will begin on Jan. 25.
Boulder Valley School District
The district plans to return to in-person learning on the following dates:
- Tuesday, Jan. 5: Elementary schools (Grades PK-5)
- Tuesday, Jan. 12: Middle schools (Grades 6-8)
- Tuesday, Jan. 19: High schools (Grades 9-12)
Cherry Creek School District
The district plans to return Jan. 6 with remote learning for all students. through Jan. 8.
On Jan. 11, elementary students return to full in-person learning while middle and high school students return to in-person learning using the "new enhanced hybrid learning schedule."
More information can be found on the district website.
Denver Public Schools
On Jan. 11, all early-childhood education through 5th-grade students return to in-person learning, the district said on its website. All secondary SPED Centers and Newcomer Centers also return to in-person learning. Other secondary students continue in remote learning.
Secondary students begin gradual phase-in to in-person learning Jan. 19 – 29. All students whose families selected in-person learning will back in schools on Feb. 1.
DPS will continue to offer, throughout the second semester, the 100% remote-learning option for all K-12th grade students whose families chose that option.
Douglas County School District
Preschool and elementary will return to in-person learning five days a week, beginning Jan. 5, with center-based programming students at the middle and high school levels returning that same day to in-person learning four days a week, the district said.
Middle and high school students will return to fully remote learning Jan. 5. The district said it hopes to welcome middle and high school students back to hybrid learning by the end of January, depending on the level of COVID-19 spread at the time.
DCSD posted an interactive COVID-19 Tracker for families to better understand the number of cases in schools.
Greeley-Evans District 6
Preschool through grade 12 will return to fully remote learning Jan. 6, the district said.
On Jan. 11, kindergarten, first and second grades return in-person. (Preschool does not meet on Mondays, so those students will return Jan. 12). Grades 3-12 remain in remote learning.
Preschool, elementary schools, K-8 and middle schools return in-person Jan. 18. High Schools return to a hybrid model that is a combination of in-person and online synchronous learning on the same date.
Jeffco Public Schools
Jeffco schools return Jan. 6 and will be fully remote for two weeks.
On Jan. 19, grades K-5 returned to in-person learning, the district said.
Middle school and high school students (grades 6-12) are now returning to in-person instruction in a hybrid model beginning Monday, Jan. 25. The district said "a number of factors influenced the decision including current county-level COVID-19 case data, a strong desire of both students and families to return to in-person learning, a larger pool of guest teachers (substitutes) which can improve our ability to sustain operations while responding to virus spread and quarantines, and the improved availability of COVID-19 testing."
The district had previously said middle and high school students would be remote until at least Feb. 1.
Littleton Public Schools
The district is looking to return to in-person learning through four phases;
- Jan. 5: All preschool and elementary students return for in-person learning five days a week.
- Middle and high school students continue remote learning during Phase One.
Phase Two (tentative)
- Jan. 11: All middle school teachers return to school to teach remotely from their classrooms.
- Jan. 11: Begin targeted in-person support for some English Learners, some students on IEPs with moderate needs and other student groups requiring in-person support at the middle and high school level.
- Jan. 19: Middle school students return to school in the hybrid model of in-person learning.
- High schools continue with remote learning during Phase Two.
Phase Three (tentative)
- Jan. 19: All high school teachers return to school to teach remotely from their classrooms.
- Jan. 25: High school students return to school in the hybrid model of in-person learning.
The district is hopeful that middle and high school students will be able to return to full-time, in-person learning in April.
Poudre School District
Home visits are scheduled on Jan. 4. for preschoolers, the district said. Jan. 5-7 preschool will be in A/B hybrid model, with A-group students attending Wednesday; and B-group students attending Tuesday and Thursday.
Beginning Jan. 19, preschool will be four days a week for all students; no school on Fridays.
All K-8 students will be in remote learning Jan. 5-15.
K-5 students, starting Jan. 19, will go to school five days a week in phase four following health protocols.
Students in grades 6-8 will be in hybrid learning Jan. 18-29
- B-group students move to in-person Jan. 19 and 21; A-group students on Jan. 20 and 22.
- A-group students go back to in-person school Jan. 25 and 27; B-group students on Jan. 26 and 28. Both groups are remote Jan. 29.
The district's four comprehensive high schools will be in remote learning Jan. 5-22.
- High schoolers will move to phase two on Jan. 25 with A-group students in school Mondays, B-group in school Tuesdays , and then all students remote Wednesdays-Fridays.
Sheridan School District 2
The district will continue remote learning through Jan. 14. In-person learning will resume Jan. 19.
Westminster Public Schools
Students will return to remote learning Jan. 5, then transition to in-person learning, Jan. 11.
>> More information on the district's COVID-19 plan can be found here.
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