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3 Denver schools temporarily shift to remote learning due to staffing shortage

Denver Public Schools said three schools will shift to a remote learning schedule for multiple days this week.

DENVER — Three Denver Public Schools schools will shift to remote learning for at least two days this week due to a staffing shortage. 

George Washington High School (GWHS) said they will shift to a remote learning schedule from Wednesday through Friday, with the possibility of extending remote learning until Nov. 19. The school said they plan to decide by Friday whether the remote learning will continue through next week. 

District spokesman Will Jones said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College (DMLK) and John H. Amesse Elementary School will both be fully remote Thursday and Friday.

> The video above is from September: Denver-area school districts struggle with staffing shortages

"We are doing everything in our power to keep our schools open and to maximize in-person learning opportunities for our students," Jones said. "At the same time, we are facing a critical staffing shortage, like districts across the country, that impacts our ability to safely operate our schools."

GWHS said they have been covering teacher absences with other building staff. They said they have been able to sustain this practice so far, but in the next two weeks, they anticipate a high number of faculty absences due to factors including COVID-19 isolation or quarantine, seasonal illnesses, caring for family members and personal leave.

With the exception of students who attend Center Programs, all students will attend class virtually during the remote learning period. 

"We believe this shift preserves consistent instruction for all students despite staffing challenges that the pandemic has created," the school said in a letter to parents. 

GWHS said athletic practices, games, theater performances, open houses, and other after-school activities will continue as planned. 

DMLK said all after-school activities and sports are canceled Thursday and Friday.

GWHS said the cafeteria will be open for students who need access to WiFi. Students will also be able to visit the school during lunch for a grab-and-go meal. 

"We recognize that this last minute change is not ideal, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate school operations in the context of a pandemic," the school said in the letter. "While we are finding comforting pockets of normalcy, we still face new and unforeseen challenges on a daily basis."

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