While Denver Public Schools administrators have consistently said it'll be classes as usual on Monday, some things will be different in the event of a teacher strike.
What to expect
When parents walk up to school next week, they can expect to see some teachers picketing on public sidewalks in the morning. Striking teachers encourage anyone to join.
The district has set up a DPS Safety Team that’s working with school leaders to make sure there’s access to the buildings through the picket line.
Some schools will have classes in auditoriums, gyms and hallways. Others have canceled after school activities and are creating brand new schedules for students with fewer classes. Attendance rules vary from school to school.
Meals and transportation will stay the same for all DPS students. For early childhood educationkids who will not have classes during a strike, the district says there will need to be a parent or guardian present to pick up meals since ECE classes are canceled.
Highlands United Methodist Church will be taking about 30 kids in a childcare program. Parents will have to apply. Pastor Brad says he's had striking teachers and retired teachers offer to help to make sure the students are taken care of.
DPS says there are more than 4,714 families in ECE and that the district is unable to offer any options for ECE families looking for childcare.
The district says it’s best to check with school leaders for specific strike plans. There is also a Family Helpline set up for people to call. It’s open between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and the number is 720-423-3054.
Letters from principals
Principals from different DPS schools have sent emails to parents with what to expect on Monday if a strike happens.
Brown International Academy wrote on Facebook that they will use large spaces like an auditorium, a gym, and hallways for classes. They’re using a curriculum that was provided by the district.
The Academy wrote, “students will not be marked absent if parents / guardians call and leave a message.”
McAuliffe International School Principal Kurt Dennis sent a letter to families on the strike saying, “class sizes will be large but with multiple adults instructing and supervising each course. Please understand that this is an unusual circumstance and that we will inevitably experience some challenges as we transition to new daily routines.”
Park Hill PTSA President Michelle Scott took it a step further in her letter to parents.
“DPS is publicly saying it will be business as usual and classes as usual. However, the people who make our school what it is won’t be at school,” Scott wrote. “There will be minimal, if any, learning happening during the strike.”
Park Hill is also canceling after school classes and will have minimal staffing.
Abraham Lincoln High School told families the school would be open and operating on a regular schedule.
“After the strike begins, I will assess our ability to offer other after-school activities, including sports,” wrote Principal Larry Irvin.
The aforementioned information comes from letters principals have sent to 9NEWS and the DPS Parent Guide on the strike.
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