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Denver's DSST charter schools give staff, students mental health day

Teachers in Denver's DSST charter schools, all 15 location, will get Monday off from school for a mental health day.

DENVER — Plenty of people call out sick from work or school with the intent of using that day as a mental health day.

DSST Public Schools in Denver have actually scheduled a mental health day on Monday at all 15 of their locations.

In its message to parents, DSST acknowledged the transition back to in-person learning created its own unique burdens, and there are very few substitute teachers available to step in when a teacher may need it.

“We want to acknowledge the difficulty of the past 18 months on our staff and this huge increased burden,” the announcement said. “DSST prioritizes the wellness of our staff, and we believe our students are best served when staff are at their best.”

They added they hope this day gives both staff and students the opportunity to rest.

"It's kind of like an athlete,” DSST CEO Bill Kurtz said. “We want them to be at their best every day. When you train, you want the opportunity to rest, as well as train hard, as well as perform well.”

DSST said they realize that giving teachers and students a day off impacts families. They said they tried to pick a day that would be a less of an inconvenience for moms and dads.

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