Though the variety of COVID-19 circumstances is on the rise in Denver, the circumstances aren’t regarding sufficient to alter the plan to reopen Denver Public Colleges, Superintendent Susana Cordova stated Tuesday.
Cordova stated she has been intently eyeing a district dashboard supposed to judge the protection of reopening faculties. Two of the three indicators DPS is monitoring — the variety of COVID-19 circumstances and the development in circumstances over a two-week interval — are at the moment within the pink zone, that means it’s presumably unsafe to reopen faculties.
Nevertheless, specialists at Denver Well being and the Denver Division of Public Well being and Atmosphere informed DPS the upticks in each metrics aren’t trigger for concern as a result of they’re restricted to school communities, Cordova stated.
“Presently, they’re not involved that this enhance is a sign of widespread neighborhood unfold,” she stated, “they usually have inspired us to proceed monitor this whereas we proceed our gradual, gradual, secure re-entry for in-person studying.”
DPS college students started the autumn semester remotely, however the district is now phasing them in by grade for in-person studying — apart from these whose households select to remain distant. About 30% have enrolled in DPS’ 100% digital education possibility, Cordova stated.
The district’s preschools opened in mid-September. Beginning Sept. 28, all kindergarteners, some first-graders, and all particular training college students in second by fifth grades will start in-person courses.
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The district will welcome again all first-grade college students beginning Oct. 5. Second- by fifth-grade college students will start full-time in-person studying Oct. 21 — the identical day secondary faculties will open and start working on a hybrid schedule for college kids who choose to attend in particular person.
Hybrid schedules might differ by faculty, Cordova stated, however all may have a minimal of 10 hours of face-to-face instruction. Some plan to have college students alternate attending within the mornings and within the afternoons, whereas others might have college students alternate coming in on particular days. All college students will complement courses with distant work or digital courses beneath the hybrid mannequin.
Although the scenario round COVID-19 in Denver County stays appropriate for in-person studying now, Cordova acknowledged that would change in a single day. That’s why the district is attempting to restrict cohort sizes to about 35 college students and can quickly launch a DPS-specific COVID dashboard to maintain households knowledgeable about circumstances that pop up.
“We wished to be sure that our opening was erring on the conservative facet with a extra assertive stance of attempting to restrict the quantity of disruptions that may occur due to quarantining,” Cordova stated. “Based mostly on steering from Denver Well being, we felt like going with these extra conservative (cohort) numbers would safeguard our time at school, would restrict the quantity of publicity, each college students with one another in addition to our workers with our college students, and would give us the best alternative to soundly reopen and maintain youngsters at school.”