DENVER (KDVR) — After two school years full of interruptions and remote learning, districts now have their eyes set on next fall, hoping for some return to normalcy.
However, the start of next year is already looking at least a little abnormal for Denver Public Schools.
The school district is considering a possible delayed start to the school year — either Aug. 23 or Aug. 30. Most surrounding school districts will return the week of Aug. 16.
The concerns in the Denver Public School district are two fold: COVID-19 and its possible lingering impacts, and also a lack of air conditioning in 55 of the district’s schools.
“I’m envisioning kids still wearing masks and the sweat dripping off their faces into the soggy masks that they’ve been wearing all day,” said District 1 board member Scott Baldermann, who favors a start date no earlier than Aug. 30.
The district polled more than 3,500 of its educators. The majority support a one-week delay to the start of the school year, meaning an Aug. 23 start date. That would also push back the end of the 2021/2022 school year to the first week of June.
Voters approved a 2020 bond to spend $130 million on air conditioning units in 25 schools. Six schools will have air conditioning installed this summer, but most won’t see changes until 2022.
That’s why there is also some discussion of even starting school next fall two weeks late on Aug. 30.
The district is now hoping to hear from parents. A public comment session is scheduled for March 16.