Cherry Creek students to return to in-person learning on Jan. 11

Coronavirus

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (KDVR) — Students in the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) will begin returning to in-person learning on Jan. 11, 2021, the district announced Tuesday afternoon.

In an email to families, CCSD Superintendent Dr. Scott A. Siegfried said the plan after winter break is as follows:

Jan. 4: Furlough day for all staff. No school for students.

Jan. 5: Teacher work day. No school for students.

Jan. 6-8: Remote learning for all students.

Jan. 11: Elementary students return to full in-person learning. Middle and high school students return to in-person learning through hybrid schedule.

Siegfried said data shows schools do not “meaningfully contribute to the spread of COVID due to district-wide implementation of multiple overlapping safety strategies.”

Both Gov. Jared Polis and national public health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci have encouraged Colorado school districts to resume in-person learning.

Siegfried said CCSD worked with its teachers union and other metro Denver districts to develop new COVID-19 protocols.

The superintendent said schools will be able to do targeted quarantines at all levels, including middle and high schools. He also said students and staff will be able to test out of quarantine on the seventh day. Additionally, students and staff will have access to free COVID-19 swab and saliva testing.

Siegfried provided the following information regarding testing:

  • Students and staff at elementary school sites will have access to regular no-cost saliva COVID testing to allow for early identification of COVID-positive children and adults who could also be asymptomatic, creating a safer, more operationally feasible environment. 
  • Secondary students will be able to access no-cost COVID testing at either of our drive-up facilities.  Tests can be scheduled through your school nurse.
  • No-cost testing will be available for students and staff to test out of quarantine in alignment with new CDC guidelines. With a test on day 5 or after, students and staff can test out of quarantine as early as day 7 with a negative test and no symptoms.
  • These tests will be offered on a regular basis through our partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado. Testing is not mandatory and will not be performed without parental permission, but it is strongly encouraged as a critical safety strategy.

Siegfried called on the community to do its part to lower COVID-19 case numbers. Currently in Arapahoe County, there are 819 cases per 100,000 people. Siegfried said implementing in-person learning is easier if that figure is below 500 per 100,000.

“While we are committed to reopening schools for In-Person learning with these new protocols, if COVID becomes too out-of-control in the community, I may have to close schools and restart Remote learning,” he said.

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