DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Public Schools says it will have 100% online learning from the start of school on Aug. 24 until the end of the first quarter on Oct. 16.
Superintendent Susana Cordova announced details during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
She acknowledged the community’s frustration with the lack of clarity about what lies ahead. Cordova said the district’s goal remains reopening schools as soon as possible.
“My gratitude goes out to the entire team at DPS and the entire DPS community,” Cordova said.
She said the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected students of color, students whose first language is not English and special education students.
Cordova said DPS is considering bringing “high-priority” students back to in-person learning as soon as right after Labor Day.
The superintendent said teachers are being asked to record lessons so students who are sick or otherwise have to miss class can watch them later.
Teachers are also encouraged to hold office hours. Cordova said the one-on-one and small group sessions proved helpful for students in the spring.
Meal services will continue to be offered, according to Cordova.
DPS says it is working on a system to provide “safe places” for kids with working parents and children who live in homes with inadequate internet. The district doesn’t have that option finalized and said it’s in the early stages of planning “safe places.”
The Denver Classroom Teacher Association issued the following statement:
“DCTA supports Superintendent Cordova and the DPS School Board’s decision to extend remote learning until October. We need to prioritize people’s lives and focus on quality instruction, instead of scrambling to open before the community and the schools are ready. Extending remote learning allows more time to collaborate around meticulous plans for in-person reopenings. We appreciate that the superintendent has been responsive to the voice of educators and look forward to our continued dialogue with the district.”
On July 12, DPS Board of Education member Tay Anderson was looking to make amendments to the in-person learning proposal.
“If we are going to see a rise in COVID cases, then we have to pump the brakes of saying ‘we shouldn’t welcome kids back at this time,’” Anderson said.