Governor makes no guarantees on schools reopening in fall

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DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis says he cannot guarantee schools will reopen in August, but he expressed optimism about reopening schools at that time. The news is leaving parents across Colorado uneasy. They’re worried about how they will continue virtual learning in the fall.

Virtual learning has already been a struggle for parents. Many of them have to work essential jobs while finding a way to make sure their children get an education.

“It’s like herding cats for us,” said Brent Ratliff, the father of two students at Teller Elementary School in Denver.

Ratliff’s daughters, Ella and Abby, say they are having fun with their parents, but they are also missing their friends at school.

Brent, who works a critical job in the grocery industry, has been busier than ever. His wife, who is furloughed from a hotel, has been making sure the girls succeed academically. It has not been easy. 

Parents who have been looking forward to August are now wondering if schools really will reopen.

“The question was along the lines — can you guarantee that school will go back in the fall,” said Polis. “I’ll, of course, answer it honestly. I said, ‘No, I can’t guarantee it.’ Nobody can guarantee it.”

But the governor added that he’s optimistic school buildings will reopen in August.

“I’m not sure if it gives us a lot of relief,” Brent said.

When schools do reopen, it’s going to look a lot different, according to Polis. School districts will need to find a way to ensure physical distancing under state mandates.

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