JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – Students in Jeffco Public Schools will have their first two weeks of classes remotely.
The announcement was made Thursday afternoon.
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Classes will begin on Aug. 24 with students learning from home. That will continue until Sept. 4.
“This decision will allow us to better plan and prepare for in-person experiences, and to review the new health and safety procedures with students and families,” a statement from the district said.
“I’m really concerned. I believe that my kids need to be back in school 100 percent of the time,” Jeffco parent Veronica Fendley said.
Fendley is nervous about the district’s decision to go 100 percent remote for the first two weeks. She’s a single parent with two kids; one has special needs and she still must balance a job.
“It’s not going to work. It’s not,” Fendley said.
Parent Robyn Allen agrees. Both parents participated in the district’s summer survey in which results showed nearly 80 percent of parents chose in-person learning for their children.
“I feel like if they’re not going to teach our kids in school, then I think there needs to be a ‘defund public school’ movement,” Allen said.
FOX31 talked with superintendent Dr. Jason Glass. He said the district reached the decision to start the year remotely after the state health department and state board of education released new guidelines on reopening schools. He also said this decision will help them better prepare for in-person learning.
“We’d ask for their patience. We’re working hard to create that in-person experience. We don’t want to lose any of our staff members. We don’t want to lose any of our students to this virus. So, if we have to slow down a little bit to get this right, I think that’s well worth the wait,” Glass said.
Glass said during the remote learning phase, each school will bring in students by grade level for orientation of what in-person learning will be like amid the pandemic.
“Schools will probably do that by grade or by classes. They may say, ‘On Tuesday we’d like all the third graders to come in, on Thursday all the fourth graders.’ Again, we have the two-week period for schools to process what that will look like,” Glass said.
But parents like Fendley are still skeptical about the decision.
“The plan that they have in place right now, I just really see it hurting a lot more families than anything else,” Fendley said.
On Sept. 8, elementary schools will open with in-person and remote learning options. Students in grades 6-12 will begin with a hybrid schedule of alternating days of in-person and remote learning.