DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Public Schools has seen a decrease in disciplinary action in recent years, with a noticeable dropoff since students went back to the classroom after the remote learning forced by COVID.

In addition to the pandemic, this change coincides with a decision by the DPS Board of Education to remove school resource officers starting with the 2021-22 school year, the first year that in-person learning happened without significant interruption.

Denver Public Schools, the year of remote learning also brought a sharp downturn in student disciplinary actions, according to Colorado Department of Education records.

Since the 2014-15 academic year, the Colorado Department of Education has grouped student disciplinary actions into a handful of categories, including classroom removals, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, expulsion with services, expulsion without services, referrals to law enforcement, school-related arrests and other actions.

Overall, the number of disciplinary actions in DPS has dropped, particularly with regard to law enforcement referrals and classroom removals.

There were 10,161 disciplinary actions of all kinds in the 2021-22 year, the most recent data available. While remote learning options did exist at this point, Denver Public Schools had returned to mainly in-class learning that year.

This is a sharp decline from the two years directly preceding the pandemic, when there were an average 14,500 per year. This dropped to 9,600 in the 2019-20 year, the last quarter of which was curtailed.

Students are not being expelled, removed from classrooms or referred to law enforcement as much as they were in the 2010s.

Classroom removals have dropped from an average 700 in the two years before the pandemic to 154 in the 2021-22 school year.

Referrals to law enforcement have also dropped significantly. From 2014 through 2020, there were an average 563 law enforcement referrals while Last year there were 125.

Finally, there were 23 expulsions in the 2021-22 year, the fewest in the years since 2014 and about half the prepandemic average.