Douglas County to keep middle, high school students in remote learning

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Douglas County School District middle and high school students will remain in remote learning “for the time being,” the district’s board of education decided Tuesday night.

In a letter to school district families and staff, Interim Superintendent Corey Wise said having these students stay in remote learning will continue to provide consistency for students and staff while the district works to make improvements to its hybrid/in-person learning model.

“Over the next couple of weeks, my staff and I will continue to evaluate our organizational readiness to transition middle and high school students back to hybrid/in-person learning (attending classes in-person two days per week),” Wise said in the letter.

Wise said the district is looking to implement these improvements to its hybrid/in-person learning model:

  • Provide students with more synchronous “live” instruction when learning remotely.
  • Provide students with more timely access to their teachers when they have questions about assignments.
  • Allow students to learn alongside their classmates even when learning remotely (for example, when one cohort is learning in-person, the other cohort would also be in class at the same time, but online).
  • Reduce class preparation time for teachers (they would no longer be teaching lessons to each cohort separately).

Douglas County preschool through elementary students have already returned to in-person learning five days a week.

The school district’s board of education will meet again on Feb. 2 and will provide an update on whether the district is ready to move middle and high school students to hybrid/in-person learning two days per week.

Wise said the target date for returning middle and high school to hybrid/in-person learning is now Feb. 8.

Some parents in the district were upset with the decision.

“They don’t have a plan, and that’s super concerning,” said Keith Dodd. “It’s been a year. I don’t get it. What’s another week going to buy you?”

Dodd and his wife Dana say they were both planning to send their children back next week, and now have to shuffle schedules once again. 

“We have no stability in our home, we have no schedule in our home, it’s just constantly up in the air,” said Dana Dodd. 

Students like Brady Sivey also called the decision disappointing. The high school senior says he’s running out of time to get back in school with his friends before graduating.

“This is my senior year, and I won’t be able to do that ever again,” he says. 

Sivey says remote learning has been a challenge, and says communication with teachers remains an issue. He’s hoping the board will at least adopt a hybrid model at its next meeting. 

“At least you have those two days to talk to your teacher and be in person. Hybrid is definitely better than nothing at least,” he says.

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