Governor wants elementary students to return to in-person learning

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DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Polis is encouraging school districts to bring elementary students back for in-person learning and said lawmakers will provide tools to help school districts re-open their buildings.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Polis said he wants to see students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade return to schools for in-person learning. He said lawmakers will work with districts to provide funding for outdoor classrooms, testing, protective equipment and supplies to help schools re-open their doors.

Gov. Polis said data shows COVID-19 transmission in elementary schools remains low.

“We feel that based on the data, that is the safest place they can be based on the safety parameters we have in school and we encourage that in-person service so our kids’ future is not another casualty of the pandemic,” said G. Polis.

The governor’s message differs from school districts’ current course of action. In recent weeks, at least 16 school districts along the front range have switched to remote learning or plan to transition to remote learning shortly due to the surge in COVID-19 cases within their communities.

While Gov. Polis encouraged in-person learning for elementary students, he set different parameters for older students. He said school districts should consider in-person, hybrid or remote learning for middle school students. He added that high schools and higher education are considered more high risk and said high schools should utilize hybrid or remote learning and that higher education should have very limited in-person learning.

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