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Back to school learning and safety details
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By Joseph Rios

As children throughout the country have started to go back to in-person learning, coronavirus cases among children have spiked over the past two weeks.

Multiple media reports say at least 97,000 children have tested positive for the coronavirus over the past two weeks. In Georgia, a viral photo made waves across the internet showing a crowded hallway in a school.

As reports of rising children coronavirus cases and viral photos of crowded school hallways have surfaced on the internet, Denver Public Schools is preparing for the 2020-2021 school year. However, the school districtís thousands of students will have to start the school year from home until at least October.

Back in June, Denver Public Schools Superintendent Susana Cordova said Denver Public Schools would likely start the school year with a full in-person learning option at all of the school districtís buildings. In July, Cordova said having in-person classes isnít safe and realistic. Students in the district will start remote learning on Aug. 24 until at least Oct. 16 because of the pandemic.

In the school districtís Remote Learning Plan, Denver Public Schools said many families had difficulty getting stable internet access when students participated in online learning this past spring. Denver Public Schools will provide resources in multiple languages to the families it serves. Systems for learning like Seesaw and Schoology will be used to provide videos and live instruction to students. Attendance will be taken every day, the school districtís Remote Learning Plan reads.

Grading will mirror Denver Public Schoolsí in-person grading policy. However, teachers who teach students in grades six through 12th should not give ďFĒ grades, according to the plan. Rather than giving a student an F grade, teachers are being asked to enter a grade as incomplete.

When students return to in-person learning, they will be welcomed by new HVAC improvements to better assist with airflow and filtration in classrooms. In July, Cordova wrote a letter to staff saying Denver Public Schools will provide childcare for teachers, principals and others from Aug. 17 to Sept. 4. Teachers started their year by kicking off professional development on Aug. 10.

The school district is also planning to operate buses at 33 percent capacity to align with health and social distancing guidelines. Denver Public Schools plans to prioritize transportation for vulnerable student populations, like those who are homeless or those who are in special education.

Other school districts in the state like Jeffco Public Schools are planning to offer both in-person and remote learning options to families. Jeffco Public Schools will start its first two weeks of school with remote learning. Harrison School District 2 in Colorado Springs is carrying out full in-person learning this fall.





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