Denver Public Schools plans to hold classes in person this fall, joining a number of other metro area districts in a more complete return to the classroom.
The announcement represents a change from an initial plan that called for separating students into cohorts and having them attend on alternating days or weeks to keep class sizes small. State public health rules still limit schools to no more than 10 people in any given classroom, but Gov. Jared Polis has said repeatedly that he expects those rules to be loosened by August, when class resumes.
Denver Superintendent Susana Cordova announced the change in plans in an email to parents Friday. She said evolving public health information and parent demand drove the decision.
“Every week, we learn more from our health experts about the COVID-19 virus,” Cordova wrote. “We learn from school systems around the world how to keep our students and staff learning, working and healthy. We’ve considered the overall effects of having schools open at full strength for our students and families, something that we have heard is critically important to our community.”
New guidance from metro area public health agencies emphasizes that children do not seem to play a major role in transmission.
The district will also offer a full-time online option for all grades for families who do not want to send their children to school.
For students and staff who go to school, there will be mandatory daily health screenings and masks will be required.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.