Jeffco elementary schools will offer in-person classes in August, district says

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Posted at 9:43 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 23:43:54-04

GOLDEN, Colo. — Jeffco Public Schools on Thursday announced that elementary schools will offer 100% in-person classes in August.

The district said there were "decisions still to come" regarding plans for middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12) classes.

Classes will begin Aug. 24. The district said the in-person learning will be an option for students — families will also have the option for all-remote learning.

"We will be putting in place numerous public health provisions so that we can protect the health of our students, staff, and community as we reopen schools," the district said in a message to students, staff and parents Thursday night.

Jeffco, which includes 155 schools and more than 84,000 students, is the first major district in Colorado to announce in-person plans, though Gov. Jared Polis has said he anticipates schools will be able to resume in-person learning in the fall.

Jeffco's specific plans and procedures for resuming in-person classes were not yet available Thursday night, but the district released proposed guidelines in May.

Last month, the Colorado Department of Education released draft guidelines for districts to start planning for the return of students for in-person learning.

The guidelines recognize that significant physical distancing will likely continue through fall, and in-class instruction will need to be flexible.

Some of the toolkits' suggestions include staggering school schedules to limit the number of students in a building. Also, spacing desks 6 feet apart to comply with state health guidelines. Another possibility is mixing remote learning and small-group in-person learning.