DENVER, Colo. — Denver Public Schools announced Wednesday the district will move K-12 grades and programs to remote learning through the end of the first semester.
In a letter from DPS Superintendent Susanna Cordova, the district said the switch to remote learning will begin on Nov. 30 through winter break. Cordova said the shift will allow teachers and students to work on consistent, uninterrupted class routines and focus their energy on learning.
This comes just one week after Cordova and Denver Public Health Director Dr. Bill Burman pleaded with the people of Denver to follow public health guidelines. The increasing spread of COVID-19 in the community has led to severe staffing shortages that are impacting their ability to continue in-person learning for early childhood education programs, grades K-2 classrooms and center programs.
Cordova said the announcement from Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to take stronger measures to get community spread under control did not come soon enough. In September, the district was averaging 13 cases a week, a number that's since skyrocketed to more than 300 cases per week in recent weeks. This uptick in cases has led to the staffing issues due to required quarantines and a substitute shortage.
The district intends to bring elementary students back to in-person learning at the start of second semester in January, with hopes of having all secondary students return as well, if it's deemed safe through work with health partners.
"We all want our students back in our schools with our educators," Cordova said in the letter. "They’ve lost too much."
For a full FAQ on the DPS change to remote learning, click here.