DENVER — Every district across the Front Range has a different plan for this fall semester.
"Starting Monday of next week, we have about 4,300 students that will have the opportunity to engage in some learning pods," said Lori Bailey, Director of Student Engagement Initiatives for Adams 12 Five Star Schools.
Bailey said within Adams 12 Schools, which starts school Thursday for its population of about 32,000 students, learning pods will be an option for 4,300 K-8 students. They are hoping this will decrease the 300 students who didn’t engage in remote learning last spring.
"The learning pods will allow these students to have access to devices if we don’t have one, internet connectivity if they are in need of that, and also will provide them a safe, warm and dry space to access learning during the school day," Bailey said.
For McBride Impact founder Jason McBride, who works with at-risk youth, he’s worried about kids falling behind.
"It’s all about inequity and how there are families in our community that don’t have the luxury of having a two parent household or even if they do those two parents still have to work or they’re both essential workers and so that just leaves the kids home alone to log on and do some of the things for school," McBride said.
Denver Public Schools said 140 kids didn’t participate in remote learning last spring.
That’s out of a population of 90,000 students.
They say they have ways of making sure their students are in class.
"The teacher is teaching is teaching live to students over GoogleMeets platform and so they’re working on ways that only are they accounting for students, they’re text messaging kids, and families, hey are you joining our GoogleMeets today, make sure you have the link. They’re sending out emails all the time," said Amber Elias, lead operational superintendent for Denver Public Schools.
In Jeffco Public Schools, the state’s second largest district, more than 6,000 students didn’t do remote learning at the end of last year.
They say this fall they’ve also tried solving their family's needs revolving around internet and laptops to make sure everyone has access.
McBride says one of the things needed the most is more learning pods so no child has to do their studies home alone while parents work to put food on the table.
"The school districts really need to make sure that they’re taping in with the families that really are at risk the most, the ones who they know have the kids who have the most issues," McBride said.
Denver Public Schools says they are considering the option of opening learning pods for students.