DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Education is developing safe reopening guidelines for schools returning to in-person learning in the fall. CDE says returning to class safely is the priority, but it will not be a one-size-fits-all approach.
During a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis said school reopenings will come down to the district’s COVID1-9 data in August. While he’s hopeful the majority of students will return in the fall, Polis said students in areas with high viral rates may return online.
“The guidelines focus on things like health screenings, cafeteria operations, passing periods, buses, as well as how to ensure the continuity of learning through a blended approach to in person and online instruction,” said Dr. Katy Anthes, Commissioner of CDE.
CDE is focused on providing guidance for schools on how to toggle between in person and remote learning to protect vulnerable students and staff. For example, it is recommended that desks be 6 feet apart to help with physical distancing. The “toolkit” also provides guidance on things like how to respond if a COVID-19 case is ever confirmed in a school.
The goal is start in-person learning in the fall, but it will still look very different than what students are used to. CDE says it’s also possible that students may have to wear masks.
“Right now masks are a recommendation by the CDC, so it is a recommendation in our toolkit. We will continue to monitor that situation and think about how students use masks. It could fall under a guideline, a consideration or a requirement,” said Anthes.
CDE says these guidelines are a working draft. CDE is forming an advisory committee that will help determine best practices over the summer.
CDE will continue to gather feedback, add resources and expand on these considerations to help schools reopen safely. More detailed guidance will be added over time.
LINK: CDE Guidelines