By Dominic Garcia

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Jeffco Public Schools has announced their final plans for the 2020-2021 school year when classes resume next month. The school district is offering 100% in-person learning for all grade levels, Pre-K through 12 beginning the week of Aug. 24.

The start date is delayed by one week to give staff time to prepare to teach in a safe environment.

(credit: jeffcopublicschools.org)

“We also have to acknowledge that a lot can change and we’re going to learn things as we start actually implementing,” said Dr. Jason Glass, Superintendent of Jeffco Public Schools.

The in-person option for attending school in person, five days a week, Monday-Friday will be offered to families along with a remote or online learning option.

Jeffco Public Schools says while schools will provide in-person learning five days a week, mandatory safety, health, and hygiene protocols aligned with guidance from public health will be followed and contribute to a different school experience. As staff and students return to the classroom, important safety protocols will be in place to limit exposure and transmission of COVID-19. Among them:

  • 6′ social distancing will be practiced to the fullest level possible
  • Staff and student face coverings are required when social distancing cannot be maintained with consideration for exceptions, if necessary, for the health and wellness of certain students or staff
  • Symptom screening
  • Student grouping limitations wherever possible
  • Regular hand washing
  • Shared items and school materials will be reduced
  • Increased building ventilation and fresh air mixture to the greatest extent possible
  • Use of common spaces – cafeteria, gymnasium, auditoriums – is prohibited for large and mixed-group use
  • Enhanced cleaning and decontamination of buildings and buses

If a virus outbreak requires the closure of the district, individual schools, or affects specific groups of students, we will be ready to serve students in a remote environment as outlined in our Remote Learning Plan.

(credit: CBS)

“We almost have to look at the individual circumstances of when someone comes down with COVID and what the circumstances were around that outbreak and make decisions based on that. We are expecting to have to close down individual classrooms, parts of schools, entire schools, parts of our community, or possibly the whole district based on circumstances. I don’t think anyone knows what exactly that’s doing to look like but we have to be adaptive and ready to shift,” Glass told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

Brooke Williams, an art teacher and President of the Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA) released a statement that read in part:

“Today, the Jefferson County Public School District released their final draft of their 2020-21 COVID Re-Start plan. As we process this update, JCEA remains committed to a safe return to work that protects our communities, including students and the educators, and support staff in the buildings.

“In this pandemic crisis, we also must acknowledge that working conditions in our physical school buildings extend far beyond the school itself, into the homes, families, and communities of every educator and school staff member potentially receiving students in person this fall. COVID-19 is novel, and although we have some facts and data about how COVID-19 affects our youth, there are still many unknowns about how they are impacted in a school setting and how students may spread the virus to the adults around them.”

Dominic Garcia

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