DENVER (CBS4)– Many early learning through fifth grade Denver Public School students returned to the classroom Monday morning, for the first time since Thanksgiving.
One of those schools was Valdez Elementary. CBS4’s Mekialaya White talked with families as they dropped off their students, who had mixed emotions.
Mom and Valdez teacher Maria Gomez, said she was happy to be there. Gomez truly does believe in-person learning will be beneficial for everyone.
“I’m excited as a teacher, also as a mom. This is best for the kids,” said Gomez. “Of course I am worried, but we are going to do the best we can do. Everybody is in the same path. I think we are conscious what happened, but we need to try.”
The district showed us what it is doing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Last week, DPS employee Tim Huffman showed CBS4’s Rick Sallinger a model classroom they have prepared for training. It’s located in a giant DPS warehouse containing the supplies being delivered to schools.
There are plastic dividers to separate the students, signs reminding them to stay apart and hand sanitizing stations.
Huffman showed off a huge cache of masks, protective suits, enough disinfectant for a small army and hand sanitizer to keep the germs away. The deliveries to the schools has been going on since March.
Some teachers and others claimed that DPS doesn’t have a plan, but the district showed that it does.
DPS spokeswoman Winna Maclaren provided examples of more preventative measures being taken at the schools.
“Health screenings before entering the building, frequent handwashing for hygiene, wearing a face mask,” Maclaren said.
Earlier this year, DPS showed how the classrooms are cleaned. Now as students and staff return, they will be able to be tested at stations set up outside several schools to try to make sure no one brings the virus inside.
The district is also recommending that students get COVID tested before returning. As part of the district’s partnership with COVIDcheck Colorado, students and staff can do that for free every other week.
On Jan. 29, other secondary students will start to phase into in-person learning. The goal is to have all students whose families have elected in-person learning back in the classroom by Feb. 1. DPS will continue to offer 100% remote-learning as option for all k-12th grade students throughout the second semester.
Other school districts have different schedules.