The district said vaccination of teachers and other district staff is exceeding expectations.
In a letter to Douglas County School District families dated February 25, District Interim Superintendent Corey Wise outlined plans to return middle and high school students to full-time, in-person learning after spring break.
Students in the district began the 2020-2021 school year following a hybrid model, with students split into two separate cohorts. Each cohort attended school two days per week and asynchronous learning occurred on days they were not in school. A spike in COVID-19 spread following fall break forced the district to move all students to fully remote instruction between Thanksgiving break and the start of the holiday break.
At the time, the district explained its greatest difficulty was with supplying enough teachers, substitutes and administrators to teach or monitor classrooms due to the amount of quarantines that were keeping teachers at home.
In January, the district returned from the holiday break with elementary-level children attending school in person five days per week, but middle school and high school students attended classes remotely on all days. The district indicated if it could manage staffing levels at the primary level, it would phase hybrid learning back in at the secondary level with hopes of moving to full time in-person learning as soon as it could safely do so.
Middle school and high school students returned to partial in-person learning using the district's Hybrid 2.0 model that had one cohort attending in person while the other cohort logged into classes remotely. That model ensured students received four full days of instruction with one asynchronous day.
The district's return to in-person learning has relied heavily upon the ability of teachers and other staff to receive vaccinations. In the letter, Wise said the number of DCSD employees who have received the first dose of the vaccine or have an appointment scheduled is exceeding the district's expectations.
The DCSD board of education is scheduled to meet March 2 to consider recommendations concerning the planned return of secondary students to in-person learning. Students will still be expected to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing where feasible and use seating charts to decrease quarantines, the letter said. Targeted quarantines of students and unvaccinated staff will continue as needed in alignment with local and state health department guidance.
The letter also indicated spring activities, including graduations, will be planned according to guidance from the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) and public health departments.
Students who began the year enrolled in the district's eLearning program will remain in that model through the remainder of the year, the district said.
The planned return to in-person learning falls just a few days after the one-year anniversary of the day DCSD schools shut down last year at the onset of the pandemic.
How will your student be affected by the return to in-person schooling? Let us know in the comments.