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What Denver schools could look like with these coronavirus safety measures in the fall

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If Colorado schools return to classroom instruction in the fall, it could look very different, with temperature checks, face masks, and very small class sizes.

The Colorado Department of Education included these requirements in guidance it issued last week that are designed to help school districts decide whether to open and if so, how to do it safely. The document, which lays out a range of options, tries to balance the safety of students and staff with a widespread desire to return to in-person classes — and an evolving public health situation.

The advice from health experts is clear and must be strictly followed: Anyone who is not feeling well or showing symptoms of illness, such as elevated body temperature or cold symptoms, must stay home.

In addition to screening upon arrival at school, there will be a number of measures in place in the building to further strengthen health conditions.

We expect that all adults and students will be required to wear masks.

Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the school, and staff and students will be given regular breaks to wash their hands frequently.

And our Facilities Team will ensure that the school building is disinfected, both throughout the school day and between school days.

For regular classroom time, we expect there to be between 10-16 people in each classroom, including students and educators, which aligns with the guidance from our health partners.

Our plan is to set up each classroom to ensure that everyone is maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from one another. This 6-feet distancing will be maintained at all times throughout the school day, including arrival and dismissal.

Health experts have also strongly emphasized the importance of limiting the number of people that students come in contact with during the school day.

As a result, our plans ensure that measures will be in place that minimizes movement throughout the day in the building—such as students remaining in the same classroom as much as possible and having lunch in their classroom. We will look for ways to get students outside throughout the school day to help keep everyone active, while also ensuring we’re closely following health guidelines.

We expect that there will be no large school assemblies or gatherings.

And, bus service will be adjusted to reduce the number of people on each bus to a safe level, in accordance with classroom standards. We are reviewing bus requirements and will need to have social distancing, and we will keep the community updated as we get more clear information

We expect those to be the major changes to how schools typically have operated:

  • Wellness screenings upon arrival.
  • Health measures enforced throughout the school day: wearing of masks; frequent hand-washing; continuous, thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the entire school facility.
  • Classroom occupancy limited to allow for a minimum of 6 feet of physical distancing.
  • Limited student movement in the school throughout the day and no large gatherings.

On top of those measures, we will be creating policies that provide an extra level of protection and care for the DPS Community.

-Colorado Department of Education

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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