PUEBLO, Colo. — School districts in Pueblo County and the city of Pueblo have scrambled to put together guidelines for children preparing to return to school this fall, adjusting and readjusting plans as fluctuating data surrounding coronavirus cases in the area is collected and analyzed.
The Colorado Department of Public Health, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Governor’s Office have released “guidance,” which they expect Local Public Health agencies and individual districts to reference as they develop future plans.
The state identified its goals for reopening school include ensuring a “reasonable level of safety for students and staff for in-person learning,” minimizing “disruptions to education,” and ensuring “equity in educational opportunity.”
In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school, the state guidelines say schools should be prepared to shift to remote learning for a time period between two and 14 days. CDPHE is expected to provide statewide standards regarding “exposure definitions” and “outbreak investigation requirements” later in July.
Current plans for Pueblo County and Pueblo City School districts are listed below:
Pueblo County School District 70
During a virtual Board meeting Tuesday, the Pueblo District 70 Board of Education voted unanimously to start the school year remotely due to numerous safety and health concerns raised by staff, teachers, parents, and students.
D70 announced a plan to begin the 2020/2021 school year, moving back its planned start date by one week – from August 17 to August 24, 2020. District 70 staff reports to buildings on August 10.
D70 students will begin the year August 24 with remote online learning in place for 4 weeks.
Students will then transition (depending on local COVID-19 positive case conditions) into a Hybrid In-Person delivery model on September 21, with half of the student population reporting on Monday and Tuesday, and the remaining half reporting Wednesday and Thursday.
This A-B Hybrid schedule will continue through October 8. Full In-Person Delivery could possibly occur as soon as October 12 if local positive daily COVID-19 cases average 2 or below for two weeks.
Pueblo School District 60
The Pueblo School District 60 released its Return to School Plans, intending to strike a balance between the health concerns posed by COVID-19, quality educational programming, and the needs of the community.
The first day of school for K-12 students is now Monday, August 31.
The D60 Return to School Plan consists of several options for families:
- K-5 students: Full in-person learning four days a week, with health and safety measures in place, OR 100% online learning.
- 6-12 students: A hybrid model with two days in-person learning, and two days of distance learning each week, OR 100% online learning.
- Pre-K students will attend in-person four days a week (½ day or full-day program). The first day of school for preschool students will be Tuesday, September 8.
- All K-12 students will be issued a technology device. K-1 students will receive an iPad; grades 2-12 will receive a Chromebook. In-class instruction, as well as distance learning, will incorporate students’ technology devices.
This article will be updated as schools release new information.