Denver Public Schools considers earlier return to classroom for some elementary students

Based on current public health conditions, Denver Public Schools may bring back some elementary students earlier than originally planned, Superintendent Susana Cordova said Friday in an email to parents.

Denver is holding classes remotely through the end of the first quarter Oct. 16. Cordova made that decision in July when many public health officials were sounding the alarm over the rate of increase in COVID-19 cases. Since then, the number of new cases each day and the percentage of people testing positive have both declined.

Earlier this week the district announced plans to bring preschool students back to school buildings in September. Cordova has also said the district might bring back students who are considered especially vulnerable, including those with disabilities who rely on school-based services and those in the earliest stages of learning English, before October.

But on Friday, she indicated the district is considering a broader return for elementary students. Younger children are at less risk of serious illness and may transmit the virus less efficiently than older children. It’s also harder to meet their needs through online instruction.

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