Gov. Polis orders Colorado schools to remain closed for in-person learning for rest of school year

Posted at 7:00 AM, Apr 23, 2020

DENVER — Colorado school students will not return to their classrooms for in-person learning for the remainder of the school year, Colorado Governor Jared Polis said during a press briefing.

The governor signed an executive order Wednesday, making official what he said last month was very likely to happen after the state's 181 school districts closed their buildings as the COVID-19 pandemic began to get a foothold in Colorado.

The governor said while there is no guarantee that classroom learning will resume in the fall, school districts are preparing for a return of students in August. A firm decision on whether or not in-person instruction can proceed in the fall will be made later on in the coming months when district officials and the state can work out guidelines on how to proceed with traditional in-classroom instruction.

While facilities remain closed, districts are continuing with virtual learning programs. But Polis is encouraging school districts to utilize their shuttered buildings for special education instruction, vocational learning or food services with no more than 10 students at a time.

Schools and school districts intending to provide these services must work in coordination with their local public health agency and must observe social distancing requirements as required by applicable public health orders, according to the executive order.

Addressing concerns about the quality of education students are receiving through remote learning, the governor said their biggest goal is making sure every kid can achieve at grade level expectations next year.