PUEBLO — The Pueblo District 60 School Board voted Thursday night to approve a Return to School Plan consisting of a mixture of in-person instruction, hybrid instruction, and a 100% virtual learning option.
The plan follows health and safety guidelines recommended by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and Pueblo Health.
The complete plan was presented at a special Board of Education meeting Thursday night.
Under the plan, students will return to school on Monday, August 31, and teachers will return on Monday, Aug. 10.
The added time before classes start will allow D60 buildings to implement health and safety guidelines, distribute technology devices, and for teachers to prepare for the school year.
The plan was developed by a task force consisting of around 70 teachers, administrators, staff, parents, and students, as well as leaders from the Pueblo Education Association and the Pueblo Educational Support Personnel Association.
The plan also took into account a summer survey that included nearly 4,000 responses from D60 families, in which 87% of households showed a preference for in-person instruction or a hybrid of in-person and distance learning.
D60 Superintended Charlotte Macaluso said the decision to reopen schools was also based on marginalized students, who rely on the services schools provide.
“If our schools remain shuttered, there is a real risk of increasing achievement and opportunity gaps,” Macaluso said. “Many of our marginalized students are housing insecure, food insecure, or require a safe refuge from abuse and neglect. Many of our students require special services that cannot be easily provided for online. If our students who are in most need of our school system are denied an opportunity for in-person learning, it could have grave consequences for our community.”