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State issues draft guidance on how schools can safely reopen this fall

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Posted at 6:05 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 08:17:13-04

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) issued draft guidance Tuesday on how schools can safely open in the fall.

The department said the initial guidance will be adjusted over the summer as feedback is received and the COVID-19 situation evolves.

The 2020-2021 school year will look very different, with new protocols to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The CDE said it has set up a toolkit for schools and districts to help effectively manage the new protocols and priorities for the school year.

The toolkit will be adjusted based on feedback from district and local leaders, teachers, students, other education staff, and the State Board of Education, the CDE said.

The top priority of the took is to keep students and educators healthy, but at the same time, children must continue to keep learning, the CDE said.

“Our first and foremost concern is the health and safety of students and staff,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “We are doing everything we can to make sure schools can safely open in the fall. I’m incredibly grateful to our teachers for their tremendous work transforming their lessons for remote instruction, but I think we can all agree that in-person learning at schools provides important structure for our children, and it also supports working parents in their need to return to their jobs.”

According to the CDE, the toolkit will include sections on operational issues like health screenings, passing periods, cafeteria operations, and buses, as well as suggestions on supporting a blended approach to learning through both in-person and online instruction.

The toolkit, as well as a from to submit feedback can be found here: http://www.cde.state.co.us/planning20-21