As cases continue to rise and many Colorado counties have been moved to a stricter level on the state’s COVID-19 dial, one of the most pressing questions is about what do do with schools, and how to keep kids learning. What are the best options? Is in-person learning safe? Are kids learning enough if school is remote? Is there a middle path?
This November the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released a new report, In-Person Learning in the Time of COVID-19: The Costs and Benefits of In-Person Learning During Rising Cases in Colorado. The report looks at factors such as transmission rates in schools, outbreaks and trends, risk, protective measures for schools, and how schools fit in with public health orders. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has numerous additional resources on their COVID-19 Resources for Schools website. The site also includes information on masks, CARES Act funding, and planning for the 2021 school year.
Some schools and districts may choose to do a combination of remote and in-person learning. For these, CDE has produced a Hybrid Learning Guide which offers helpful guidance on transitioning between in-person and remote instruction. Another useful resource is CDPHE and CDE’s Reopening Schools: Health Guidance by COVID-19 Phase.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Colorado, including case data and public health orders, see the state’s official COVID-19 webpage.
Update, December 17, 2020: The Governor’s Back-to-School Working Group has just released a new report, Roadmap to In-Person Learning, that further explores this issue. The report details “research around the importance of in-person learning, and strategies and tactics the State is taking to assist with safe, consistent in-person learning at P-12 schools,” according to a press release.