Adams 12 Five Star Schools will decide by the end of the week if it will bring middle and high school students back for full-time, in-person learning. The district sent out a survey for families to …
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Adams 12 Five Star Schools will bring middle and high school students back for full-time, in-person learning.
The district announced its decision Feb. 26 after sending out a survey for families to declare if they were opting for fully in-person or fully remote.
Those who opted for in-person learning will be in the classroom Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. They will still learn remotely on Wednesdays. Other families chose to learn remotely five days a week. Of the 10,200-plus hybrid learners, 93 percent chose full in-person, while the rest chose remote.
Superintendent Chris Gdowski said district leadership originally proposed a return to full in-person learning because COVID-19 case rates have declined and staff vaccinations have increased. More than 4,000 district staff and teachers have been vaccinated as of Feb. 26, said district spokesperson Christina Dahmen. Currently, Adams County is level yellow on the state's COVID-19 dial but is close to the next lowest level, blue. A district statement also mentioned that school buildings have increased ventilation and an inventory for students and staff to wear double paper masks.
At levels blue and green, state and county health officials don't require school districts to offer hybrid learning for secondary level students, explained Dave Lockley, president of the District Twelve Educators' Association. As a result, the union was supportive on the new in-person model, Lockley said before the district made its decision. “We rely on what the public health experts to tell us when things are safe and what we should do to make them safe,” he added.
Teachers are nervous about the change because it's another pivot for them, Lockley said. Yet, he added, “If we can do things safely, it has always been our position that we should be in person.”
High school seniors and other identified special populations will return on March 8. Everyone else will follow suit after spring break.
Douglas County School District, Jefferson County School District and Weld Re-8 School District have recently made similar decisions. Westminster Public Schools has provided full-time, in-person learning at all levels since the semester began. Brighton’s 27J Schools will continue its traditional hybrid model. 27J spokesperson Tracy Rudnick said, “While we understand the desire to fully open our schools and facilities to in-person learning, we do not want to compromise the health and safety of our students or staff, nor do we want to lose any additional educational time due to a COVID-19 outbreak or quarantine protocols.”
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