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Frequently Asked Questions

Remote Learning

What is remote learning?

When will DPS shift to remote learning?

Remote learning can happen under two different scenarios:

  • District-wide: There may be times when health conditions in Denver County mean that the safest way to keep students learning is to keep them at home and continue school via remote learning.
  • Targeted: As we gradually begin to bring more grade levels back into classrooms this fall for in-person learning, there likely will be times when a specific student, cohort, and/or school must shift to remote learning, if a quarantine period is recommended by our health partners.

Hybrid Learning

What is the hybrid option?

The hybrid option is a mix of remote and in-person learning. View more information about the hybrid option.

Charter families: Please check with your school directly, as the information above may not apply to your student.

In-Person Learning

What is the latest guidance on in-person learning plans?

Virtual Program

What is the virtual learning option?

How will English Learners be supported in the virtual learning option?

English Learners will continue to have access to MLE (formerly ELA) support services, including dedicated English Language Development and native language Spanish instruction.

How will students with IEP and/or 504 plans be supported in the 100% virtual learning option?

DPS is committed to equity, and this includes services and programs for students with disabilities. We recognize that virtual learning needs to be specialized to fit the individual needs of students, particularly for our students with IEPs. DPS schools will ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to the same opportunities as general education students. Schools will implement the IEP of a student with a disability to the greatest extent possible. Special Education departments nationally and locally recognize that this will be challenging under the circumstances and that compensatory services may be necessary to ensure equity for all students. Please review our Virtual Learning Plan for more information.

All special education students have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), which support their grade-level instruction. Any instructional resource will have to be customized to the student’s needs based upon their IEP. The SPED department is using CARES Act funding to purchase instructional resource materials to support student’s access to grade-level instruction while participating in 100% virtual learning. For further questions, please contact sped@dpsk12.org.

SchoolChoice & Enrollment

Can we change our preference for in-person learning or virtual learning option?

Middle and high school families had until Monday, Sept. 28 to make their final selection. Elementary family decisions were due on Friday, Sept. 18. If your family’s situation changes, and you want to change your learning option at your current school during the first semester, please connect with your school leader to find out if the school will be able to accommodate your request.

For more information, please visit the Choice & Enrollment website.

Health Guidance for In-Person Learning

What health experts does DPS consult with?

Our Nursing Services team has an established connection with the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE), including epidemiologists and other doctors who guide us regarding infectious disease. We also have an established partnership with Denver Health because of our School Based Health Clinics. Dr. Steven G. Federico is the Director of General Pediatrics / School and Community Programs at Denver Health and Dr. William Burman specializes in infectious disease and partners with Denver Health and DDPHE. We also continue to follow guidance issued by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).

Why are different Colorado school districts making different decisions on returning to in-person learning?

Each local health department gives guidance for their specific county. DPS makes decisions based on health conditions in Denver in consultation with the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment and Denver Health.

What health and safety precautions will schools take when students participate in in-person learning?

Will schools be provided with sufficient hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies?

Will personal protective equipment (PPE) be provided for students and/or staff?

What will happen during safety preparation drills for fires, emergency evacuations, or shelter-in-place? What will happen in the event of a school lockout or lockdown?

While this hasn’t been addressed directly at this time by CDE, districts and schools will continue to respond to general emergencies, including evacuation plans, and crisis intervention. We will plan for safe distancing protocols for fire drills, evacuation, and shelter in place. Staff with crisis intervention training will be identified to assist with behavioral and emotional emergency responses.

How will DPS keep bathrooms clean and sanitized?

Will there be licensed, registered nurses in school buildings at all times?

How will schools maintain physical distance in classrooms?

Will students be able to share materials?

How will students eat meals at school?

Will parents/guardians or other visitors be allowed in school buildings?

COVID-19 Symptoms, Screening, Tests and Quarantining

What will the daily symptom screening process look like?

Is DPS providing access to COVID-19 testing for employees?

DPS is partnering with Denver-based Gary Community Investments to provide access to free COVID-19 testing and support to all DPS employees.

COVIDCheck Colorado is a social-benefit enterprise of Gary Community Investments, and our partnership provides all staff access to fast and accurate COVID-19 testing, symptom tracking, and tools to support public health department contact-tracing efforts. COVID-19 testing, combined with symptom-tracking tools, helps us manage potential outbreaks before they start and quickly provide support to anyone who tests positive for the virus.

What happens if a student or staff member tests positive?

Building Readiness (Ventilation, Heat Issues, etc.)

What has been done to ensure that DPS buildings are ready for staff and students to safely return?

How will we keep DPS buildings clean and sanitized?

What investments have been made into school Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems?

What are the guidelines around opening windows and using fans and portable cooling units?

Will students be allowed to use drinking fountains in schools?

I saw a news story about Legionella in school water systems - what steps has DPS taken to ensure that our water is safe?

Following best practices, preventative measures were implemented for Legionella by ensuring that water was turned on by Operations staff in all DPS building water outlets for at least 30 seconds daily during the Stay-at-Home period when school buildings were not in use.

Early Childhood Education (ECE)

What health and safety measures will be in place with nap mats and other communal classroom items?

Nap mats must be spaced out according to physical distancing guidelines and will be sanitized daily. Each student will be assigned a “blue bag” for storing their blanket and sheet. The ECE department is looking into preparing individual boxes of materials for students to avoid sharing commonly used items like scissors, glue, etc.

Will ECE students be required to wear masks for in-person learning?

Masks will be required for all students over the age of three and all adults when on school grounds. For more information, please view our mask guidance.

Will ECE students be expected to maintain physical distancing?

Classrooms will be reconfigured in order to provide safe physical distancing. Classrooms may be decluttered with the removal of soft/plush toys and wider spaces will be created. Nap mats (which are easily sanitized) may be used for activities to promote some social distancing.

ECE drop-off, pickup and sign-in

Each school will have procedures in place for daily drop off and pickup. Parents will each use a different pen to sign in and pens will be sanitized daily. Students’ temperatures will be taken with a touchless thermometer.

Will ECE students have access to remote learning?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide virtual learning for ECE students at this time.

Special Education

What are the mask guidelines for deaf and hard-of-hearing students who need to see lips to understand/communicate?

The determination on masks will be made case-by-case, based on the individual needs of the students. We are providing multiple options that minimize the spread of COVID-19 to support communication between students who are hearing impaired and their teachers/peers. These options include masks that allow for speech reading, face shields, and plexiglass barriers.

How will DPS accommodate students with IEPs?

Our special education department is currently developing guidelines to support students based on the various groups and needs within special education. This guidance will cover a wide variety of issues and topics such as determining compensatory services, families that choose the Virtual Program (fully remote) option, making up missed evaluations, and how services will be delivered under the current health guidelines. When instructional staff return to work, they will be trained in these guidelines. Families will work with their school-level team to resolve individual concerns.

For students who are typically in both general education and special education classes, what will their schedules look like now?

For most students in DPS, there should not be any significant changes. The decisions will be determined by the school IEP team. Placement in special education and services are unique to the individual students. Once the health guidelines are finalized, then the special education department will develop guides for school team to consider when making individual student decisions regarding their schedule and how services will be delivered.

Calendar & Bell Schedules

Will starting the year a week later impact the overall school calendar?

No. At this time, our school calendar has not been impacted by the delayed start. Check out our school calendar here for reference.

Transportation

Health screening before boarding bus

Process for +Pass

Bus boarding and exiting protocols

At the bus stop:

  • Please make sure your student adheres to these bus stop rules, which are important to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • While students are waiting to board the bus, they will need to remain six feet apart, unless they are siblings who live together.  Students are required to wear their masks at the bus stop.

Boarding the bus:

  • Students will board the bus in a slow, orderly fashion.
  • Students will wait in line six feet apart until it is time to board the bus.
  • The driver will signal to the student when it is safe to board the bus.
  • When it is time for students to board, they will scan their +Pass and will head to their seat.
  • The bus will be seated back to front. This means students will board and then will take a seat as far back as possible. Each student will have their own seat. The only exception to this rule will be siblings who live together. They will be allowed to share a seat.
  • While on the bus, students, staff, and drivers will be required to wear their masks for the duration of the ride.

Exiting the bus:

  • Students will exit the bus in a calm, orderly manner.
  • The driver will dismiss students in the front of the bus first, going row by row until the bus is empty. This will help keep students from passing each other as they exit.
  • Students will stay in their seats until the driver tells them it is their turn to exit.
  • Students will scan their +Pass as they exit the bus.
  • Students will remain six feet apart while exiting the bus.
  • Students must continue to wear their mask as they exit the bus.

Bus schedules

In order to accommodate as many students as we can, we will pick up students in three waves in the morning and afternoon. Bus information will be available for parents as soon as possible in Infinite Campus and the Parent Portal.

What transportation will be provided?

Due to COVID-19 restraints, our buses will only have a 33% capacity. Because we will be transporting fewer students this fall, we will be changing eligibility standards, which may be viewed here.