Dear DPS Community:
Thank you for your support of the necessary health guidelines that have been implemented throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the CDC updated its guidance, stating that “fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.”
Following that guidance, Governor Jared Polis lifted the state’s mask requirement and changed the state’s guidance to masking suggestions.
We know how important it is to maintain safe and healthy practices in our schools and minimize risks as much as possible. With just a few short weeks left in the school year — and because vaccinations just became available to students over the age of 12 and are not yet available to our elementary students — DPS will maintain its existing policies, including the DPS 5 for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.
This is in accordance with guidance released from The Metro Denver Partnership for Health (MDPH) encouraging school districts to continue requiring masks for students and staff this school year.
This means that for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year (including end of year celebrations like graduations), we will continue to ask DPS students and staff to:
- Keep wearing masks indoors and outdoors
- Maintain physical distancing
- Complete daily health screens
- Meet virtually and do not hold in-person meetings
- Practice good hand hygiene
As part of the new guidance, the Governor also announced that, “Colorado will phase out mask requirements in schools, with fully vaccinated teachers and students allowed to stop wearing masks now — if their districts agree.” We are very excited to see our vaccination rates increase and our community case counts decrease. And we look forward to getting all of our schools back to full strength. We are very optimistic that our schools will be able to return to more normal operations. We are currently working through more detailed guidance for school operations for the 2021-22 school year, including mask policies. As an example, we will be moving away from the staff Safe Access health screener beginning Tuesday, June 1. We will be following up with more detailed building entry procedures next week.
Until then, every DPS student, family member, and staff member who gets vaccinated brings us one step closer to a 2021-22 school year that is much safer and less restrictive! Learn more about how to access vaccines here.
Outdoor Mask Guidance for Summer Programs
Based on updated local, state, and federal guidance, students and staff will no longer be required to wear face masks when outdoors during summer programs. At this time, students and staff will continue to wear masks indoors during summer programs. Additionally, as outlined above, masks will continue to be required outdoors through the end of the 2020-21 school year. We will continue to keep you informed as changes are made to our health policies.
Thank you, as always, for your cooperation and understanding.