Dear DPS Community:
We hope you were able to rest and enjoy some time with your loved ones over the winter break. As we welcome students back to our classrooms, we want to share some important health and safety information with you. We are fully committed to keeping schools open for in-person learning. With the combination of our strong health safeguards and the wide availability of a safe and effective vaccine, we are providing the safest and healthiest conditions possible to support our educators and scholars.
New Isolation and Quarantine Guidance
As you may have heard, the CDC recently announced new guidance for how long to isolate or quarantine if a person tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19. The Metro Denver Partnership for Health (a group of public health agencies serving six Denver metro area counties) has shared updated guidance for students, staff, and volunteers in K-12 schools, based on the CDC’s announcement. DPS will be following this guidance going forward.
Please note, we are currently in the process of updating our DPS websites and materials with this new information. We will continue to share updates as more guidance is released.
- Isolation: Any student, staff member, or volunteer in a school who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for at least 5 days. If at that point, symptoms are greatly improving and there is no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medication), they may return to school or work with a well-fitting mask on at all times when around others.
- Quarantine: Students, staff members, or volunteers in a school who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 should do the following, based on their vaccination status:
- Unvaccinated OR have not yet received a booster: Quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days.
- Quarantine is not required for students, staff, or volunteers who are not experiencing symptoms, AND:
- Are vaccinated and have received their booster; OR
- Have completed the primary series (first 2 doses) of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months; OR
- Have completed the primary series (first dose) of Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last 2 months; OR
- Students only: Both individuals were masked at the time of exposure.
- Even if a person is not required to quarantine, the individual should wear a mask around others for 10 days after the exposure.
- Anyone who has been exposed should be tested 5 days after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately get tested and then quarantine until they get test results back. (If the results are positive, they should follow the isolation guidance above).
Staffing Shortages and Possible, Temporary Shifts to Remote Instruction
Please also understand that we, like school districts across the state and country, continue to face severe staffing shortages that may cause a school to make a temporary shift to remote learning. We know this is a burden on scholars and families, and we are committed to making sure that it is only done when all other staffing options have been exhausted and it’s clear that COVID challenges have led to so many staff absences that the school cannot open safely for in-person learning and support. I tremendously appreciate the dedication shown by our school leaders, teachers, and support staff in continuously going above and beyond to take on additional duties and responsibilities to keep our schools open. We will always do our best to communicate a temporary shift to remote learning as far in advance as possible.
Thank you, again, for your ongoing flexibility and patience. Working together, we can keep our students and staff healthy, and our schools open.
Dr. Alex Marrero