I want to share a huge THANK YOU to our amazing educators and all of Team DPS as we continue to navigate this pandemic together, including through our incredible compliance rates with Denver’s public health order on the COVID-19 vaccine. The compliance rate among school-based staff is now 98.82%. For our classroom teachers, the compliance rate is over 99%.
Now, our health experts encourage us to turn our attention toward getting all of our students 5 and older the vaccine. In order for our staff and families to have the chance to get their children vaccinated, we have decided to start the Thanksgiving break a day early and we have made Friday, Nov. 19, a day off of school. Our buildings will be closed and most of our staff will have the day off … to focus on self-care and to give them more time to take advantage of the COVID vaccine. (Charter schools run on different calendars, so families whose children attend a charter should check with their school on plans for Nov.19.)
Unfortunately, like nearly all school districts across the state and country, we are continuing to face staffing shortages at our schools, in addition to the health impacts of the pandemic. These staffing challenges were a factor in our decision to make Nov. 19 a non-attendance day. And it may become necessary over the next few weeks for schools to shift to temporary remote learning, when staffing shortages make it impossible to safely operate our schools in person. Each school’s circumstances are different, so we will be addressing these concerns on a school-by-school basis.
Learn more in this week’s video message.
Please know that I do understand that changes to the school calendar and temporary shifts to remote instruction do pose serious challenges for our community. Our focus remains on ensuring the safest and healthiest learning conditions possible at our schools and maximizing in-person instruction and support for our scholars. We’re working hard to navigate the difficulties of the pandemic and provide the level of service we all expect from our schools. Thank you, again, for your patience and understanding.
Dr. Alex Marrero,