Colorado schools consider different phases and models for fall, parents petition

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — As the school year comes to a close, parents and students are anxiously waiting to hear what class will look like come August.

“This is not a healthy environment for our kids,” Douglas County mother Kristie Huddle said. 

Huddle decided to create a petition with another mother. Within three days, more than 12,000 people had signed it, stating they want Colorado K-12 students in class full-time for fall.

“I’m a parent of three kids and I have seen the kind of disengagement after a few weeks of online learning,” Huddle said. 

“We know it hasn’t been easy,” said Tracy Rudnick, 27J Schools’ director of communications, adding, “We have over 90 percent of our parents who have said that they are going to send their children back to our schools in the fall and then we have over 80 percent of those same parents saying they want their children to be back to a school environment if that’s safe.”

27J released four potential options they’re considering for students in the fall.

“We don’t know what that’s going to look like yet in the fall, so we are trying to let our parents know that we are in the planning stages and give them that heads-up that these are the things in the works,” Rudnick said. 

Rudnick hopes the district can release more concrete plans after July 4.

Denver Public Schools is still working on coming up with scenarios. A district representative says the district hopes to send out updated information the first week of June.

On Friday afternoon, Jeffco Public Schools released possible scenarios for how classes will be held in the fall.

Douglas County just put together a fall 2020 planning task force that will meet virtually for the first time May 26.

In Boulder Valley, schools are sharing a five-phase reintroduction model.

“As we are planning into the future, we know there needs to be a lot of flexibility,” Boulder Valley School District Area Superintendent Margaret Crespo said. 

Even if all students are allowed back in the classroom, 27J and Boulder Valley districts plan to have a 100 percent online option available for any families who still want their students to stay at home.

“We are Colorado, we are smart, we are strong, we need to do better for our kids,” Huddle said. “To sideline a whole generation is just completely unacceptable, in my opinion.”