COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- District 11 in Colorado Springs decided during a special board of education meeting Wednesday that students will start the fall semester one week later than previously planned.
According to D11, the start date for all students, both in-person and online, has been changed from Aug. 17 to Aug. 24. The district says the extra time will let them "better plan and prepare for in-person experiences and to review and plan for the new health and safety procedures."
School District 11 in Colorado Springs released its "Return to Learn Plan" on Friday.
"Everything that we've seen since March has been changing rapidly. So we did put out our plans to give our families some indication of what we're anticipating come August, but again those plans could very well change in the coming weeks," explained D11 spokesperson Devra Ashby.
Students in K-8 would have the option of attending school in-person five days a week, or may choose an online learning program called "Inspire Online." High school students can either follow a hybrid schedule or opt into a solely online program. By attending in-person, all students, families and staff would agree to follow safety and health protocols.
Students who attend school in person will follow social distancing guidelines to the extent possible, and masks must be worn by both students and staff "wherever and whenever possible." Students will also be responsible for cleaning their own spaces with provided soap and water.
The district is also planning "mask breaks."
"Especially with the younger students as well as those who are just not comfortable in a mask just yet, so that they can just take a break from it. Outdoor recess is a prime example. As long as students are socially distanced, that’s a prime time to have a mask break," Ashby told us.
The reopening of schools depends on which phase the State of Colorado is following. The specific guidelines are below:
Stay at Home Phase
- Widespread closures except for critical functions to reduce hospitalizations and deaths.
- Gatherings prohibited.
- All D11 students will attend school remotely (see Tier III below), no in-person learning will be conducted during a
Stay at Home order.
Safer at Home Phase
- Partial reopening, around 25%-50% with capacity caps, to give public health and healthcare systems the ability to scale their testing, tracing, and treatment capabilities.
- Small gatherings are okay, but large gatherings are prohibited.
- Depending on local health data, students may or may not be learning in-person
Protect our Neighbors Phase
- Expanded reopening, around 50% without caps, as local outbreaks are managed by strong local systems.
- Larger gatherings are okay, but mass gatherings are prohibited until there is a treatment or vaccine.
- Students will continue with in-person learning under this order unless they have opted into an online learning
The plan was written with the help of guidelines from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Department of Education.
To read D11's full plan, click here.