DENVER (KRDO) -- The Colorado Department of Public Health announced new guidance Thursday on how "learning pods" can be joined or formed this school year.
Due to the pandemic, many families with school-age children are forming "learning pods," in which students gather together in a small group under adult supervision to learn remotely. The pods are usually formed by families in the same neighborhood or among children in the same grade, allowing them to learn and socialize together.
Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order Thursday temporarily suspending statutes that require certain licenses for adults wishing to supervise children.
Under Executive Order D 2020 188, adults without a license may supervise a group of children with a maximum of eight children age 10 and older, or a maximum of five children ages six to nine. The order is a short-term change to give parents some more flexibility, CDPHE said. In both cases, the learning pods cannot provide 24-hour care.
In addition, the state release guidelines to help parents form or join a learning pod safely, including:
- Request an internet background check through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for anyone providing instruction or supervision or with access to children. Background checks cost $5.00 per check.
- Register learning pods with the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) by providing the name, email, and address of adults operating the learning pod and the number of students in each pod. This will allow the state to support pods with information about free training on health, safety and child development practices.
- Gather emergency contact information for each child and create a plan for children with health needs, such as medications, allergies, dietary restrictions or other concerns. Have a plan for medical emergencies.
- Ensure that all hazardous items (weapons, alcohol, medications, etc.) are locked up and inaccessible to children.
- Create an emergency evacuation plan and select alternative pick-up locations.
For more information on the state's guidelines, click here.