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Polis establishes task force to plan safe return of students in January

DENVER (KRDO) -- Governor Jared Polis announced on Wednesday that a new task force will coordinate the safe return of students to the classroom in January.

The "Back-to-School Working Group" will consist of teachers, school staff, superintendents, health officials and parents. The team will share their perspectives and feedback to state leaders about schools reopening next year.

“Every child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential and we cannot let our students’ education become a casualty of this pandemic,” Polis said.

The task force is gathering Wednesday for the first time to discuss current protocols and best practices when planning for students returning.

“This challenging time has strained our educators, parents, school staff and students," Polis said. "That’s why I’ve formed this working group to help us successfully reopen our schools for in-person learning during the pandemic— I believe that together, we can build upon and develop innovative strategies that assist us in safely reopening schools for all our students.”

But many schools have been forced to close classrooms as they face dramatic substitute teacher shortages and too many staff in quarantine to keep up in-person learning.

“We need to talk collectively, collaboratively, about how we’re addressing that substitute shortage and how we can overcome staffing shortages when we have to follow quarantine guidances," said Amie Baca-Oehlert, president of the Colorado Education Association and member of the task force.

Gov. Polis also hopes $15 million toward school safety improvements statewide will help.

“Outdoor classrooms, HVAC improvements for filtration, plexiglass, all those types of things," Polis said. "We want to continue to do more.”

Education / Reporter Stories / State & Regional News
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Zachary Aedo

Zach is a reporter for KRDO and Telemundo Surco. Learn more about Zach here.

Lauren Barnas

Comments

15 Comments

  1. This…makes no sense. Especially when the statistics do not support this argument. Schools are super spreader events.

  2. The start of school in the New Year will be interesting if people keep insisting on Thanksgiving and Christmas travel. You want your kids back in a desk for January? Stay home for the holidays!

  3. You don’t need another task force. You need to force districts to follow the guidelines provided to them. They are not taking it seriously. They publish all sorts of procedures but they do not follow them where the rubber meets the road. All the policies in the world do no good when they are ignored. What needs to happen is simple. Fire those Administrators and Teachers that fail to follow safety guidelines. Talk to the ground level people that work in those schools and provide adequate protection from termination when they come forth as Whistle Blowers.

    1. Non medical face masks that do not block the virus and senseless 6ft distancing that the virus ignores is a fools remedy to stop the spread.

      1. That’s been shown that A Sneeze can travel OVER 16 Feet, up to 200 Feet! If a person feels unwell, THEY, Not Everyone Else, NEEDS To STAY Home.

        1. Another thing that the schools leave up to the parents. No checks are conducted by school officials until the child claims to feel ill. By that time the child has spent a few hours walking around the building interacting with other students and staff. Parents can’t be trusted to do the right thing and keep their children home. The schools don’t Cohort as recommended or check the students upon arrival and the stage is set.

      2. If they would only follow that much of the guidelines. They don’t even enforce that in the schools.

  4. As long as we have football! Let ’em all wrestle each other to the ground, facemask to facemask, breathing into each other’s mouths. CHSAA is largely to blame for this nonsense.

  5. Polis may be infected and he is preaching what we must do.

    God help our children a moron is at the helm.

  6. The Real Reason Pole-licker want to get “the children” Back Into Schools, is so that they can Be USED Like The Collaborators During NAZI Germany, To Report ON their families, just like the Vermont Governor is planning! Bet so many people are just ecstatic that The Leaders such as Pole-licker, Biden-Harris will be destroying humanity and society, in the pursuit of ‘saving the planet’, at the direction of The One World Order, whose deity served would be Lucifer.

  7. Good! Children are not dying and there is no credible evidence children in school are the reason for case increases. Kids should be in school! How many of you fat lazy teachers (not all teachers are fat and lazy-I know a few that can’t wait to get back in the classroom) spent the past 9 months getting yourself in shape so you are low risk? No, instead you sat inside and stuffed your face? Viruses do what viruses do. H1N1 killed thousands of kids, but no stay at home or lockdowns then…….,,why?

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