As more Colorado school districts move some or all of their students to online learning, state public health officials issued a new report that stresses the benefits and safety of holding school in-person but offers scant new guidance or protocols to make that feasible.
Titled “In-Person Learning in the Time of COVID-19,” the report says that Colorado schools are “reasonably safe,” especially for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, and that schools have successfully used mask-wearing and cohorts to limit the spread of COVID-19 within school buildings.
The document underscores the benefits of in-person schooling, noting that families with limited resources often have a harder time supporting remote learning, meaning those students lose out on more educational opportunities and risk lifelong impacts.
In a press release, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the report aims to help schools make decisions about whether to stay in-person as cases rise. But the only guidance it contains are suggestions to cancel extracurricular activities and sports and pay close attention to cohort size when case rates are high. This comes after the state reversed itself to allow high school football to go on.