Denver metro school districts cancel classes or move to remote learning amid staffing shortages

Colorado schools are facing such significant staffing shortages that Denver Public Schools will move three schools to remote-learning this week, while another three districts in the metro area are canceling classes altogether.

Adams 14 School District, Boulder Valley School District and Adams 12 Five Star Schools are closing schools on Friday because they cannot find enough substitute teachers and other staff. Schools in those districts will also close on Thursday for Veterans Day.

“We are doing everything in our power to keep our schools open and to maximize in-person learning opportunities for our students,” said Will Jones, spokesman for DPS in an email. “At the same time, we are facing a critical staffing shortage, like districts across the country, that impacts our ability to safely operate our schools.”

In Denver, George Washington High School will move classes to online starting on Wednesday. The school will remain in remote-learning at least until Friday, although online classes could be extended through Nov. 19, according to a letter to parents.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College and John H. Amesse Elementary School will go remote on Thursday and Friday,[cq comment=”cq” ]Jones said.

School Districts have faced a number of challenges in returning to school during the coronavirus pandemic, including a shortage of substitutes, school nurses and bus drivers. Schools have also faced supply chain disruption, leading them to reduce food options during lunchtime.

The staffing shortages are leading to class cancellations in other parts of the U.S., including Seattle, reported The Seattle Times.

DPS has been unable to fill vacancies and in some cases, employees are on leave to care for family members. Staff members are also becoming sick, Jones said.

DPS is working with schools to determine whether they can safely operate, and when they are unable to do so they are moved to remote-learning, with DPS aiming to notify families by 4 p.m. the day before, Jones said.

“We are taking this day by day and doing our best to cover the schools that are in need of additional staffing,” he said.

Adams 14, which announced its decision on Monday, said it is canceling classes district-wide because of shortages of substitute teachers and of staff in its transportation and nutrition services departments, according to a Facebook post by the district.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our families and staff members,” the district wrote, adding that the closure “will be treated as a snow day.”

Source: Read Full Article