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Coronavirus closures: Denver-area districts cancel in-person classes the rest of the school year

A growing number of Front Range school districts will be closed for in-person learning through the end of the school year to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

Colorado’s five largest districts — Denver Public Schools, Jeffco Public Schools, Douglas County School District, Cherry Creek School District, and Aurora Public Schools — were among 14 districts that announced the decision together on April 3.

Several other districts announced their decisions separately, bringing the total number of districts closing buildings for the remainder of the year to 24, as of April 15.

The tiny Ouray and Ridgway school districts are the latest to make the announcement.

These closures go beyond the governor’s order that closes all Colorado schools to in-person learning through April 30.

Denver’s 92,000 students started remote learning Tuesday, April 7. The approximately 84,000 students who attend Jeffco Public Schools have been doing remote learning since March 17 and will continue now through the end of the school year.

Thompson School District in Loveland, Poudre School District in Fort Collins, and the Gunnison Watershed District were among the first in the state to announce their closures for the rest of the school year.

As of April 15, there were more than 8,200 COVID-19 cases in Colorado, though state officials say the number of infected residents is likely much higher. At least 357 people in the state have died of the disease, and more than 1,600 have been hospitalized.

In announcing closures through the end of the school year, district leaders cited the likelihood the coronavirus cases will peak at the end of April, and said it will be safer to continue remote learning though May instead of convening lots of people in school buildings.

The extended closure means districts will likely have to postpone or cancel events such as proms and in-person graduation celebrations.

We have a list of Colorado school closures below.

Know of any districts we’re missing? Send us an email at co.tips@chalkbeat.org

Adams 12 Five Star, 38,700 students

Adams 14, 6,600 students

Aurora Public Schools, 40,000 students

Cherry Creek School District, 56,000 students

Clear Creek School District, 717 students

Denver Public Schools, 92,000 students

Douglas County School District, 67,300 students

Eagle County Schools, 6,800 students

Englewood Schools, 2,600 students

Gunnison Watershed School District, 2,100 students

Harrison School District 2, 11,500 students

Jeffco Public Schools, 84,000 students

Littleton Public Schools, 15,000 students

Mapleton Public Schools, 9,150 students

Montrose County School District, 6,200 students

Ouray R-1, 170 students

Poudre School District, 29,700 students

Pueblo City Schools District 60, 15,200 students

Pueblo County School District 70, 10,500 students

Ridgway R-2, 354 students

Sheridan School District, 1,350 students

School District 27J, 19,000 students

Thompson School District, 16,000 students

Westminster Public Schools, 9,000 students

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