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Denver Public Schools set to open its preschools in September

Spanish-language sign hung outside a school bathroom encourages children to wash their hands.
Denver is still working out all the details for bringing back preschool students in September, but hand-washing will definitely be part of the day.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Denver Public Schools will open its preschools starting early next month.

It’s a first step toward bringing students back to the classroom in Colorado’s largest district, where most students are learning remotely until at least Oct. 16.

Early childhood centers at Escalante-Biggs, Pascual LeDoux, Sandra Todd-Williams, and Stephen Knight plan to open on Sept. 8, the Tuesday after Labor Day. The district’s remaining early childhood centers will open on Sept. 14.

Unlike older students, Denver preschool students are not doing any learning online.

Since Superintendent Susana Cordova announced in July that the district would begin the school year remotely, public health metrics have improved. Public health officials recently released a framework that could guide decisions about returning more students to the classroom.

Cordova has said the district may also bring back students with disabilities and those who are in the earliest stages of learning English after Labor Day if public health conditions allow it.

Cordova pointed to the district’s successful experience running small summer programs without any COVID outbreaks.

“We have learned a lot about how to safely support in-person learning from our Discovery Link sites that provide child care,” she said in a press release. “And we’ve used these valuable learnings, including many of those specific to health protocols, to inform our [early childhood] plans.”

Administrators will reach out to families that have already enrolled by Sept. 4 to find out if they want to send their children. Those families need to confirm their decision by Sept. 14. Due to anticipated high demand, the district will not hold slots for families that opt out of in-person preschool.

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