Cherry Creek School District eyes remote learning as coronavirus cases rise

Cherry Creek School District told families and staff Tuesday to prepare for a possible switch to remote learning, as COVID-19 conditions continue to worsen in the Denver metro area.

The indicators that the district tracks to monitor community spread, such as positivity rate, daily case counts and hospitalizations, have persistently been in the “red zone,” meaning it’s possibly unsafe to host in-person classes. Superintendent Scott Siegfried stopped short of calling for a switch, but indicated that is likely to happen.

“In my conversations with public health officials, it appears this surge in COVID cases is going to continue to rise in the coming days and weeks,” Siegfried said in a note to families. “Therefore, I am asking teachers to ensure students take home schoolwork and supplies this week, in the event I make a call to switch to remote learning.”

Cherry Creek, which has seen dozens of positive cases within its schools, has been an outlier among districts in the Tri-County area as it’s continued in-person learning despite increased case counts and extremely high positivity rates. In October, Aurora Public Schools, Westminster Public Schools, Sheridan School District No. 2 and Adams County School District 14 moved most, if not all, of their students to online learning. Adams 12 Five Star Schools recently shifted secondary students online through mid-December, citing COVID trends.

Denver Public Schools, Colorado’s largest district, also scaled back in-person classes for some elementary students and decided to keep middle and high school students in virtual education through the end of the semester.

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