Denver Public Schools proposes more in-person learning after spring break, earlier start date for 2021-2022

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DENVER — On Thursday, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education will meet to discuss the 2021-2022 school calendar, and plans for more in-person learning for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

The calendar proposal includes three possible start dates: Aug. 16, 23, or 30.

In a tweet last month, DPS board director Tay Anderson said he’s opposed to any start date earlier than Aug. 30 due to a lack of proper ventilation and air conditioning. Fifty-five DPS schools do not have air conditioning.

The calendar proposal offers several “heat mitigation” strategies, including providing remote learning support for schools without air conditioning, if the semester begins on Aug. 16.

DPS says six additional schools — Fairview Elementary School, Force Elementary School, Grant Beacon Middle School, Merrill Middle School, Margaret M Smith Elementary School and Valverde Elementary School — will have air conditioning installed in 2021, and up to 25 more schools could have air conditioning starting in 2022.

The Board of Education agenda also includes an update on in-person learning for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. The plan mentions middle and high schools operating at as close to full strength as possible after spring break.