District 49 first day of online school; hoping to slowly bring students back after Labor Day

D49 returns to online learning
D49 returns to online learning(KKTV)
Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 10:25 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - One of El Paso County’s largest school districts is now back in school with remote learning.

District 49 is beginning the school year Monday, where teachers will connect with students virtually through their online program. The district and health officials decided Aug. 17 was too early to safely resume in-person learning.

11 News got to tour both a D-49 elementary and high school. Common changes to the school environment included spaced out desks, directional hallways, hand sanitizing devices and mask-wearing.

First-12th graders will have to wear masks. Kindergarten students and preschoolers do not have to wear a mask, at this point. There are medical and special needs exemptions in place for mask-wearing in the district.

“The county guidance for athletics, PE, and other activities is very limited, but in settings where masks are impossible (band or eating) or impractical (aerobic activity), we will practice alternate safety strategies like rigid cohorting, increased distancing, and moving outdoors,” the district’s website states.

E-learning is available for students who do not want to return to in-person classes.

“Your student is welcome to return to the classroom for in-person learning when you feel the timing is right. Or if you enroll your student for in-person learning and decide that is not a good fit, you can switch to E-learning,” as stated on the district’s website.

If a teacher or students tests positive for COVID-19, D-49 will use contact tracing methods to decide if it is most appropriate to apply quarantine measures to individuals, cohorts of students/staff, or an entire school.

Kids returning to school:

- Kindergarten through second-grade students returning in-person Sept. 8, the day after Labor Day.

- Third through fifth-grade students returning in-person Sept. 14.

- Sixth through 12th-grade students have no set date yet. They may return at a later date in the semester as the district monitors the pandemic.

Starting Tuesday, D-49 will continue their grab-and-go meal service from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at three locations.

All information about the district returning to school, including the lunch program, can be found here. For all other districts’ plans, visit our master list here.

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