COVID-19 prompts Douglas County School District to extend spring break

Schools to undergo deep cleaning during two-week closure

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The Douglas County School District is joining a flurry of Denver metro area school districts in announcing school closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district will extend its spring break by one week, closing from March 16-27. In that time, all schools, district facilities and buses will be deep cleaned.

“We are facing an unprecedented public health crisis in our community. The decision to close our school district was extremely difficult, made in consultation with our area superintendents and out of an abundance of caution for our families,” an online announcement from the district said.

The announcement stated “strong, urgent action” is necessary to prevent spreading the virus and to save lives. The district will decide whether to reopen on March 30 toward the end of the two-week closure.

The closure will affect the Before and After Care program, or BASE, preschools, outdoor education and any DCSD-sponsored spring break activities, field trips, camps and facility rentals.

The district urged the community to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and to wash hands regularly.

An email to the school community from Superintendent Thomas Tucker provided to Colorado Community Media said student attendance was strongly encouraged on March 13, when students would receive instructions for remote learning during the week of March 23-27. Tucker urged parents and students to pick up any needed personal items before the end of school on March 13.

Nearby districts including Denver Public Schools, Cherry Creek School District and Jefferson Public Schools also announced on March 12 they would extend spring breaks.

Jefferson Public Schools will transition to continuing education remotely next week, according to a district announcement, closing from March 16-20 before its spring break runs from March 23-27.

Cherry Creek Superintendent Scott Siegfried said in an announcement the district would send follow-up communications concerning issues including emergency meals and access to online education resources. Cherry Creek Schools will close from March 13-27.

Denver Public Schools is closing for three weeks, from March 16 through April 7. Superintendents said the decision was difficult but came amid consultation with public health officials.

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