Englewood Schools looks ahead to in-person learning

New task force has been created to help guide the process

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With the 2020-2021 school year set to begin in only two months, Englewood Schools has launched a task force that will come up with frameworks that will guide decisions regarding students returning to in-person learning.

The task force, launched on June 4, is made up of district administrators, teachers and principals. It is currently planning for Englewood Schools to offer both in-person and remote learning — giving families a choice of whether or not they want to send their child to school. The final frameworks from the task force are expected to be released on July 15.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis told Fox News Sunday in mid-May that he is confident state schools will offer in-person classes this upcoming school year. But Englewood School Board President Caty Husbands sounds less sure.

“I think (in-person learning is) best for the kids and best for teachers to be able to work together in our schools. But we just don’t know (about in-person learning) at this point,” Husbands said. “We’re just going to have to wait and see.”

The task force’s goal is to find a way to safely educate students and provide for their social-emotional, nutritional and academic needs, a release from Englewood Schools reads. It will meet regularly this month and into early July.

The school district’s return to in-person learning is anticipated to be flexible in case the school district needs to maneuver toward full remote learning.

Englewood Schools Superintendent Wendy Rubin is expected to ask parents to decide about remote versus in-person learning on Aug. 1, the release says.

“Our first priority is the health and safety of our students and staff members. Additionally, as a school district, we provide many services to our students and our community,” Rubin said in the release. “Our plan will be to safely provide academic instruction, social-emotional support, childcare and food and nutrition services to our students whether they choose to come to school or to learn at home remotely.”

Last month, parents and teachers in Englewood Schools were surveyed about how comfortable they feel about in-person learning in the fall. The survey found that 30% of respondents prefer remote learning while 70% said they prefer in-person learning at school.

Englewood Schools plans to introduce more live teaching and student-teacher interaction this fall during remote-lessons.

“Remote learning in the fall will look different than remote learning this spring,” Joanna Polzin, chief academic officer for Englewood Schools, said in the release. “We are proud of the work we did this spring, and survey results from students and parents show that we were largely successful with remote learning. However, having more time to plan coupled with the experience of having done remote learning, we are able to make changes that will be beneficial to both students and teachers.”

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