CA announces opening plans for 2020-2021 school year

(DENVER)—Colorado Academy Head of School Dr. Mike Davis announced on Monday, Aug. 10,  the school’s plan for its 2020-2021 school year opening in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CA will begin the year on August 18, 2020, in a fully remote fashion for one week for Lower School, and two weeks for Middle and Upper School. That will be followed by a slow phase-in of bringing back partial groups of students, specific to each division. By September 8, all divisions are scheduled to operate in a CA Flex (hybrid) model. The hybrid model reduces by half the number of students on campus each day, thus allowing for greater social distancing. Families will follow a Smart Restart calendar for the first weeks of school.

In making the announcement, Dr. Davis said, “We have tailored our plans for each division, with age-appropriate best practices and ones that employ current research around COVID-19 and its transmission. Our work this summer has included planning for multiple scenarios, the underpinning of which is the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and parents.”

He continued, “Our hope is to support in-person learning as much as possible. To do so will require the disciplined engagement of every teacher, student, parent, and family member acting in the best interests of our school community. We also know we must be agile and nimble, with the flexibility to quickly switch to alternate teaching modalities on short notice.”

CA has been in frequent consultation with Jefferson County Public Health, and its work has also been informed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, The Colorado Department of Education, Children’s Hospital, the Association of Colorado Independent Schools and numerous other groups and agencies.  CA also released a COVID Safety Handbook outlining in detail expectations of students and families, including daily health screenings, hand hygiene, mask-wearing, social distancing, and recommended self-quarantine from August 10-17.

In a communication to parents, Dr. Davis said, “Our goal is to re-open in ways that prevent us from having to shut down again. In other states and nations, we have seen schools move too quickly only to have to retrench. I know so many of our families want to be back immediately, But, there are very few workplaces in this nation that have all their adult employees back full time. We are not willing to experiment with the safety of our students and faculty. Therefore, with the full support of our Board of Trustees, we are going to move methodically and intentionally towards getting our students back safely.”