Jan 21, 2022 - COVID

Students protest COVID conditions in Denver schools

Illustration of a pencil broken in half on a divided background

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The COVID-19 disruption to Colorado classrooms is getting worse before it gets better.

State of school: The frustration on campus is hitting its peak just as experts suggest the Omicron surge is over, our education reporting partners at Chalkbeat found after talking to 20 students, parents, teachers and administrators across the state.

The return of school post-holiday amid the rise in infections left pandemic-weary teachers, students and families exhausted and created divides on the path forward.

  • Students at North and Thomas Jefferson high schools walked out Thursday to demand safer conditions as they try to avoid the coronavirus and a return to virtual schooling. It follows similar demonstrations nationwide.

Zoom in: At one Denver high school, the Italian teacher had to fill in for the Spanish teacher. She luckily spoke both languages.

  • A half-empty classroom led a history teacher to delay the day's lesson to avoid repeating it later for the missing students.
  • Crystal River Elementary in Carbondale was forced to move to remote learning because the teachers were at home with their own quarantined children.

What they’re saying: If fall seemed "mostly normal," after winter break, "it felt like we were coming back into a different world," said Crystal River's assistant principal Kendall Reiley.

Go deeper with our partners at Chalkbeat


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