Return To School Decision Making

On this page you can find information about the decision making process as it relates to in-person, hybrid, and remote learning during the 20-21 school year, including the COVID-19 health metrics we are closely monitoring to inform our decisions.

Health‌ ‌Monitoring‌ ‌Metrics‌

The health and safety of our students, families and staff is our top priority. We are committed to ensuring our students and staff are engaging in a safe environment every day should we return to in-person school during COVID. We expect that it is likely that we will be in and out of school at different times this year. In making decisions around a return to school that is  in-person, hybrid (some in-person, some remote), or all remote, we make the following commitments to the DSST community. 

  • We ground our decisions in science
  • We will prioritize safety to ensure we can keep the DSST community healthy
  • We will consider the educational needs of our students and families 
  • We will communicate transparently and in a timely fashion (giving advance notice of decisions when possible)
  • We will extend grace to each other and all parts of the community as we navigate this process together 

DSST Public Schools will center our return to school decisions in science and the guidance of Colorado’s health officials. Denver regional health agencies have recommended school systems use a list of metrics to determine whether students can be safely in school. DSST will use these health metrics as the primary basis to determine if it is safe to open schools and under what conditions we will shift between remote and in-person learning over the remainder of the school year.   

To ensure the DSST community can transparently see these metrics and the current state of COVID data in Denver and Adams counties, we will be updating these metrics daily. 




While these metrics are not the sole determinant of a decision to be fully in-person, hybrid or remote, they will largely inform the decision. Local health agencies continue to refine their health guidance for schools.  These recommendations will also be a key determining factor in our ability to re-open.  Here are few considerations to keep in mind.

  • If all metrics are green for a 14 day period, this is a signal that conditions are favorable for a return to buildings. In this case, DSST will strongly consider having students attend in-person school on a full or hybrid schedule, as long as there are no other extenuating circumstances.
  • If metrics are a mixture of green and yellow, this is a signal that conditions are somewhat favorable for a return to buildings and a hybrid model could be considered.  
  • If metrics are a mixture of yellow and red, this is a signal that conditions are less favorable for a return to buildings.  In this case, DSST will likely move to online E-School.
  • If two or more metrics are red for a 14 day period, DSST will most likely be moving to online E-School.
  • Lastly, based on local cases that may occur in a school community, DSST may have cohorts of students or entire schools closed in quarantine for a period of time while other DSST schools remain open. 

Other considerations DSST will use to make a final decision on in-person, hybrid or remote E-School include availability of personal protective equipment (face masks and shields) and cleaning equipment, access to physical space to meet health department guidelines, and readiness of students, families, and staff to return.

While we are working closely with our district partners during this time, it is possible that DSST middle and high schools will be open at a time when DPS and APS schools are not, and vice versa. We are committed to communicating in a clear and timely manner to ensure our families are fully aware of network decisions regarding remote and in-person learning.

We expect that it is likely that we will be in and out of school at different times this year based on the pandemic.  We will be using the above described process each time we make a transition decision from one kind of schooling to another.