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DougCo School District parents share concerns, opinions on potential return to in-person learning

School bus
Posted at 12:59 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 20:03:03-05

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — On March 2, recommendations will be presented to the Douglas County School District Board of Education regarding students' return to full in-person learning.

The proposed change is for middle and high school students.

Preschool and elementary school students returned to in-person learning, 5 days a week, on January 5.

The start day for full in-person learning would be March 22, after students return from spring break. Officials pointed to this date as the best choice because they believe more staff members who would interact with students would be vaccinated by this time.

The topic is one many parents in the Highlands Ranch area are invested in.

Lori Warhame is the mother of a high school student in Douglas County who's thrived in hybrid learning. Warhame said her child has really appreciated the time spent among fewer students when they are at school.

"I have a child who is an introvert (and) has some sensory processing sensitivities, so being in a school with half the amount of students has been so nice," Warhame said.

She added the last thing she wants for her student is more change.

"I feel like keeping consistency for the last few months of 2021 — if we could just keep it consistent for these kids and then maybe bring in some social experiences like prom so they can have that, but keep the hybrid," she said.

Other parents, like Liz Smith, want nothing more than to see students back in the classroom.

Smith is also the parent of a high school student in Douglas County. She said her child has had anything but an easy time during the past year. She said he was always very motivated and a bright student but now barely gets out of bed to turn on the computer.

"He just doesn't work this way and he's the first to admit it," Smith said.

She said she's concerned the past year hasn't been beneficial for him at all.

"I've said before I'd be really surprised if he's learned anything over the past 12 months, to be honest," she said.

The board will be discussing the change at 6 p.m. and can be watched on the Douglas County School District YouTube page here.