Spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, the Cherry Creek School District opened a K-5 online program in fall 2020, and that option will continue for the 2021-22 school year for families that prefer it.
Having closed out the spring semester with full-time, in-person classes for families that chose it, the district hopes to allow students back full-time in the fall, but it’s prepared to switch to online-only classes for all students if recommended or required by public health officials.
“We will follow all health orders and guidelines but are hoping and planning for a return to full in-person learning,” said Abbe Smith, spokesperson for the school district.
The district’s extension of an online program for elementary students comes in addition to the option of enrolling in Cherry Creek Elevation, the district’s online school that serves middle and high school students.
See information about applying to the online programs at tinyurl.com/CherryCreekOnlineApply.
As students adjusted to remote classes amid pandemic restrictions, the district lent students roughly 7,000 laptop devices in spring 2020 and distributed thousands more later in the year with an eye toward families in need. In total, the district provided 14,000 computers over the past year for students, Smith said.
At the start of this school year, Cherry Creek district operated under a hybrid, or “blended,” model for grades six through 12 that placed half of students in school Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with the other half attending Thursday and Friday.
The district decided to move entirely to online classes in early November amid a steep climb in the daily rate of new COVID-19 cases in Arapahoe County. It brought the blended in-person schedule back in January.
All middle and high schools in the district reopened for full-time, in-person classes on April 5. Earlier this semester, the Douglas County, Jefferson County, Littleton, Adams 12 Five Star and Weld Re-8 school districts had made similar decisions. Westminster Public Schools was providing full-time, in-person learning at all levels since the semester began.
Through all the changes in Cherry Creek, many families had chosen to enroll students in the district’s voluntary online programs — the new K-5 program and Cherry Creek Elevation. As of mid-January, the district had about 10,100 students enrolled in online class. Cherry Creek has roughly 55,000 students total.
Preschool and K-5 students who did not choose online schooling had been in full-time in-person classes since the start of the school year except for when all district students went remote in late fall.