Denver Public Schools to close schools Nov. 19 to give staff time for their “health and self-care”

Denver Public Schools will close schools on Nov. 19, a day earlier than planned for Thanksgiving break, so employees can have more time for their “health and self-care,” announced Superintendent Alex Marrero in a letter to staff on Wednesday.

The decision to cancel classes at the state’s largest school district comes as Colorado schools are facing widespread staffing shortages. Three other districts canceled classes for Friday and at least three DPS schools are temporarily moving to remote-learning because of the issue.

Marrero, in his letter, referenced the challenges educators have faced since returning to in-person classes this fall, saying that the school year has been “stressful and draining.”

“I know that there are frequently urgent staffing issues that schools are facing in order to keep their buildings open for in-person instruction, and I very much appreciate all of the efforts that have been made to continue serving scholars and families,” he wrote.

Adams 14 School District, Boulder Valley School District and Adams 12 Five Star Schools are also closing schools on Friday.

At DPS, George Washington High School moved classes to online starting today.Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College and John H. Amesse Elementary School will go remote on Thursday and Friday.

All district-run schools and office buildings will close on Nov. 19.Some charter schools will remain open, according to the letter to DPS employees.

Marrero encouraged families to take advantage of the day off to get their child vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The decision to cancel classes is in line with recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education, which has asked school districts to offer paid time off for employees to get their own children vaccinated, he said.

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