Denver Public Schools and Denver Health making health centers available to students
Fall is looking different for school districts around the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Denver Public Schools (DPS) is working with Denver Health Medical Center to enact health measures for students.
Winna MacLaren, Media Relations Manager for DPS, said the district is currently partnering with Denver Health Medical Center to offer School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) to provide additional health care services to students.
SBHCs offer in-person and telehealth care and testing to students at no cost to the parents or guardians with services including mental health and substance use counselling, oral health screenings and dental care, asthma checks and overall wellness screenings.
DPS is also continuing virtual learning through the first quarter of the academic year, which runs until October 16, but they are still planning on returning to in-person instruction during the second quarter.
However, SBHCs are currently active and able to serve students in the Denver Public School District throughout the entire school year for students to have access to health care services.
When students return to the classroom, in the event a student falls ill during the school day an email will be sent out to the parents/guardians advising them to contact the Denver Health SBHC or a primary care provider so the student can be evaluated further.
According to their website, DPS said proper social distancing measures will still be enforced when it is deemed safe for students, teachers and school faculty to return to campus.
In the meantime, MacLaren said there are remote learning centers open in school buildings for students who need a reliable internet connection.
“We are currently hosting Remote Learning Support Centers where students can do remote learning from a school building,” she said. “This provides a safe environment with reliable internet access.”
Getting students back to school safely is a primary goal of DPS, and they strongly recommend wearing masks and doing health screenings before coming to school.
If a student tests positive after returning to in-person learning, DPS will follow quarantine guidelines laid out by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment including returning to virtual learning and requiring 14-day self-quarantine for all who may have come into contact with the student.
The Colorado Department of Education does not control individual school districts implementing SBHCs, though they have implemented school re-opening guidelines for all districts.