January 10, 2022

Statement from Rob Gould, special education teacher and president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association on assigning central staff members to cover short staffed schools:

Denver educators are speaking loudly and clearly about the supports needed to ensure safe and viable learning and working conditions for our students and educators. Denver Public Schools is responding to our demand to deploy central staff into our schools as DCTA has been advocating for this action for the last four months. We believe this is a wonderful start in alleviating the pressures that educators continue to face.

We are hopeful that the district will begin responding to our additional demands that include:

  • Giving students and educators additional access to antigen tests at the end of a quarantine period
  • Providing open and honest communication with families about the challenges schools are facing
  • Allowing site-based decision making by school staff and leadership.
  • Schools that have waived the expectations of the educator contract (i.e innovation schools) should make an effort to engage their educators, parents, students and communities to determine specific needs instead of determining those needs without stakeholder voice
  • Allowing educators and students to remain in quarantine if they are not feeling well after 5 days
  • Partnering with state/local leaders to make testing more available for anyone experiencing symptoms
  • Utilizing ESSER funding to help maintain school staffing ratios and to retain educators & support staff
  • Finding ways to limit additional mandated burdens to educators and staff, such as limiting standardized testing, school closures for performance, and ineffective evaluation systems