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Beginning to Plan for 2020-2021


As local education providers prepare for the start of the 2020-21 school year in August, a variety of scenarios may need to be considered during these exceptional times. As has been the case since the pandemic began in March, the situation continues to evolve. This website will be updated as we gather feedback and receive new health information, as it becomes available.

We recognize that this is an unprecedented situation. Never before have we, as a large scale education community, not known exactly what to plan for in terms of the coming school year. As leaders, you are in the challenging position of trying to make sense of the unknown, making the best decisions about prioritizing limited resources and providing reassurance and direction for your staff, students and communities.

Please accept our appreciation for all that you have already done for our state.

We also recognize that there are risks or trade-offs to the different opening scenarios. For example, remote learning scenarios may dramatically impact a child’s ability to engage in learning and feel connected to the school community. On the other hand, we must be cognizant of the current health situation for in-person learning options. In this unprecedented time, parents will have to decide what learning environment they are comfortable with as they work with their local schools and districts on the choices and options available.

We know that Colorado is filled with amazing creativity, innovation and passion for education. Working together, we will figure out how to serve our students and families in 2020-21.

Reopening schools will involve considerations around health and safety, continuity of learning, conditions for learning, planning and communications and policy and funding.


We will continue to update the Toolkit information with new tools throughout the summer and fall. Latest Updates to the Toolkit may be found here

Ongoing feedback opportunities:

CDE will host a number of opportunities for you to provide feedback and input into this guidance:

  • Recorded CDE webinars and slide decks about this Toolkit  are available here.
  • Targeted written feedback from partner organizations and stakeholders is available.
  • Provide targeted feedback sessions (45 minutes via Teams Meets) for districts/organizations that request it. Please email your field services staff to arrange a session.
  • An Advisory Committee with multiple stakeholders has formed to provide feedback on the Planning the 2020-21 School Year: Framework and Toolkit for School and District leaders. Advisory Committee recorded meetings and notes are available here.