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International School of Denver

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2020-21 Reopening and Learning Plans

Updated: November 13, 2020

On-campus learning began Wednesday, August 19! We know that dual language learning and social emotional health is best achieved through in-person interaction. Accordingly, we have returned to on-campus instruction with increased health and safety protocols in place to ensure the well-being of all our community members, especially those most at risk.

  • As research about the virus evolves, each of us continues to make adjustments to the new “normal” of an ongoing pandemic. We respect that each family is at a different place with precautions; everyone has a different experience and different perspectives.

  •  Our ability to open on campus is guided by 4 main goals:

    • Minimize exposure to the virus

    • Facilitate contact tracing

    • Minimize cohort transitions in and through spaces

    • Minimize teacher contact within a cohort (3-4 teachers max)

  • The school is also realistic that until there is a vaccine for this virus, it will not go away. We are prepared should there be periods throughout the year in which we may need to go virtual for safety reasons.

    • We have taken your feedback on virtual learning, have been in contact with our peer schools throughout the world and locally, and have researched what experts advise as best practices, all in an effort to make sure that our virtual learning practices are up to date and are world class.

  • Likewise, the look of the school today may very well change in the coming months. Here are our current plans:


Campus Logistics: Drop-Off, Pick-Up, and Daily Screening



On-Campus At A Glance


Optional Livestream Learning

  • Families that have at-risk households, or do not feel comfortable sending their child(ren) back to school in person, can opt to access classroom instruction via livestream.
    • We continue to work with families on a case-by-case basis that are interested in Livestream Learning; please contact
      • We must adhere to deadlines in order to facilitate the best experience for all involved. Specifically, teachers need to have appropriate time to plan for working with livestream students.
    • In order to best serve all learners, we cannot allow students to switch back-and-forth between livestream and on-campus learning -- please select one and we’ll plan accordingly. It is important for the safety of the cohort that we minimize children transitioning in and out throughout the year.
    • We do understand that circumstances change, so if your child has an extended illness or needs to quarantine, or if you wish to transition to on-campus learning at some point in the year, please contact We will address these issues on an as-needed, case-by-case basis.
      • Note: if your child is home sick, we prefer they rest and not join livestream leaning for those few days.
      • If your child is home with an extended illness or absence of 5 or more days, parents should contact the appropriate principal to determine if livestream learning is appropriate. 
  • Transitioning back to on-campus learning from livestream learning
    • The general dates for changing the makeup of a cohort are at major school breaks (after October break; after Thanksgiving break; after Winter Break).
    • However, ISDenver will continue to address each of these situations on a case-by-case basis based on the best learning for the child, family health changes, and ease of instruction for teachers. 


Frequently Asked Questions

  • While these procedures are necessary for health and safety, we realize these must also be balanced with the social-emotional well being of each member of our community. In all of this, we want to maintain the unique and, frankly, comforting ISDenver feeling we all have when engaging with our international community.


Virtual Learning Model

To be implemented should the ISDenver campus be closed to in-person learning for any period of time. Please note that this differs from the roadmap for those students who will learn online for the entire school year while most students remain on campus. Note that should all or part of our campus close to on-campus learning due to governor's orders, our plan is to keep all students younger than 6 years old on campus and continue with the curriculum and learning that is in place.

  • ISDenver will provide a well-structured program that leverages the advantages of learning from home while minimizing the negative impact of not being in school. We understand the importance of keeping our students connected as a community to each other, their teachers, and the school in general.
  • We also understand the importance of balancing the use of on-screen activities with engaging activities without the use of screens.
  • Accordingly, our weekly schedules in all three divisions heavily favor real-time learning experiences rather than recorded, asynchronous learning experiences.
  • Weekly schedule will follow a similar model to that of last spring, again with much greater teacher interaction and live learning:

    • Learning will be done in three week units, as much as possible

  • Generally, a cohort-, division-, or school-wide shift to virtual learning will be structured around: 

    • School day runs 8:30-3:30; teachers will manage time in age-appropriate blocks.

    • Common Lunch times at either 11:30-12:30 or 11:45-12:45.

    • Specials will be a regular part of the day, not optional as was in spring.

    • Restructuring balance of learning / screen time / zoom fatigue. Alternating Wednesdays will be: 

      • ½ day for learning (ends at 11:30am); teachers have PD and planning in afternoon.
      • Full day off for teachers and students alike.
    • Zoom connection will  be maintained throughout the learning day. There will be times students will work independently or work off-screen, in order to minimize Zoom fatigue and eye strain. 
      • Additionally, synchronous learning will be maximized, using break out rooms, TA's, and Student Support staff to be present in break out rooms for smaller group instruction.
    • Teachers will be available for small group instruction (i.e., independent work from 9:30-10 AM for one group while another is meeting with the teacher, and then flip).
    • Teachers will provide a designated time each week for parent or student conferences/ questions (i.e. 7:45-8:30 AM on Thursdays).
  • At the heart of it all is consistent communication between teachers, students, and parents.
  • Here is more of what you can expect to see in each division:



For Questions About….


General reopening questions

General learning questions

Division Principals:

ECE Principal, Maria Rodriguez (K1 - K3):

Lower Primary SchoolDirector , Rachel Ratnathicam (G1 - G3):

Upper Primary School Director, Marzia Mauffrey (G4-G5):

Middle School Principal, Rob Kapner (G6 - G8):

Technology support

Your child’s emotional well-being

School Counselor Annie Barocas:

Student support needs

Director of Student Services, Debra McQueen:


Parents: access the school portal here for comprehensive school communications.