Frequently Asked Questions
Read below for answers to frequently asked questions from DPS Team Members. To read questions and answers about our students' return, health guidance, social distancing and community-wide information, visit our community-wide FAQ.
Who will communicate the results of my COVID-related accommodation request to me?
Your supervisor will reach out to you directly regarding your request and to discuss possible accommodations with you. This differs from our traditional ADA process. Due to a high volume of these requests and the unique situations of each school or location, we have partnered with supervisors to work through the review and approval process for COVID-related accommodation requests only. HR Partners are providing resources to supervisors to help this process go as smoothly as possible. Traditional ADA requests will still follow our regular process flow with the Leave of Absence Team.
If approved, you will receive a formal letter from DPS outlining your accommodation and accommodation period.
We have received a significant volume of requests. As there are several unique variables in each request, it takes some time to work through each one. We are reviewing them as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience. Your supervisor will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
What if DPS can’t fulfill my accommodation request?
We will make every effort to approve accommodations, but we cannot guarantee approval. The district will prioritize requests for vulnerable individuals and those with disabilities. All DPS employees are expected to work in-building unless your accommodation request is approved. If your accommodation request is denied, you may still have the option for a Leave of Absence under the CARES Act. For complete information about Leave of Absence requests related to COVID-19, visit our COVID Accommodations and Leaves Resource page on The Commons.
What are my options if I live with/am a caretaker for a high-risk individual?
If you live with a “Vulnerable Individual” as defined by the CDC, you may be eligible for an accommodation or a Leave of Absence. Visit the COVID Related Accommodations & Leaves page to determine your options.
What are my options if I have one of the CDC's high-risk or pre-existing conditions?
In order to work remotely, you must submit an accommodation request in Employee Space. Accommodations are made on an individual level. After submitting your request, your supervisor will reach out to you directly to determine what accommodation may be available for you. Some examples include, but are not limited to, working remotely full-time, flexible schedules, or Leave of Absences.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and COVID-19 Guidelines, and/or under the governor’s current order regarding “Vulnerable Individuals,” employees may qualify for an accommodation. Individuals who could qualify for an accommodation include those who:
- Are 65 years and older
- Have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- Have serious heart conditions
- Are immunocompromised
- Are pregnant women
- Are determined to be high risk by a licensed healthcare provider
- Other individuals with a recognized disability that interferes with their ability to perform the essential functions of their job during the COVID-19 pandemic.
*Accommodation periods are determined by the current executive order, which expires at the end of July. Any extensions or updates to the executive order will be posted as soon as they are released. COVID-19 Leave of Absences are determined by the CARES Act and currently set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020. For additional information, please visit thecommons.dpsk12.org/Page/2578.
What if I don't test positive for COVID but have a fever or am feeling ill?
Stay home if you are sick. You can return to work when your symptoms subside and you are fever free for three days.
I submitted my request using the Google form, do I need to resubmit it through Employee Space?
No, if you used the Google form for your request after our first communication, you do not need to resubmit your request in Employee Space. Your form has been received and we are working through the review process. You will receive next steps as soon as we are able.
Will staff have access to testing? What about students?
We are currently developing a partnership with the Gary Community Investments to implement district-sponsored testing to school-based staff. This will include testing prior to the start of the school year and ongoing testing every two-four weeks (on a rotation by individuals). COVID testing will be at no cost to employees. We are still working through key details including frequency of testing and protocols for administration of COVID testing.
We are working with local health officials and other partners on guidance and procedures for testing symptomatic students. Additional information will be provided prior to the start of the school year.
Will DPS be providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff?
DPS has purchased masks, face shields, thermometers, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray to help maintain a safe environment and prepare for the return to school. We’ll make sure schools receive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), based on key information like the number of students enrolled, the number of teaching stations it has, and other details. PPE will be delivered to the schools by the end of July, and we will continue to monitor throughout the year to ensure schools have what they need to maintain a safe environment.
If I have traveled out of Colorado, will I have to quarantine for 14 days?
At this time, there are no mandated travel based quarantines in the state of Colorado. This CDPHE site should be provided to all families so that they can review it as needed.
What protocols are in place for contact tracing in the district?
We are working closely with the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment and we have a strong process in place for reporting infectious diseases, such as COVID, and will continue to work with those in the health department so that the health department can contact trace as needed to help ensure the health and safety of our staff and students are maintained.
What are current expectations for staff meetings/trainings, etc.?
Planning meetings, team meetings, professional development etc. must be conducted virtually to minimize the potential for COVID-19 to spread across school staff. Any informal gatherings of adults must follow public health guidelines that will be regularly updated here.