English teacher Lori Kester answers a question from a student in her class at Centennial School In San Luis, Colorado. (John McEvoy, Special to The Colorado Sun)

The pandemic threw education into turmoil this year, with families, teachers, and students stretched and challenged as never before. Across the state, tens of thousands of students haven’t set foot in a classroom since March 13. Even school districts that reopened wrestled with major logistical challenges and uncertainty.

The pandemic’s effects will continue to be felt through much of 2021. Will school districts reopen and stay open? How will we address learning loss? Will students from low-income families pursue deferred college dreams?

Here are seven education stories we’ll be watching in 2021.

School reopening

Most Colorado students spent December in remote learning as districts large and small closed their buildings in response to a November surge in cases. The biggest question of 2021 will be whether Colorado school districts can bring students back to the classroom and keep them there.

A reopening task force said school is safe and called for modified quarantine rules to keep more teachers in the classroom, more testing and contact tracing, and basic safety protocols.

But superintendents have also said that when cases in the community rise above a certain threshold — roughly 500 per 100,000 people over a two-week period — quarantines become extremely disruptive and in-person schooling less feasible.

Read more at chalkbeat.org.

Erica Meltzer is Bureau Chief of Chalkbeat Colorado, where she also covers the legislature and statewide education issues. Erica was a founding editor of the local news site Denverite. Before that, she covered everything from housing and energy...