Esperanza Raimirez works on a laptop in a classroom in Newlon Elementary School early Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. The school is one of 55 Discovery Link sites set up by Denver Public Schools where students have participated in remote learning. (AP Photo, David Zalubowski, Special to The Colorado Sun)

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Face masks will be required inside school buildings for all Denver students, staff, and visitors, whether they’re vaccinated or not, according to a district email obtained by Chalkbeat.

Masks will not be required outdoors, the email says.

Denver Public Schools is the largest school district in the state with more than 90,000 students. The district’s mask rules are stricter than state guidance released Friday, which recommends — but does not require — that everyone in a school setting wear a mask.

However, Denver’s policy is in line with guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said last week that all students and staff should wear masks regardless of vaccination status. A new order from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock also requires that teachers and other school personnel be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30.

The mask rules go into effect Monday. The first day of school for most Denver students is Aug. 23.

Denver Public Schools’ mask rules are stricter than several other Colorado school districts. The state’s second-largest district, Jeffco Public Schools, is mandating masks for students ages 11 and under who are too young to be vaccinated, as well as for unvaccinated staff. But masks will be optional for vaccinated staff in Jeffco, as well as for students aged 12 and older.

The state’s third-largest district, Douglas County, won’t require masks for anyone.


Melanie Asmar has covered Denver Public Schools for Chalkbeat Colorado since 2015. Asmar previously worked at Westword newspaper in Denver and for a daily newspaper in New Hampshire, where she covered education. Chalkbeat is a nonprofit...