A message from Principal Simpson…
 
The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop and evolve, I have been working closely with the Douglas County School District (DCSD) and monitoring Tri-County Health and CDC recommendations. This is an ever-changing situation and information seems outdated as soon as it is released. There is a Tri-County Health virtual Town Hall meeting later today, which is a primary resource for information. Here is the link to that meeting if you are interested in tuning in.
 
Yesterday, all DCSD school principals met with district staff to review potential remote learning plans in case schools need to be closed. If we are directed to close the school for a period of time to mitigate the spread of the virus, students would be expected to participate in remote learning at home and complete all work assigned by their teachers during that time.  While we are optimistic that schools will be able to remain open, out of an abundance of caution, we have worked with our staff to create the following contingency plan for the weeks after spring break.
 
Our kindergarten-fourth grade teachers will be sending home a packet of work as well as any textbooks or other books the students might need this Friday. These materials will only be used IF schools are closed after spring break. Our fifth graders will check out their Chromebooks to take home over break. Fifth-eighth grade students will primarily use their Chromebooks for remote learning, but if teachers have other materials for them, those will also be sent home this Friday. We will be providing you updates during spring break regarding Tri-County Health and CDC recommendations. 
 
If schools are closed after break, teachers will email their classes each day of the closure to provide specific instructions on the work that should be completed that day. Specials teachers and student support personnel will also communicate activities for their classes or groups. Additionally, we will provide resources for you to talk with your students about COVID-19.
 
If you do not have access to email or the internet at home, please let your teachers know by Friday as we can set up alternative plans to support you. 
 
For clarity purposes, I want to stress that even though we are sending these materials home before break, they should not be completed unless it has been communicated from Ben Franklin Academy that school will be closed. Students should not work on this work over break (March 16-20). We will be operating with the expectation that Ben Franklin Academy will be open again after break (Monday, March 23) and that these materials will be returned to school UNUSED on that day.
 
If you know that your student will not be in school this Friday, please let your teachers know so they can send home materials with them on Thursday.
 
We are hopeful that school will open as usual after spring break. Everyone is looking forward to returning to school and having a great last couple of months of the school year.  
 
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Below are some helpful resources for you:

– Colorado Department of Education Resources (great resources for talking to kids about COVID-19)

 https://www.cde.state.co.us/communications/saferschools

– Douglas County School District COVID-19 Update 

https://www.dcsdk12.org/about/our_district/news/coronavirus_updated__march_11__2020  

– Center for Disease Control Website

 
 – CDC Coronavirus Fact Sheet
 
– Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Website
 
– Tri-County Health Department