Thank you for filling out your preliminary preference survey last week. It is helpful information as we move forward in planning this school year. The admin team spent all last week in meetings with grade-level teams, and I’m happy to say that the teachers and staff are excited to get back to school and see your children.
We don’t have too many developments to report since last week. Current guidance for group size remains at ten. I have reached out to the health department and the Colorado Department of Education to see if I can get some clarifications around group size. The big news was Governor Polis’s statewide mask mandate for people ten and over. This does apply to schools. We will adapt our mask procedure to comply with this order. All fourth-eighth graders will be required to wear masks throughout the school day. The students will not be required to wear a mask while eating, at recess, or while outside for classes. Kindergarten through third grade will follow our original mask procedure. They will be required to wear masks for arrival and departure, while in common areas (including specials classrooms) and may be required to wear them in individual or small group instruction.
We have received several questions surrounding student fees, half-day kindergarten, calendar, and volunteer hours since our Town Hall a couple of weeks ago.
Student fees did increase from last year; however, last year’s fees were discounted by fifty percent from what historically our fees have been. This year’s fees go back to what student fees were for the 2018-2019 school year. We were able to discount fees last year due to the mill levy money that the voters passed in 2018. Since our revenue was cut by over 7% (between per-pupil funding, capital construction funding, and losses of other types of revenue), we have had to revert to fees as they were before the discount. We are happy to work with families on payment plans for fees. The fees are the same, whether you chose remote learning or in-person learning. The fees cover student supplies, but they also supplement other areas of our budget.
If we have to use the A/B schedule to support having smaller groups in the building at one time, half-day kindergarteners would come either AM or PM two days a week and remotely learn the other three days of the week.
At this time, we are not changing the volunteer hour requirement for the year. We will be reevaluating this and may make adjustments to the required hours as the year progresses.
We are also not anticipating changing our school calendar as of right now. We are planning for school to start on August 19th.
We will record another Town Hall, to be released this Thursday through a video link. If you have questions for this Town Hall, please submit them HERE. This question link will expire on Thursday at 8 am.
Some of you have requested to see the agreement that we will be asking remote learning families to sign. The agreement will be shared with all of you later this week.
Families will be asked to make their binding choice for mode of learning for August-October beginning this Saturday. This form is required for each student. We will have you select an option for both limited group size and full group size, to make sure we are covering all of our bases. If we have updated guidance from the state by Friday, we will update the form before it is released. The deadline to submit this form for each of your children is July 28th.
As we have all learned over the last four months, things can change very quickly. As I am typing this, I am getting alerts that the Colorado Department Education is releasing new recommendations for schools reopening. I will go through all of their documents and share any new information that pertains to our school as soon as tomorrow.
I know there is still much anxiety about how school will look for the 20-21 school year. While I can’t promise what it will look like, I can promise that we will continue to be as transparent as possible, and we will all get through this together. This community is fantastic!