Secondary Students to In-Person/Hybrid 2.0

Welcoming Our Middle and High Schools to In-Person/Hybrid 2.0 Learning
Posted on 02/03/2021
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*The following information is for DCSD’s neighborhood middle and high schools only. Students enrolled in DCSD eLearning will remain in eLearning for the remainder of the school year. If your child attends a DCSD charter school, please check with your child’s school regarding their current learning model.

February 3, 2021

Dear Douglas County School District Families and Staff,

Last night, the DCSD Board of Education approved staff recommendations to return our middle and high schools to In-Person/Hybrid 2.0 learning effective Monday, February 8. We look forward to welcoming and transitioning our middle and high school students back into our schools. We are confident that we are prepared to transition our students and staff back into our schools for an In-Person/Hybrid 2.0 learning experience!

What is In-Person/Hybrid 2.0 Learning?
Middle and high school students will remain in the same Cohort that was assigned at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year (Cohort A, Cohort B or Cohort AB).
  • Cohort A will attend school in-person on Mondays and Wednesdays.

  • Cohort B will attend school in-person on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  • Cohort AB (i.e. Significant Support Needs and Affective Needs center-based students) will continue to participate in full, in-person learning Monday through Thursday.

  • On Fridays, all students learn remotely and will receive a mix of synchronous (live) learning and asynchronous/independent learning.

  • For weeks where a holiday lands on a Monday, Cohort A will attend school in-person on Wednesday and Friday.
We recognize that the hybrid learning model that was in place from August through November was challenging. We have listened to our staff, families and students about their concerns and suggestions for improvement. We are pleased to announce that starting Monday, February 8, many enhancements have been implemented into the new In-Person/Hybrid 2.0 learning model:
  • Students will receive more “live”/synchronous learning, even when learning remotely.

  • Students will have more regular access to their teachers for questions about assignments, grading, etc.

  • Intentional and designated time will be provided to accommodate proactive supports to address student wellbeing, social-emotional learning and mental health.

  • More synchronous teaching and learning will help teachers dedicate more time to each student in order to increase learning and engagement. We will support professional development and strategies for educators to teach each day and decrease the need for duplicate planning.

What if I’m Not Comfortable Sending My Child to School on In-Person Learning Days?
Students are encouraged to attend class in-person on their cohort’s in-person learning days so that they have better access to their teachers, counselors, and mental health services on those days. These days also provide important peer interaction for students.
  • The In-Person/Hybrid 2.0 models allows DCSD to have smaller class sizes, implement social distancing, monitor the wearing of face coverings and other health and safety protocols to help ensure, and assess COVID data to keep students and staff safe.

  • If a student is considered high-risk (or lives with a person who is high-risk) for COVID, is showing symptoms of illness on their in-person day, has been exposed to a person with COVID or COVID-like symptoms, or must stay at home for another reason they may opt to learn remotely on their cohort’s in-person day.
    • Please contact your school principal to make arrangements.

Health and Safety Protocols in DCSD’s Middle and High Schools
DCSD will continue to implement a layered approach with multiple health and safety mitigation measures including student cohorting, physical distancing, required face coverings for students and staff, regular hand washing/sanitizing, regular disinfecting protocols, etc. We expect our teachers and staff to practice social distancing, be aware of their settings and wear face coverings. In order to reduce the chance of quarantine for staff, DCSD encourages the use of KN-95 or surgical masks and face shields for our educators (these will be provided to staff members who request them). View all health and safety protocols on our website.

Visitors
Visitors to DCSD buildings will continue to be extremely limited. In cases where a visitor must enter the building, the visitor will be required to check in at the front desk, complete a health screening, and wear a face covering at all times.

Bus Transportation
DCSD will return to normal capacity on school buses, meaning some routes may have two or three students per seat. Eligibility for transportation will be expanded to include elementary students who live approximately more that 1.5 miles from their assigned neighborhood school, and for middle and high school students who live approximately more than 3 miles from their assigned neighborhood school. Bus service is only available to students who attend their assigned neighborhood school. DCSD will begin the transition to return normal bus capacity on Monday, February 8 with a goal to complete the full transition no later than Wednesday, February 17. DCSD’s transportation department will contact eligible families in the coming days with information on how to sign up for a SMARTag (bus pass) and view their bus route/schedule.

Transitioning to normal capacity on buses is possible as a result of continued dialogue with local and state health authorities, provides access to In-Person/Hybrid 2.0 learning for more students, and decreases traffic congestion and wait time at schools. Should a COVID exposure occur on a DCSD school bus, quarantines will be managed via the use of seating charts. Students and staff will be required to wear a face covering while on the bus and sit in an assigned seat in accordance with a seating chart. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the DCSD Transportation Department.

Meals
Thanks to funding from the USDA, lunches will continue to be provided free of charge to all students through June 30, 2021. Lunches will be provided to students at school on their in-person days, and free meal kits will continue to be distributed each Friday at DCSD middle and high schools (with the exception of Ranch View Middle School).

Families who may qualify are encouraged to complete the annual Free and Reduced price lunch application. Families who are approved receive other benefits, including waived transportation and academic fees.

Together We Can
We are excited to partner with our students, families and staff to get our middle and high school students back in the classroom. We are counting on everyone to help us keep our students in school by following health and safety protocols, and by staying home or attending class remotely when you are ill. Together, we can reduce the need for student and staff quarantines, and move forward towards eventually getting all students back to in-person learning, five days a week.

If you have any questions regarding the return of our middle and high schools to In-Person/ Hybrid 2.0 learning, please contact your school directly, or email us at roadtoreturn@dcsdk12.org.

Sincerely,

Corey Wise
Interim Superintendent
Douglas County School District
 
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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District’s Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Ted Knight, Assistant Superintendent, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, complianceofficer@dcsdk12.org, 303-387-0067. Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.