Remote Learning Plan November 2020

DCSD Remote Learning Plan
November 2020

Sections



The Douglas County School District has made the difficult decision to move all in-person and hybrid students in grades preschool through 12th grade to remote learning status beginning Monday, November 30, 2020. DCSD will continue to evaluate the COVID-19 situation during December to make further decisions about the second semester. Currently, the second semester is scheduled to resume Monday, January 4 for staff and Tuesday, January 5 for students. We will continue to keep families updated on our plans for return following Winter Break.

This document will provide an overview of what families can expect during this remote learning period.

DCSD’s remote learning has evolved since spring 2020. Our educators and students are more familiar with remote methods of teaching and learning, and remote learning moving forward will consist of a mixture of synchronous (live) learning with regularly scheduled class times, as well as independent learning time.

The goal of DCSD’s remote learning plan is to keep children engaged daily so they can learn and grow, while also affording them with meaningful opportunities for connection and community. DCSD is committed to keeping our students, families, and staff connected to the DCSD community during this challenging time by supporting continuous remote instruction, providing each student with equitable access to remote learning, ensuring students have continued access to mental health resources, and providing best practices and resources to our educators.

eDCSD - Please note, this remote learning plan does not apply to DCSD’s eLearning program or eDCSD.

If your child attends a DCSD charter school, please check with that school directly about their current attendance model, grading, technology, etc.





Each week, students will receive direct instruction, individualized feedback, and a chance to connect with their teachers, counselors and peers. Students will also receive instruction from specialist teachers and engage in social-emotional learning opportunities. Students will also engage in periods of independent learning time.

We recognize that some students experience significant barriers to accessing intervention or specialized instruction virtually. To address this, during the remote learning periods between Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break, DCSD schools will offer limited in-person skill building sessions for students who experience the most significant barriers with remote learning. Most often (but not always), these are students in center-based programs. This includes significant support needs (SSN), affective needs (AN) and deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) center-based programs. In-person skill building sessions will be offered on a limited basis, and will be subject to the availability of staff given current public health orders that require schools to comply with the CDPHE cases and outbreaks guidance.


Schools and classroom teachers will communicate with their families directly regarding daily schedules during the remote learning period. Each school will provide students with a mix of scheduled synchronous (live teaching) as well as independent learning time. Schools will provide families with information on how to access the remote learning platform for their school.



During remote learning, students will have ongoing access to mental health resources, virtually, similar to what they have experienced this school year while attending hybrid and 100% eLearning.

  • School counselors, school social workers and school psychologists will provide counseling and mental health services to students, including both individual and group sessions. Students will have the same access and procedures to request a counseling session at any time. Counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists will also provide social-emotional learning activities students can work on independently at home.

  • High school counselors will continue to provide academic counseling with students.

  • School social workers and school psychologists will continue conducting special education evaluations and attend IEP meetings virtually, and at times in person, within the social distancing safety guidelines. Should there be an evaluation session that can only be completed in person, the mental health provider will make arrangements to schedule this session at a time during the school that works best in the student’s schedule.

  • In the event of a safety concern, a counselor, school, social worker, and/or school psychologist will conduct a safety assessment virtually, contact the parent, and connect the family with community resources. The following are important community resources for parents.


DCSD will continue to host virtual parent support events such as Parent University in December 2020, which will include topics such as addressing anxiety and supporting students through challenging times, and a fireside chat on maintaining healthy relationships during social distancing. Information about these events will be sent to families via email, and will be posted on DCSD’s website and social media channels.



Effective communication with parents/guardians is critical to student success. Parents/guardians who are not proficient in English will be provided, at a minimum, telephonic interpretation in their native language provided at no charge. To request these services, please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher(s) or principal in your preferred language via email.



Teachers generally mark a student as present when they meet the following requirements:
  • The student is present for the entire lesson;
  • The student responds when called upon; and
  • The student actively engages in learning.

Web Cameras
It is best if the student keeps his or her camera on so the teacher can see facial expressions and judge if the student is actively listening and understanding the material. If the camera is off and the student does not respond to the teacher’s questions, they may be marked absent.

Learning Engagement - Elementary Students
To be marked present, elementary students need to engage in meetings and instruction for at least 75 percent of the day. The work habits grade that students receive also reflects their engagement.

Absences
If a child does not meet the above expectations, the teacher may mark him or her absent. However, parents are encouraged to consult with the child’s teacher to explain any extenuating circumstances that may prevent them from attending class.

Grades
Grades are determined by the work a student completes. If a student does not complete the assigned work, they will receive a zero grade until they complete the work even if they are in attendance. Teachers provide many opportunities for students to make-up work and are willing to have one-on-one meetings to answer questions and give additional support if a student is struggling.



Remote learning will include DCSD’s students with disabilities and those with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). DCSD is committed to providing all special education and related services remotely in coordination with general education. A Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) will be provided for our students with disabilities because FAPE is relative to what is available in general education. In the case of full remote learning, if general education instruction is offered remotely so too will special education and related services.

We recognize that some students experience significant barriers to accessing intervention or specialized instruction virtually. To address this, during the remote learning periods between Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break, DCSD schools will offer limited in-person skill building sessions for students who experience the most significant barriers with remote learning. Most often (but not always), these are students in center-based programs. This includes significant support needs (SSN), affective needs (AN) and deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) center-based programs. In-person skill building sessions will be offered on a limited basis, and will be subject to the availability of staff given current public health orders that require schools to comply with the CDPHE cases and outbreaks guidance
 
Plans for in-person programming for special populations for January 2021 will be contemplated within the overall district plan for return in January, and communicated as early as possible.

Case managers and IEP teams will continue to collaborate with parents to address any questions or concerns during the remote learning period, and teachers and related service providers will continue to monitor students’ progress on IEP goals.

Students who are 100% eLearners will not have changes to their service providers as a result of the shift to full remote learning.

IEP meetings will continue to be scheduled as they would if students were attending school. IEP teams can meet virtually, with a blend of some participants in-person and some virtual, or fully in-person as long as Douglas County is not moved to Level Purple - Extreme Risk status on the state COVID-19 dial, and school health and safety guidelines can be met. Special education evaluations and reevaluations will take place in accordance with required timelines.

School counselors from DCSD neighborhood schools will continue to oversee Section 504 plans for students who have moved to full remote learning and within the existing 100% eLearning model. Section 504 meetings will continue to be held in accordance with required timelines. Section 504 accommodations will be afforded in both remote learning and 100% eLearning environments, and will be tailored to the online learning environment where applicable.



According to the Colorado Department of Education, schools must make every effort to provide support to English learners to allow them to access academic content and increase English proficiency. English language development is a part of every course, and ESL/ELD teachers will continue to work together with classroom and content teachers to support English learners as outlined in the student’s English Language Development Plan (ELDP). Grade level content will be provided with adequate language scaffolds and supports that consider English learners' English proficiency levels. ESL/ELD teachers will connect with families to ensure students have access to academic content and English language development. In general, all ELD support will take place in a virtual setting using Google Meets. Please connect with your school's ELD teacher for additional supplementary activities that may be available in your child's school.

We recognize that some students experience significant barriers to accessing intervention or specialized instruction virtually. To address this, during the remote learning periods between Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break, DCSD schools may offer in-person language learning sessions for students who experience the most significant barriers with remote learning. Most often this includes English Learners who are very new to English.

In-person language learning sessions will be offered on a limited, case by case basis, and will be subject to the availability of staff given current public health orders that require schools to comply with the CDPHE cases and outbreaks guidance.

Plans for in-person programming for special populations for January 2021 will be contemplated within the overall district plan for return in January, and communicated as early as possible.

ELD and classroom/content teachers will continue to collaborate with parents to address any questions or concerns during the remote learning period, and teachers and related service providers will continue to monitor students’ progress on ELDP/ELLP goals.

Students who are 100% eLearners will not have changes to their service providers as a result of the shift to full remote learning.

English Learners will have access to free virtual tutoring to address learning needs and support students throughout the remainder of the year. Tutors at the ELD Tutoring Center will provide tutoring services in a virtual manner via google meet. All tutors are current DCSD certified employees.

As always, families are encouraged to read, speak, write, and interact together in their preferred home language. Your preferred home language is a powerful gateway to culture, social-emotional learning, connection, and literacy. Many of the academic resources used in virtual learning are available in multiple languages. Please ask your ESL/ELD teachers for more information.

DCSD is committed to equity and access, and this includes services and programs for students who are English learners. DCSD will provide additional information to its English learner families through school and district communication. Communication will be available in a language parents can understand, and interpretation and/or translation of messages is provided for parents/guardians free of charge.



In alignment with requirements from the Colorado Department of Education, DCSD will continue to implement all aspects of Gifted Education through our remote learning environment. Gifted Education Facilitators at each school will continue to collaborate with teachers, support staff, students, and families to implement programming as outlined in the student’s Advanced Learning Plan, through Talent Pool, or as part of the Gifted Identification Process. In all cases staff will collaborate to provide necessary and appropriate programming to meet students' academic and social emotional needs. Gifted Education Facilitators will connect with students and families with detailed information regarding service delivery, progress monitoring, and guidelines set forth by the Colorado Department of Education for Gifted Education.



The DCSD Student Assistance Department specializes in students at risk and provides a variety of support through school and community-based resources for students K-12 in DCSD. From free individual and center-based tutoring to home based interventions, our services cover truancy, expulsion, drop-out prevention, nine-week intervention programming, hybrid/eLearning academic supports and GED services. For K-12 students that are struggling with remote or eLearning, we have individual virtual tutoring available as well as home visits to families in the community. Click here to view the tutoring options.



If your student(s) need a technology device for remote learning, please make arrangements with your school or program so that your child can bring the device home prior to Thanksgiving Break. DCSD has access to a limited number of WiFi hotspots for families in need. Click here to submit a request for a hotspot. In addition, many of the major Internet providers are providing access to more affordable internet access for learning devices. We recommend checking in with your internet provider to see how they can help, or visiting https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19.  



Starting Tuesday, December 1, 2020, DCSD’s Nutrition Services Department will begin meal bag pickup sites with free meals available to all children ages 18 and under. Meal pick ups will take place every Tuesday and Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. On Tuesdays, children will receive three days worth of breakfasts and lunches, and on Fridays children will receive four days worth of breakfasts and lunches. Click here for a list of pick up locations.
  • There will be no remote meal bag pickups the week of 11/23-11/27 (Thanksgiving Week) or during Winter Break (12/21/20-1/1/21)
  • The last week of school in December, pickups will be 12/15 and 12/17 due to a staff furlough day on 12/18.


Full-day BASE programming will be available during the remote learning period. However, due to Douglas County’s current status on the state COVID-19 dial, availability may be limited.

BASE will provide care and supervision to children who attend. While BASE staff will support students with their online learning, they will not be providing instruction.

As they did in July, BASE programs will likely combine, therefore, BASE care may take place at a school other than your child’s school of attendance. BASE will collaborate with department and school leaders to determine locations and capacities.

BASE continues to follow health and safety recommendations provided to us by Tri-County Health, State Licensing, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. BASE utilizes cohorting strategies, stringent cleaning and disinfecting processes, and will continue to conduct daily health care screening for all who attend.

Additional information is available on the BASE page of the DCSD website.



Currently, no indoor activities or athletics will be permitted to take place inside DCSD buildings. DCSD is currently in discussions with the Tri-County Health Department about whether individual skill workouts with up to 25 people indoors would be permissible. More information will be provided as we receive it.

CDPHE provided an exception for Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) regulated outdoor football, outdoor field hockey and outdoor cheer/dance. As such, DCSD will be finishing out the current high school football season. Spectators at these events must be reduced to no more than 75 people outdoors, with organizers implementing all requirements under outdoor event guidance. DCSD will continue to monitor COVID-19 data and make decisions regarding how to proceed with CHSAA sports scheduled to begin in January 2021.



Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses will continue to be offered via the Canvas platform. CTE courses that require hands-on assignments will be addressed by the CTE teacher. Should your student need assistance with these assignments, please have them work directly with their CTE teacher to determine a reasonable solution.

Concurrent Enrollment (CE) courses at the high schools will continue to be offered via the Canvas platform. Students should address any questions on these course assignments with their high school CE instructor. Students taking CE courses at a college campus are to work directly with their college instructor and home school counselor.

While external Work-Based Learning (WBL) opportunities will not be available for the remainder of the school year, an invaluable resource for teachers to use with students during this time has been purchased with CARES Act funding. Virtual Job Shadow (VJS) is a career exploration and career planning platform that offers career exploration, engaging videos that bring real-world careers to life, and innovative tools and resources for career readiness. Students interested in utilizing this platform should contact their CTE teacher or home school counselor.



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the State Board of Education’s recent decision regarding graduation requirements, DCSD’s Board of Education passed a resolution to suspend the following graduation requirements for the class of 2021:
  • community service hours, and
  • demonstration of college and career readiness via one of the State’s approved menu of options methods.


The following are some ways that families can support their children during remote learning:
  • Assuring that a device and internet access are available at home (Please complete this survey to indicate the need for a device and/or internet access for at-home use if needed).
  • Monitoring DCSD communication for up-to-date information regarding school closures and instructional continuation plans.
  • Encouraging their students’ participation in remote learning content.
  • Understanding the DCSD device checkout agreement regarding use of a school or district-provided technology device.

Tips for Supporting Elementary Students:
  • Establishing routines and expectations for your child.
  • Creating a comfortable, distraction-free place for their child to work and learn.
  • Partnering with their child’s teachers and reaching out should any challenges arise.
  • Emailing their child’s teacher with any questions about assignments or activities.
  • Providing opportunities for their child to play and move outside, while practicing responsible social distancing.
  • Keeping technology devices and chargers in a common place inside the home (i.e. living room, etc).

Tips for Supporting Middle and High School Students:
  • Helping students manage their online learning by encouraging them to engage in all classes and complete assignments.
  • Creating a comfortable, distraction-free place for their children to work and attend online classes.
  • Encouraging their children to incorporate physical activity and healthy breaks from classes during the day, while practicing responsible social distancing.
  • Asking their students use the usernames and passwords for instructional resources that are accessible via the district portal and/or website.


DCSD is hiring! DCSD is seeking amazing people to join our team of Superheroes! We are currently looking for:
  • Bus Drivers
  • Bus Assistants
  • Substitute Teachers
  • Educational Assistants (EA IVs)
  • Kitchen Workers
  • Early Childhood Education Staff
  • Before and After School Staff
  • And more….
You can make a difference for students, support your community, and gain work experience, while working flexible hours. Apply at www.dcsdk12.org/careers

Become a DCSD Substitute Teacher
If we are able to build our pool of substitute teachers, it may help us get students back to hybrid and/or in-person learning after the holidays. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) recently introduced the 2020-2021 Substitute Authorization program. This path requires applicants to hold only a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent and a fingerprint-based history on file with CDE. This is ideal for college students and graduates, individuals between jobs or considering changing careers, and anyone interested in serving our community and our amazing students with a heart for serving and supporting children! To learn more visit the Substitute Program page of our website, apply online via the CDE’s website, or contact the DCSD Substitute Program Office at suboffice@dcsdk12.org to get started!



https://www.dcsdk12.org/about/leadership/superintendent/road_to_return_dcsd_2020-2021/resources_for_families



Douglas County School District Nondiscrimination Notice: 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.
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.

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.