COVID-19 Update Nov 06

COVID-19 Update Nov 06
Posted on 11/06/2020
Dear Douglas County School District Families and Staff,

We have important information to share about the status of COVID-19 in our community and what it means for our schools. At this time, the Douglas County School District is NOT moving to full remote learning (nor are we moving our elementary schools back to the hybrid learning model). However, the current COVID-19 data in our community is quickly trending in the wrong direction. It appears that tomorrow our Decision Dashboard score will have dropped for the second week in a row. While this Dashboard is not the sole basis for our decision-making regarding DCSD’s learning models, it is an indicator that we may need to start preparing for a possible shift back to remote learning in the not-so-distant future if things do not turn around soon.

If your child attends a DCSD charter school, please check with them directly about their current and future learning models.

We are witnessing a surge of COVID-19 cases in Colorado and across our country, and we are seeing a similar increase in cases here in Douglas County and in our schools. We are continuously quarantining many students and staff, and in some cases have had to move entire classes, or even entire school populations, to remote learning. For example, from October 25 to November 2, we had 160 positive COVID cases in our schools, which resulted in the need to quarantine over 3,700 students and 450 staff. These quarantines lead to shortages of substitute teachers, and force our students and teachers to constantly transition between in-person and remote learning. Our data reflects that the vast majority of these cases are due to an exposure outside of school, yet each positive case greatly impacts our ability to remain focused on providing the best possible public education to our students.

The best chance we have of keeping our schools open is if everyone continues to do their part by wearing face coverings in public, avoiding large gatherings, social distancing when possible, and washing and disinfecting hands often.

If the Douglas County COVID-19 data continues trending in the wrong direction, we may need to seriously consider a transition to remote learning in order to protect the health and safety of our students and staff. We recommend that our families and staff members begin making any needed arrangements so they are ready should remote learning become necessary.

We sincerely thank our amazing teachers for their resiliency and willingness to transition between in-person and remote learning; our nurses, administrators, and staff who are spending many hours contact tracing; our communications team for quickly sending quarantine notifications to our community even on evenings and weekends; and our operations and maintenance teams for working every night, seven days a week, to disinfect classrooms and schools. The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly challenging, but it has also brought out the best in our staff and demonstrates what we already knew - they are willing to do everything in their power to ensure that the students of Douglas County continue to receive the high-quality education that they deserve.

We also appreciate all of our parents and community members who continue to partner with us during this challenging time. Thank you for supporting your children in this year’s new ways of learning. We know the pandemic is frustrating and tiring and we couldn’t do any of this without you.

We will continue to keep you updated in the coming days about what may be next for our amazing school district.

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.