Governor Polis Extends School Closure to April 30

DCSD Closure Extended Through April 30
Posted on 04/01/2020
Empty ClassroomEarlier this afternoon, Governor Jared Polis announced that the suspension of in-person learning in public and private schools across the state has been extended through Thursday, April 30.

The Douglas County School District will follow the Governor’s executive order and remain closed through Thursday, April 30, and we will continue with remote learning during that time.

DCSD Remote Learning Plan
Over the past few weeks our lives have changed, and our routines have dissipated. Many families are now trying to balance working from home with assisting their children with online learning. Before the end of this week, I will share with you our complete remote learning plan designed to keep children engaged so they can learn and grow, while also affording them with meaningful opportunities for connection and community. If your child attends a DCSD charter school, please check with your school about its specific remote learning plan.

Access to DCSD Buildings and Facilities
All DCSD buildings and facilities (including schools, playgrounds, athletic fields, etc.) are closed through April 30. We are unable to allow families or students access to our schools to pick up any personal belongings at this time. In addition, in order to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community, we ask our families and students to avoid playgrounds, ballparks, athletic fields, tracks, etc. located on DCSD properties.

Community Service Hours for 2020 Graduates
With remote learning in place, it’s incredibly difficult for our high school seniors to receive the 20 hours of community service hours required to graduate with the Class of 2020. I have had many discussions about this dilemma with our high school leaders, and together we have made the decision to waive this community service requirement for DCSD’s graduating seniors. In other words, community service hours will not be required for our 2020 graduates.

Proms/Graduation Ceremonies
Due to this extended closure, we have made the decision to cancel all DCSD-sponsored proms scheduled to take place this spring.

We are incredibly proud of our Class of 2020 and are looking into options for high school graduations. While we do not have a specific plan in place for graduations just yet, we are working on contingency plans should our closure be extended beyond April 30. One potential option would be to reschedule graduations for the summer so that we can still celebrate our amazing graduates who worked so hard to earn their diplomas. We do not want them to miss out on this important milestone.

Technology Access
DCSD is committed to providing students and families assistance in obtaining a technology device, and/or internet access to participate in remote learning. Families still in need of remote learning technology can complete DCSD’s technology needs survey to submit a request for a technology device or assistance with internet connectivity. Those who complete the survey will be contacted via email and provided information on how to pick up the requested device. If your child attends a DCSD charter school, please check in with your school directly for information on how to access a device.

Special Education
According to Federal guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Education, if a district closes its schools to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19, and continues to provide educational opportunities to general education student populations, the schools must ensure that students with disabilities also have equal access to the same opportunities. Included in this requirement, schools must implement the IEP of a student with a disability to the greatest extent possible.

IEP services will look different during a school closure, and they will be made available to all students with disabilities. School teams are collaborating with parents to schedule remote IEP services designed to support student learning and maintain skills. Special education teachers and related service providers are using many of the same technology platforms to deliver services as general education teachers. IEP teams will work to complete special education evaluations virtually, and to facilitate virtual IEP meetings to the greatest extent possible. Parents and IEP teams will work together to decide if any evaluation or meeting should be postponed. Parents should direct questions about their child’s special education services to the case manager, related service provider(s), and then to the school principal.

School Counseling / Mental Health Resources
School counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists will provide counseling and mental health services to students, both individual and group sessions, using tools such as Google Meets during the closure. Schools will provide access for students to request a counseling session at any time. There are also many community resources to assist families with safety and mental health concerns. Meals for Students During DCSD Closure
Our amazing Nutrition Services Department will continue providing grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches for free to anyone 18 years and younger. This will be available through the April 30 closure, with additional locations beginning next week. Please visit the COVID-19 Family Resources page on our website for more details.

We sincerely appreciate all that you are doing for your children and there is absolutely no expectation for perfection as it relates to remote learning. As a community, all we can give is our best and I thank you for your patience and perseverance as we navigate this together.

Thank you again for your partnership, and more importantly, please remember to care for yourself during these stressful times. We are in this together and we will prevail for our 68,000 students. #UnityofPurpose

As always, we will continue to post up-to-date information, announcements, resources, etc. on our website at www.dcsdk12.org/coronavirus.


Sincerely,

Thomas S. Tucker, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Douglas County School District

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Douglas County School District Nondiscrimination Notice: The Douglas County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, marital status, genetic information, or physical characteristics, disability or need for special education services in admissions, access to, treatment of, or employment in educational programs or activities. The School District’s Compliance Officer is Ted Knight, Assistant Superintendent, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, complianceofficer@dcsdk12.org, 303-387-0067. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees and members of the public.