Looking Forward 2021-2022





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January 19, 2022

Dear DCSD Families and Staff,

Thank you for your ongoing partnership as we continue to navigate the COVID pandemic. The following outlines some adjustments we will be making to our notifications in the case of a COVID outbreak or exposure.

We know that Omicron is circulating throughout our community. The most important thing our families and staff can do is to assume exposure (whether in the community or at school) and continuously monitor their family members for symptoms. If your child is showing symptoms of illness, please do not send them to school. Please reference this symptom screening document for guidance on when it is safe to return to school after illness. Information about COVID vaccination and testing opportunities is available on our website.

OUTBREAK NOTIFICATIONS

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), an outbreak is defined as five or more confirmed or probable cases in a facility or (non-household) group with onset in a 14-day period. Outbreak status is determined by the Douglas County Health Department with Jogan Health Solutions (DCSD and our schools do not make determinations about outbreak status). When an outbreak occurs, some students/staff may be required to mask and/or quarantine.

Previously, a school would notify the entire school body (families and staff) if an outbreak was determined in the school. However, many times an outbreak is contained to a specific grade level or classroom. Sending the outbreak notification to the entire school has created confusion. Therefore, moving forward, in the case that an outbreak is determined at a school, only those identified as being a close contact will be notified. These notifications will be sent by the school to the affected parent/guardian and/or staff’s email address.

This adjustment in how we communicate outbreak status is being made after consultation with our local health department and aligns with protocols of our neighboring school districts. DCSD will continue to list any school outbreaks on its website each week.

EXPOSURE NOTIFICATIONS

DCSD has been sending out emails to families anytime their child may have been exposed to someone who tested positive or is symptomatic for COVID. We have received feedback from many families that the emails are not of value and create frustration (especially when a family receives multiple emails from their school). In addition, oftentimes by the time a school learns of a positive case, many days have passed and the notification is being sent several days following the exposure, creating additional frustration for families. Our school staff are also spending valuable time and energy creating and sending these emails – which creates additional challenges when schools in DCSD (and across the nation) are already experiencing staffing shortages.

Therefore, effective immediately, DCSD schools will be discontinuing the exposure email notifications, except in cases of an outbreak (see outbreak section above).

Families and staff will still be able to view positive cases at the individual school level on our DCSD COVID Tracker, which is updated frequently.

LAYERED COVID MITIGATION MEASURES


DCSD continues to implement layered COVID mitigation measures including:

  • Having air purifier units in every classroom in our neighborhood, magnet, alternative, and special education schools.

  • Strongly encouraging (but not requiring) the wearing of facial coverings, with certain exceptions described above.

  • DCSD has received and continues to receive both N-95 and surgical masks from the state. Those are available to students and staff who need them.

  • Encouraging frequent hand washing and providing access to hand sanitation stations.

  • Continuing with increased ventilation in buildings.

  • Encouraging outdoor learning and activities where possible.

  • Disinfecting frequently.

  • Implementing physical distancing where possible.

Please continue to do your part by keeping students home, and/or staying home yourself, when showing symptoms of illness. Please reference this symptom screening document for guidance on when it is safe to return to school after illness. Information about COVID vaccination and testing opportunities is available on our website.

Thank you for everything you are doing to help keep our students and staff healthy.

Sincerely,

Corey Wise
Superintendent
Douglas County School District





Vaccination Options for Students


Please visit the Resources for Families page for information on COVID-19 vaccination options for students 5 years of age and older.


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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 Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, complianceofficer@dcsdk12.org, 720-433-1083.

Outside Agencies

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.