Important Update: 2020-21 School Year

Important Update: 2020-21 School Year
Posted on 07/14/2020
Dear Douglas County School District Parents/Guardians,

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided us with many challenges and continuously changing information. And with that, we understand that the idea of returning students and staff to the classroom comes with great anxiety. As the safety of our staff and students is of utmost importance, the decision to return to in-person learning is not one we are taking lightly. We are listening to the concerns of our community and working to answer the many questions being raised by our students, parents, staff, and community members.

As there is much to be done to prepare for a safe return to the classroom, DCSD is delaying the first day of school to Monday, August 17. This delay will afford all DCSD staff the opportunity to train and prepare for a safe and healthy in-person learning environment. This additional time will also enable us to obtain additional feedback from our community and provide our families and staff with the specific details and answers they need to feel comfortable returning to our classrooms.

Douglas County School District is moving forward with opening all K-12 schools for full-time, in-person learning (five days a week) beginning August 17. A DCSD eLearning option will also be offered at each of our schools as an alternative to in-person learning for families who prefer their student(s) continue learning remotely.

Click here for details about DCSD In-Person Learning for 2020-2021

Click here for details about DCSD e-Learning for 2020-2021

Prior to the Start of School

To assist us in planning and staffing for the upcoming school year, after reading the descriptions of our in-person and e-learning options, we ask our families to complete this short form outlining your plans for the 2020-2021 school year, as well as your needs for school bus transportation.

PLEASE COMPLETE ONE FORM FOR EACH STUDENT WHO WILL ATTEND DOUGLAS COUNTY SCHOOLS DURING THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR, NO LATER THAN WEDNESDAY, JULY 22.

If your child attended a charter school in 2019-2020, and plans to continue in their charter school for 2020-2021 you do not need to complete this form. Charters have the autonomy to design their own operations and education delivery opportunities, and will be communicating their plans directly to enrolled families. If your child attended a DCSD neighborhood school in 2019-2020, and is transferring to a DCSD charter school, or a non-DCSD school for 2020-2021, please complete the form to help us plan for staffing at your child’s prior school.

Kindergarten / Balanced Beginnings

In DCSD, we have a special transition process in place for our Kindergarten students called Balanced Beginnings. The first days of school will be staggered, with small groups of students coming rather than the entire class. This eases the transition into Kindergarten and allows teachers and students to build positive relationships, introduce the new environment and routines, and collect informal data as they begin their year with students.

This means that Kindergarten students will not begin full days of school until Friday, August 21. Kindergarten students will be assigned a half-day to come in and transition into their classrooms with a small group of 6-8 students August 17 - August 19. Then, August 20 will serve as a planning day for Kindergarten teachers so they can use the information they collect when they meet with transition groups and plan for targeted and individualized instruction in the first weeks of school.

While the past few months have been challenging, we have also had much to celebrate. We hosted in-person commencement ceremonies for our Class of 2020 in alignment with guidance from local and state health officials. In addition, our Nutrition Services department has distributed over a half a million meals to children across Douglas County since the pandemic began in the spring. These milestones were possible thanks to the commitment of our community members, and their trust in DCSD.

Our return to in-person learning may not be perfect, and I know there are many questions that still need answers. But I know that together, we can do this and help our students and staff through this next chapter of this pandemic.

We will continue to provide updates to our community about the return to school. Information is also available on our website at www.dcsdk12.org/roadtoreturn.

I look forward to partnering with you and welcome your continued feedback throughout this process.

Proud to serve as your superintendent,

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.