DSD 2020-2021 School Year Re-Entry Plan Resources

DSD 2020-2021 Complete Re-Entry Plans (updated: 7/29/20)
DSD 2020-2021 Learning Options (updated: 8/18/20)
Frequently Asked Questions On Re-Entry (updated: 7/20/20)
Re-Entry Town Hall Presentation (7/16/20)
Colorado COVID-19 Data

Please view the links below for guidance on “Can I go to school today?”

At-Home Symptom Screening for Parents and Staff
COVID_Return to School-Work Guidance
COVID_Child-Staff Appears-Feels Unwell

Frequently Asked Questions in Regard to Re-opening the District in August (Updated from the Town Hall) 7/20/20


Q: If we start in-person classes can we move to online before the semester is over if we feel more comfortable with that?

A: Students in the elementary school may do so. Students in the secondary will have to wait for a semester break due to credits earned per semester. The exception would be to allow a student to come back into the school building but attend the remainder of their semester in our Distance Learning Classroom with the support of our staff.

Q: If a parent calls and says their child is sick but chooses not to test child, do you just assume it’s COVID?

A: Our nurse has answered that there are strict protocols to watch for upon the child’s return to school. She would also contact the family and have a thorough discussion about the symptoms and follow through. The district cannot mandate testing to parents.

Q: Will kids be able to do a couple days in the classroom and a couple days online during the week or is it just one setting or the other?

A: Choosing one setting or the other is preferred. We are open to discussing the needs of individuals with families. The recommendation is to call the building principal and see if a customized option is available.

Q: Can the OWL option be used to help with temporary needs, like if a kid may have been exposed outside of school or is not feeling 100% but is up for a school day from home?

A: Yes! This is a great resource. (For more information on the “OWL” please see: https://www.owllabs.com/meeting-owl)

Q: Is it really feasible to go with the allowable 25 students per class when some of our classroom are small?

A: At this time, we are measuring every classroom and determining the allowable number of students in that classroom. We will adjust schedules and classes accordingly.

As of today, July 20, 2020, Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Public Health released this guidance in regard to distancing: Physical Distance

  • 6-foot between-student spacing reduces disease transmission risk and should be preferred; 3-foot distancing still provides substantial benefits and is acceptable in the context of a comprehensive disease control strategy.

Q: What are the plans for the pre-school? And what safeguards are in place?

A: The district has purchased thousands of dollars in supplies and equipment related to the need for COVID19 protection. The preschool has been included in all of these purchases

The preschool will be following the guidelines found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Gd_mD3D0SvMDoQlTJ7txfB8xS_cNp9U/view

Q: How will you distance a bus full of students?

A: Our district will follow the guidelines provided for transportation:

  • Parents will be expected to take their child’s temperature before leaving the house and to withhold an ill student from riding the bus.
  • Students must sit one per seat on the school bus starting from the second row of the school bus.
  • If students live in the same residence, those students will be required to sit together in the same seat to increase rider capacity.
  • When students enter the school bus, they will load the bus from the rear to the front of the bus and unload the school bus from the front of the bus to the back (similar to some airlines).
  • Students must stay in their seats and not change seats.
  • Students will be required to wear face coverings on the bus.
  • We would like to ask parents to consider driving their students to school during this time.

We will provide transportation; however, it would be helpful to have more seats available if possible.

Q: Will we have these details before the 3rd when you are requesting an answer whether they will be home schooled or not?

A: We are working very hard to get everything needed online. This should be complete by July 21, Tuesday.

Q: Is there a way to have our kids show up for count day then go back to home schooling so the district isn’t out state funding per pupil?

A: First of all, thank you for your kind consideration to the district. We truly appreciate this. Count day is not the only consideration for “counting” a student. They have to be present for a period of time before and after count day. They also have to have their academic needs met by the district. We can certainly meet with parents and see if their online choice is one the district can support.

Q: How are the cohorts going to be determined?

A: In the elementary, they are determined by the classroom teachers. We are now considering having one cohort in each grade that will wear masks all day. This cohort would be chosen by parents. We have not made this final determination but we are considering it. In the secondary, the cohort is mainly their advisory groups; however, it is not as easy in the secondary to isolate cohorts. We will minimize movement and exposure but we also want to allow students to take electives. We are formulating our exact plans now.

Q: If there’s is an outbreak, how long will kids go to temporary online?

A: According to the materials released today, July 20, 2020, it will be anywhere from 2-14 days based on the outbreak and the recommendations from the local health department.

Q: Please clarify the masks as of the Governor’s new mandate. Will they be required for every student?

A: The mask mandate is in effect for 30 days as of July 17. We will have to see if it is extended or lifted at that time. As of right now, students who are 11 and above would be required to wear a mask.

Q: Can you explain the online options again?

A: Elementary – We are choosing the company called Edgenuity. (For more information: http://www.virtualschoolresourcecenter.com/resources/covidresources/)

The district will cover the cost of enrolling and also provide a connection to the school through making staff available to the online learner.

Secondary: Southwest E-School is the choice. This option provides a local resource through our BOCES and also has better flexibility with our program. Students who meet the qualifications may also choose online concurrent enrollment classes with our partner colleges and universities.

K-12: The OWL is a remote option for staying home. It is interacting all day with the actual class of students. (For more information on the “OWL” please see: https://www.owllabs.com/meeting-owl)

Here is a checklist when considering the options available:

OWL (K-12)

  • High-speed, reliable and non-limited internet access
  • Adult supervision § Commitment for pick up and drop off of school resources bi-weekly
  • All-day commitment following the daily class schedule (7 hours)

Edgenuity (Elementary)

  • High-speed, reliable internet access
  • Adult supervision § Parent is the primary learning coach at home with access to support
  • Minimum 3-hour commitment of academic work online.

Southwest E-School (Secondary)

  • High-speed internet access
  • Adult involved in the progress monitoring process
  • Self-motivated and able to follow the online teacher’s expectations
  • Commitment to 5-6 hours per day

*If parents are interested in any of these options, please contact the district office at (970) 882-7255.

Q: How will we protect high risk individuals?
A: Any individual, whether a student or teacher who is high risk, will be required to wear a mask as well as those around them when in their space. Teachers who are high risk, will be allowed to mandate masks to be worn in their classrooms. All other safety precautions will be followed.

Q: If one student or one teacher test positive, will the entire school go temporary online?

A: Please see the chart below. We will follow the strict protocols set in place by the CDC if an outbreak were to occur. An outbreak can be only one case. It will also depend upon the cohort or the situation.

Q: Are other CDE recommendations being followed in the classroom? Partitions, not sharing materials, etc.? Curious as to what a day may look like to prepare my kids prior to school (especially kindergarten).

A: We are following all of the CDE required guidelines. Students will not share belongings. Some classes will have partitions based on the subject area or space limitations.

Q: How will cleaning be handled in the specials rooms where numerous groups of cohorts are in and out? What about bathrooms? Who is responsible for cleaning before/after lunch in the classrooms?

A: The EPA, CDC, and Colorado Department of Public Health have given detailed and thorough guidelines on cleaning and sanitizing. We are following all of these. Students will learn to sanitize their area before leaving a class and after eating. All cleaning supplies are provided by the district.

Q: Do the kids have to wear the school supplied masks or can they wear a mask from home?

A: Students may wear their own masks as long as they do not promote anything that would be detrimental to the learning environment. The guidelines will align to allowable t-shirts in school.

Q: If we start in person classes can we move to online before the semester is over if we feel more comfortable with that?

A: Elementary students may absolutely do this. The secondary students must wait for a semester break. There are some creative solutions you may discuss with your principal.

Q: How will GT students be served this year?

A: They will be served well! All of the mandates for GT students will be followed. We will meet the student’s needs according to their advanced learning plans. All of the plans are individualized and therefore, this is a better question for principals to answer for each individual student.

Q: What plan do you have for a uniform goal and standard for online learning to set students up for the best chance of success? Will a specific online program be used, or will it be up to teachers decide the online curriculum?

A: Please see the online options given above.

If this question is referring to the entire school district moving to a remote platform, teachers will be expected to follow the current course of learning as outlined in their syllabi (secondary) or the Core Knowledge Sequence of Learning for the K-8.

High School level – It will not be uniform due to the fact that each student’s needs and graduation requirements are individually based.

Q: Can we request for our kids to be in cohorts to avoid mask wearing?

A: We are exploring this as an option. We will let parents know if and when this is possible.

Q: How can you be sure parents are reporting correctly? And those that do not even bother to check them. Especially if parents that work who need their child to be in school?

A: This is the recommended method for reporting/screening. We will have to trust the parents to do their part. We will be notified through the app if a screening has not been done. By 7:45 each morning, we will have a list generated of students who must be screened prior to entering the building

Q: Will you be providing the computers for the children to use if they choose to use OWL option?

A: We are already a one-to-one campus. We will provide Chromebooks for all students.

Q: How can the local government (Montezuma or the school board) go against the state mask mandate?

A: Please direct your question to the Montezuma County Commissioners. The school board is required to adhere to mandates given by the Colorado Department of Education. As long as the Governor’s mask mandate is in place, the district must follow it.

Q: So, by August 3rd, we need to choose either in-person learning or Online learning? We will not be able to combine either Edgenuity or OWL with In Person?

A: Please meet with your principal to arrange any different options for your child. We do need to know as soon as possible which option a family is choosing

Q: Are you adding capacity to the bus fleet to allow for the 1 per seat? Last year the bus was almost completely full at our stop.

A: We are asking parents to consider helping the district by driving their students to school if this is a possibility. If it is not, we are working now through all of the routes and determining our exact needs. We do have one extra bus available.

Q: How are Specials Teachers protected who have contact with all Cohorts?

A: Teachers are required to wear masks at this time. Specials teachers will need to wear them due to working with multiple cohorts of students. We will also provide plexiglass barriers in certain rooms, technological options to help with distancing. Students will learn to sanitize their areas and use good hygiene. Students will not share materials.

Q: Will COVID testing be available for students and staff at the on-campus health center?

A: Yes. The Montezuma County Public Health Department is working with the hospital to provide free testing to our staff prior to students returning to school. The clinic will also have testing available for staff and students.

Q: Are you doing anything to get the high school students to have some buy in to this modified way of learning this year like maybe design posters that can be hung around the school or be on the panel of decision makers about how leaning will take place? These are just a couple of ideas.

A: These are fantastic ideas. This has been shared with the secondary administration.

Q: Will all cohorts in the same grade be at recess the same time and if so, how will they be kept separate?

A: Teachers will educate their students on social distancing and the requirements on the playground. Students will be led to wash their hands and sanitize after playing on the playground.

Q: In the preschool will you be taking their temperature at the gate where we drop them off?

A: Preschool will soon release their own plans. These are dictated by the state and must be followed.

Q: If we choose the OWL or online option, will there still be contact with a teacher in the district?

A: Yes.

Q: What have you heard from your teachers regarding these plans?

A: All teachers were surveyed through a phone call survey. They were given the opportunity to share their concerns. The majority of teachers feel very comfortable returning to school with the district’s plans. There are a few teachers we will make extra accommodations for due to their own risk factors.

The teachers are very excited to see their students and begin educating again. The greatest request we received was for more training in the online learning platform.

Q: What is the plan if and when the county has a significant rise in confirmed cases? Does that change anything that the district would do other than what is mandated by the state or federal government?

A: If there is a significant rise in confirmed cases, the Montezuma County Public Health Department will assist us in our actions.

Q: How will teachers go to the bathroom and eat with the cohort model?

A: Paraprofessionals will provide breaks and all teachers have walkie-talkies in order to call the office for breaks.

Q: How will you handle bullying around students wearing masks?

A: Bullying policy can be found at: https://doloresschools.org/wpcontent/uploads/2019/09/JICDE-Bullying-Prevention-and-Education1.pdf

Q: Would it be prudent to give a tour to parents of students so they can be comfortable to see the distancing of desks etc.? Or perhaps clear diagrams of desk arrangements?

A: The principals agree with this thought and are working to formulate a plan with the teachers.

Q: I’m assuming a sack lunch is still ok?

A: As far as we now right now, it is okay. Also, online students may receive grab and go lunches as well.

Q: In the secondary school how will the students change classrooms between periods and pass thru the hallways while still maintaining recommended social distancing? Will students be able to go to lockers, bathrooms during breaks or will there be designated staggered times to reduce numbers of students in confined areas?

A: Some of this question has already been answered. We are going to provide directions in the hallways and educate the students accordingly. Students will not be able to use their lockers until all of this has subsided. We will allow them to use backpacks (no choice for the admin) to carry their belongings.

Q: Will teachers be given grace for days out when symptomatic?

A: Of course, we will. We want our teachers healthy and free of symptoms. We have a flowchart for their reference in the re-entry plans. We will also host meetings with staff to field their questions.

Q: Will you be providing families with limited incomes thermometers?

A: If a family cannot afford a thermometer, they need only to call the district office or the school office and let them know. We will take care of this.

Q: Did I just hear that student cohorts may be considered for students who do not want to wear masks? Can a masked cohort be considered for parents who want all students in their cohort to wear masks?

A: We are considering all of these options.

Q: Do you have OWL’s to accommodate every classroom?

A: We have not purchased them yet. We are waiting to see the need before we purchase. We will meet the needs.

Q: Nursing homes have the option of taking advantage of an 8-week long weekly testing for all employees facilitated by the State/National Guard. Has there been discussion about this type of approach for teachers/staff in educational settings?

A: We are working with our local agencies to see the available resources for testing.

Q: Just because we ‘can’ do something (e.g. have spectators at sporting events), is it the best way to mitigate risk for students and teachers?

A: Again, we will follow the requirements provided to us. If an individual does not feel comfortable participating in any event, they can choose not to do so.

Q: Currently, many parents just give their children Tylenol/Ibuprofen before school and the fever returns during the school day. How will this be addressed if this happens? Is there a question on the app that specifically asks if they have taken any fever reducers?

A: Thank you for this question. This will be added to the screener.

Q: Will we have suicide programs in place? Will there be suicide awareness/prevention programs in place at the school? If so, will those programs be available to OWL and eschool students?

A: We have these resources available now on our website. We will continue to meet the mental health needs of our staff and students.

Q: Is the school district discussing with the MCPHD or the hospital how to have access to rapid tests because if test results take 2 weeks to get back from the State lab then it will be very difficult to manage potential cases and it will be very disruptive to be in 14-day quarantines repeatedly throughout the year?

A: Agreed. We will be attending an upcoming meeting with the Health Department to discuss the testing. We do not have an answer at this time.

Q: Will my student have to wear a face covering?

A: Students will have the option of whether or not to wear face coverings, but will not be required to if they are ages 5-10 in the elementary school. Until the Governor’s mandate changes, students age 11 and above will have to wear face masks. If the Governor’s mandate changes, we will go back to our original re-entry plan with the exception of mandating masks when students are attending the class of an adult at high risk.

Q: Will the staff wear face coverings?

A: Teachers will be required to wear a face covering when dealing with the public as long as the mandate is in place and encouraged to do so after it is lifted. There are allowable times in their classroom to remove the mask.

Q: Will there be a daily screening of students and temperature checks?

A: We are currently working on our school app in order to have parents do the screening daily before sending their child to school. We will communicate to parents as soon as we have a solid answer; however, we are not planning to physically screen students. We will use the app and those who have not cleared the app screening before 7:45 in the morning will be red flagged that they should be absent. We have a system in place to screen students who have not been screened prior to entering the buildings. Please download the FREE Dolores School District App, available on both Android and iOS platforms. Don’t forget to allow push notifications!

Q: Will students eat lunch in the cafeteria (commons)?

A: According to the guidelines given to school districts, size of gatherings is limited. It is recommended that students eat in their classrooms. Food from the school kitchen will be delivered to students ordering lunch. Plans for the secondary school are underway.

Q: Will my high school student be able to go off campus for lunch?

A: Students in grades 10-12 will be allowed to go off campus for lunch. Until we have clearer guidelines from the Department of Education, we will not be able to have the ninth grade off campus. The major reasoning for keeping ninth graders on campus is due to the fact that most do not drive and would be getting in vehicles with older students. This is not in line with the requirements we must keep. We ask that parents talk with their students about having too many in a vehicle at one time.

Q: Will staff go through a screening process daily?

A: Yes! Every staff member will complete the recommended screening by the CDC each day.

Q: How will the buildings be cleaned and sanitized?

A: The district will invest in tools and equipment: non-latex gloves, nontouch thermometers, masks, eye protection, tissues, no-touch trash cans, soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer). The custodians will follow the disinfecting guidelines provided by the CDC and the Department of Education. https://covid19.colorado.gov/cleaning-guidance

Q: What will recess look like?

A: In the elementary, we will make every attempt to keep the same group of students in one class in the same play area. Students will have outdoor recess and outdoor education. The play areas will be regularly disinfected. Students will be led to wash their hands after recess and before returning to class.

Q: Are there limitations on class sizes?

A: Yes. At this time, the class sizes are limited to 20-25. This is great for our District! We have very few classes that are larger. This will be a challenge for some of the secondary elective classes. The secondary administration is working on plans to address this.

Q: Can we offer any input or feedback on the re-entry plans?

A: Absolutely! Throughout the plan, there are links for parent/guardian input. You may also email the district or superintendent at lrichard@dolores.k12.co.us

Q: What if our family does not feel comfortable returning to in-person learning at school?

A: Please let the district office know this right away in order for the school administrators to contact you and help coordinate a plan. There are options available to you. The Colorado Department of Education is making allowances for districts to work with this scenario.

Q: What is the process if someone tests positive or is symptomatic?

A: See the flow chart below:

Q: Will visitors be allowed on campus?

A: We are asking for visitors to be limited. Only those visitors that are state employees, first responders, or parents with an emergent need will be allowed on campus. Visitors will be required to check in at the office and wear a mask while on campus.

A word from our board president, Dr. Kay Phelps:

THANK YOU to Supt. Richard and the Re-entry Plan Advisory. The sheer number of reports and articles rolling in from nation-wide studies to local updates and those specific to education all attest to the fact that this is an extremely complex process. Today alone in the DGO Herald, “Efforts to Improve Education in SW CO Just Became Harder as Budget Cuts Exacerbate the Education Gap” – same message as the National Academies of Science earlier this week. It’s an equity issue. Students need as much face-to-face instruction as is safe and responsible – but teachers shouldn’t feel the need to prepare their wills (as stated in national news today). My hope is that the message to families is loud and clear: We care that our teachers, staff, students and families stay healthy. We also care that students have access to quality instruction. Thank you all for your patience and sensitivity.