Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

CDC Considerations For School Closure: View PDF
Colorado Department of Health: CDPHE Site
Center for Disease Control: CDC Site
How Sick is Too Sick: View PDF
Current Travel Recommendations: View PDF

Parent and Community Resources

Montezuma County Resources
Montezuma Food Coalition- Emergency Food Response
Daily Learning Workbooks (EdHelper)
CDC: Answering Kids Questions About Coronavirus
NPR: Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus

Resources for Kids at Home

Virtual School Activities

Update Monday, March 26, 2020

No one trained any of us for this! Sometimes the very best training is life itself. Our teachers have tackled this challenge and are excited to begin this journey with you and your children on Monday.

Please allow me to provide some updates to you:

1. Waivers for instructional hours

The Colorado Department of Education has waived the minimum number of school days and teacher-pupil instruction hours normally required under state law. Instead, districts must make every effort to provide alternative learning opportunities during this time. For Dolores School District RE-4A, this means that we are not expected to extend the school year or start early next year to make up for lost in-person instructional time.

As a result of the possibility of an extended period of disruption on in-person instruction, we will transition to continuous learning through Google Classroom. Our teachers will begin the online lessons and support on Monday, March 30th.

2. Meal Service

Our meal service will also begin on Monday, March 30th. We will have three distribution sites. The sites are as follows:

  • Curbside Pickup at the District – This will be outside of the secondary school. There will be food service personnel stationed outside of the building ready to hand a breakfast and lunch to someone in the car. Please do not get out of the vehicle. Our workers will come to you.
  • Elk’s Lodge Parking Lot – The same process will take place in this parking lot. The food will be brought to each vehicle.
  • Montelores Baptist Church parking lot – This location is at 18735 CR 23.5, just off of Highway 184 across from Narraguinnep Reservoir.

All meals can be picked up at 10:30 a.m. The pick up will only last 30 minutes. Meals served Monday-Friday.

Meals are not limited to our students. Under the emergency feeding regulations, anyone who needs meals may request it. Please put a request in online for additional meals.

3. Services to students with special needs

Our schools will make every effort to provide appropriate special education and related services for students with disabilities.  We have been given some flexibility on how to provide these services, so we are thinking about other ways to meet the needs of students with disabilities based on the nature of a student’s disability and individual needs of the student.

To support students with identified IEP-related services, we will work with our schools to determine whether it is appropriate to provide alternative services or delay services in coordination with students’ parents and IEP teams. We may also determine whether we can make up for a gap in access to the curriculum or delay in services with additional services in the future. Our providers will communicate directly with families.

4. Internet Access and Technology Needs

We are currently working with our technology director and other providers to get services to those who do not have access. As soon as we have specific plans for this, we will send them. In the meantime, all of our buildings have wi-fi access around the outside of the buildings. Any parent can have their student working on the Chromebook outside of the buildings using our internet. This is not the most convenient, but is a temporary solution.

Should you need a Chromebook or have a repair request, there will be a request format placed on the district website within the next couple of days. Please refer to the website with questions.

5. Stay-at-Home Order

Although the Governor has issued at Stay-at-Home Order, certain school district employees are exempt and considered “essential” personnel. The food service employees and maintenance are able to continue working to provide food and safety. Certain administrators may also access the buildings.

Another important aspect of the order is that parents may secure what is needed for their child’s online learning. This allowance was given today, March 26. In other words, parents may arrange to come in and meet the technology director or principal to pick up supplies or computer equipment needed for learning at home. If you missed the opportunity to come to the school last night, you may arrange a quick exchange for your child’s belongings.

6. District Buildings are Closed Until April 11.

The district buildings are closed; however, we are still fully operating. We are regularly checking mail and have our phones transferring to voicemail of employees. We are also online all day holding virtual meetings and instruction. Please refer to the website for contact information for any staff member.

Other Items:

Please watch for the next issue of Bear Essentials, our monthly district newsletter. It will be full of resources and information. Every director in the district is providing a report and community resources will be available.

To our senior students (Class of 2020), we are all brainstorming about graduation. If you have ideas, please share them! We want your day to be amazing. I saw this meme and couldn’t help but share it with you:

We hope this won’t be the case. 🙂 We look forward to everyone’s input on an awesome graduation. Hang in there everyone! This will pass. We will all be stronger and better for weathering the storm together.

Partnering for our Students,

Lis Richard, Superintendent

Previous Updates:

Update: March 23, 2020

Update Monday, March 23, 2020

Dolores RE-4A Community,

I hope you have been able to enjoy this spring break and spend some quality time with your families.  Family time is always important but particularly during uncertain times. Like us, our children feel stress in times like this.  This is a great opportunity for game time, watching movies together, reading a book, or playing outside. Family time will help lower anxiety and keep our kids in a positive space.

School Closure Extension

In an effort to take further action to address the public health threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across our state, Governor Polis signed an executive order suspending in-person learning in public and private schools across the state from March 23 to April 17.  The governor also added that we should be prepared in the event that he extends this order until the end of the year. This is in line with our plan to deliver educational supports to students remotely.

The Dolores School District will be following this executive order, meaning we will remain closed through Friday, April 17. This includes in-school instruction, after-school programs and activities, preschool programs, and facility rentals. As we announced last week, we will be transitioning to remote learning starting March 30 for all students.

Remote Learning/Instruction

Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27 will be staff planning days. Beginning Tuesday, teachers will be reaching out to their students preparing for our March 30 start. Parents are asked to complete the INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT FORM to provide feedback on how best to interact with their children and what needs you may have.

We understand that having students at home can create additional stress, especially for working parents (whether you are working at home or in an office setting). Please know that our intent is to ensure that our students continue with learning during this closure. Remote learning is not meant to create additional hardships for our families but to do our part to ensure the health of our community.  Students will be able to complete their assignments each day at a time that is convenient for your family. There is not an expectation that students will be online for a full school day. We also plan to begin the process slowly to allow everyone to adjust to this method.

If your family does not have access to a learning device such as a laptop, Chromebook, iPad, etc., or does not have internet service in your home, please know there are resources available. Again, please complete this INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT FORM or email your child’s teacher with the best ways to connect with your child during this closure.  US Mail or pick up locations will be available should internet access be unavailable to access materials.

Remote Meal Services

Beginning March 30, Dolores RE-4A Nutrition Services department will be providing grab-and-go meals to anyone, under the age of 18. This service is not limited to particular students and is free of charge. Please visit the COVID-19 page of our website for more information about this program, as well as other programs in our amazing community.  Parents can also complete the MEAL REQUEST FORM and select from a variety of pick up locations. Parents may also call in their request to (Phone Number) etc.

Access to School Buildings

When coming to the school buildings, there will be staff in certain locations throughout the hallways to greet students and parents and ensure that there are not any more than 10 individuals in any one place and that all are maintaining the six-foot distancing requirements. There will be instructions on-line and posted for getting a Chromebook should your student need one.

This will be a welcoming time for the students and a time to ease tensions; however, we will not engage in long conversations in order to process everyone through carefully. Students are not required to come to the school if parents would like to pick up all that is needed.

Any family who is not comfortable coming into the building, simply needs to email the teacher (elementary) or Mrs. Burger (secondary) and we will see that your requested items are gathered and placed just outside the entrance to your school building. Please plan the same time to pick up as listed above. The student name will be on the bag. If the items are not retrieved during the day, they will be brought into each office.

Please know that school personnel will follow all proper protocol for health and safety of you and your children. (More information can be found on the website.)

Wednesday, March 25

Kindergarten – Third Grade

8:00 – 10:00              Last Names A – F

10:00 – Noon            Last Names G – L

1:00 – 3:00                Last Names M – R

3:00 – 5:00                Last Names S – Z

Seventh – Eighth Grades

8:00 – 10:00              Last Names A – F

10:00 – Noon            Last Names G – L

1:00 – 3:00                Last Names M – R

3:00 – 5:00                Last Names S – Z

Thursday, March 26

            Fourth – Sixth Grades                    

8:00 – 10:00              Last Names A – F

10:00 – Noon            Last Names G – L

1:00 – 3:00                Last Names M – R

3:00 – 5:00                Last Names S – Z

High School

8:00 – 10:00              Last Names A – F

10:00 – Noon            Last Names G – L

1:00 – 3:00                Last Names M – R

3:00 – 5:00                Last Names S – Z

Friday, March 27

            This will be by pre-arranged appointment only. Please call the school or district office to arrange a time. This is only for those not able to make the appointed time above.

Other Items of Note:

  • The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has waived the required hours and days of instruction for this school year.
  • CDE has waived the state assessments for this school year.
  • Students will not be “socially promoted” to the next grade because of this situation. There is an expectation that families will work with the district in all efforts to provide an ongoing education for their child. Students will be given participation grades based on completion of work assigned. Any student who fails to complete needed assignments, may be retained in their current grade. A meeting will be held in the summer in order to determine placement for 2020-21.
  • We are very concerned about our senior class of 2020. We are dedicated to seeing that their graduation and culminating activities are special. We still do not know exactly how this will transpire but we are brainstorming together on this.

Moving to remote learning is unchartered territory for our school district and our educators, but I know if we partner on this work, we will be able to see amazing learning from our students. We ask that you provide our teachers with some patience and grace as they make this transition. I’ve heard from many educators who are concerned about not seeing their students every day, but will do whatever it takes to continue to support students throughout this process.

For the remainder of this extended spring break, I hope you and your family can find time to relax and recharge, stay healthy. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Partnering for our students,

Lis Richard

Superintendent

Dolores School District RE-4A

Update: March 19, 2020
These are certainly uncharted times for all of us. The district leadership is working nonstop to put measures in place to help meet the needs of your children. The leadership team will meet Monday morning to finalize plans. We will also host a virtual meeting with all staff on Tuesday. Following both meetings, detailed communication will follow to all stakeholders.
Here are the items we are currently addressing:
  • Formulating plans to move to an online platform for student learning. This cannot happen until the meetings are held next week and information is given to families.
  • Working on a time to allow students to secure their belongings. This will be done in a careful and staggered manner.
  • Putting together plans for students without access to technology. (This includes computers and hot spots for Wi-Fi.)
  • Working with the county on food for families who need this. Once a plan is in place, we will place information on the website.
  • Students on special education plans will receive compensatory services. This is currently in process and under careful formulation. These services will begin on March 30th.
Superintendents have been asked to prepare to finish the school year without students in the school buildings. The governor has NOT given this as an order as of today, March 19th. Hopefully, this will not be the case; however, we are planning accordingly.
It is my desire to provide information to you as it is received. Thank you for your patience as we work to provide the very best options for your children’s education. We take our responsibilities to you very seriously. We are dedicated to you and your children and will stay on top of communication.
Many parents have still not downloaded our school app. Please pass the word along to others about this important medium of instant communication.
Partnering for your children,
Mrs. Lis Richard
Superintendent
Update: March 18, 2020: Governor Polis suspends in-person instruction to April 17, Due to COVID-19

Today, Governor Jared Polis issued an executive order that suspends in-person instruction at all public and private schools from March 23 to April 17.

Dolores School District will remain closed through April 17, 2020. There will be a conference call tomorrow with the governor and the commissioner of education involving all superintendents in the state. Another update will be provided after that call and additional information is gathered.

There will also be a virtual meeting tomorrow with all Southwest Colorado superintendents as we work together to make decisions for the districts in this area. Information will be disseminated as it affects all of our stakeholders.

It is our intent to provide as many resources as possible to our staff, parents, and students. We are continuously updating the website. We will soon have a tab for the students to access that provides information and activities. (www.doloresschools.org )

We would like to provide some on-line instruction to the students but will need to process through the possibilities. We have calculated that about 40% of our students do not have access to Wi-Fi in their homes and cannot adequately access this mode of learning. We will look into all of our options and let you know as soon as we have some tangible plans.

Rest assured that your board and district leadership are committed to taking care of the staff during this time. As always, please feel free to reach out via email or phone with any questions or concerns.

Mrs. Lis Richard
Superintendent

Update: March 14, 2020: Spring Break Extended, Due to COVID-19

As many of you know, school districts around the country and state are making the difficult decision to close school for an extended spring break in response to the threat posed by the COVID-19 virus. Governor Polis has not yet directed a statewide closure in Colorado. However, in consultation with the Montezuma County Public Health Department, we made the decision today to extend spring break and close all schools from March 16th to March 27th, 2020. During that time, essential personnel will receive enhanced training to do the important disinfecting that needs to be done to ensure the buildings are ready for students to return. We will be monitoring this situation daily, at a minimum, and will share any updates or changes to this plan as they become available.

Montezuma County Public Health Department and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are the best resources for current information about the Coronavirus, and as of the time of this statement, there are no confirmed cases in Montezuma County.

Dolores School District RE-4A leadership will work with Montezuma County Public Health on an ongoing basis to re-evaluate the situation and share any updates about changes as they become available. These updates will be posted on our websites and social media and important information will be communicated directly to parents and staff. Staff and parents will also receive additional communication from Superintendent Richard with more information on how this extended spring break will impact staff and what support may be available for families.

We are committed to working together with our community members to protect our friends and neighbors who may be most at risk. We are also committed to taking steps as a school district to support our staff, students, and families’ health and safety. As a community, we have always taken care of each other in challenging times and this virus provides an opportunity for us to continue that tradition by following state and local directives and taking personal and community steps to limit the impact of this virus.

Lis Richard

Superintendent
Update: March 13, 2020
Dear Dolores School District RE-4A Community,
As you know, significant changes, cancellations, and restrictions are being implemented across the country and world as a result of COVID-19. Dolores School District RE-4A is no exception. This communication is being sent to share updates related to this important time for our community.

Part I—Learning Environment
Our school leaders are working collaboratively to develop e-learning and alternative learning plans in the event that we would need to close a school. This is to have a proactive plan. At this time, there is no plan to close a school or schools. There will be an Elementary Plan and a Secondary Plan as we know the needs are different across grade levels. If there is a closure, the principal for each school will communicate with the school’s community.

Part II—Travel
The following travel restrictions will be put into effect immediately for school-organized or sponsored student trips and staff professional learning.

Until further notice, we are restricting all international and out-of-state travel for students and staff for school-organized or school-sponsored student trips and staff professional learning.

I understand that this is disappointing news to the impacted students, staff, and families. However, these decisions are made out of an abundance of caution and safety for our students and community. Please know that we make these decisions based on the information we are receiving from the Colorado Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control, the Montezuma County Health Department, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

I also understand that numerous students and staff may have also booked private trips over spring break.
While the district has no authority to cancel these trips, personal travel by staff and students could result in a student or staff member being quarantined (by another agency) for up to 14 days upon return. We would also support the need for self-quarantine if travel goes beyond this region.

I will provide an update to the community once this travel restriction for school-organized or sponsored student trips and staff professional learning has been lifted.

Part III—Upcoming Events
We also learned today that, per the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA), effective Friday, March 13th through April 6th, there will be NO team practices or games/events allowed. The CHSAA, along with multiple state agencies, will continue to evaluate the situation. Our athletic directors will provide updates to families and coaches as they receive new information.

All Middle School sports and activities will also be suspended starting, Friday, March 13 until further notice.

At this time, we will wait to make a decision on the sixth-grade trip to Moab. The trip is far enough in the future that we still have a window of time to decide.

We know there are several other events that are planned for the upcoming weeks. Please monitor our school’s website for any cancellations, postponements, and/or other decisions.

I will be sending follow-up communications as needed.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Elisabeth A. Richard
Superintendent of Schools

Update: March 12, 2020

All spring sports and activities including practices will be suspended until April 6th to address concerns surrounding the on-going decisions with COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020 spring sports season, speech tournament, student leadership Advisor U, are suspended through April 6th. All music festivals are cancelled through April 6th . Additionally, an outreach with the Colorado Athletic Director’s Association will be conducted remotely from the CHSAA office. The date will be communicated after the 6th.

The decision is effective as of Friday, March 13, 2020. The decision to continue competitions today as some tournaments are currently being contested will be a local decision, supported by our office. No spring sports, activities, competition or practices can be held until at least April 6th. The situation will be monitored and evaluated with key decision-makers from around the state to determine when, or if, to resume the spring season.

On Wednesday morning, I convened a digital conference with more than 50 administrators representing diverse levels of educational leadership to collaboratively create a plan. That group arrived at a consensus to support the decision made by the CHSAA office.

Further information about the spring sports season will be communicated via CHSAANow, when available.

Update: March 11, 2020

Late this afternoon, Governor Polis held a press conference in which he shared new information related to COVID-19 that we expect to see in an official executive order. He shared the guidelines below related to when schools should close due to COVID-19 infection in students:

  • If one student or staff member at a school tests positive for COVID-19, it is recommended that the school close for 72 hours to clean and disinfect
  • If two students or staff members test positive, the school should close for an additional 72 hours (144 hours total).
  • If a school has three or more students or staff members test positive, the recommendation is that the school close for 14

It is our understanding that these guidelines only apply to a student or staff member testing positive for COVID-19, and not a student’s parent or any other family member of the student or staff member. Dolores School District intends to follow these guidelines immediately. In light of spring break and imminent travel by students and families, we will monitor the situation carefully while students are gone and continue to provide updates.

The Governor’s Office and State Health Department has announced that the state has identified “presumed positive” cases of COVID in Colorado and the Governor’s Office has announced enhanced state efforts to prevent further spread of COVID. At this time, we are not aware of any presumed positive cases in our area. However, our safety and health team are working closely with the county, city, and health department and we have updated our emergency plans to include the guidance from the health department. We will continue to update the plan, if necessary, based on any additional guidance we receive from the health department.

The District continues to take this health threat very seriously. Our current actions that we are focusing on between now and spring break include:

Deep sanitization and cleaning – District custodial staff are working nightly to keep the  building disinfected. On Friday, the custodial staff will do a very deep clean and disinfecting of all facilities. In addition, the maintenance staff will change all air filters in the buildings.

Educating students and staff on how to prevent the spread of colds and flus – Our teachers have been providing educational materials to all our students reminding them to wash their hands regularly, cover their mouths if they cough, etc. We will be hanging more posters in our schools reminding students to do these things.

Suspending all out of state school-related travel for staff and students – The superintendent has suspended all out of state school-related travel for staff and students until further notice as a precaution.  If your child was scheduled for an out-of-state trip, your school will be in touch with more information about rescheduling these trips.

Sending students and staff who are feeling sick home – The school nurse will continue to screen students with health concerns at school and may ask parents to pick up sick students. The nurses may also ask students to wear a mask, while they are waiting for their parents to pick them up, if the nurse believes a student may have the flu (including regular flu or COVID).

Website Updates – A section has been set up on our website where parents, staff, and community members can access updates from the district and link to resources from the health department. Parents and community members can access this webpage by clicking on the link: https://doloresschools.org

Temporary Emergency Rule by Colorado Governor: Paid Sick Leave for Certain Employees.

3.1 Any employer engaged in the field of leisure and hospitality, food services, child care, education at all levels (including related services, including but not limited to cafeterias and transportation to, from, and on campuses), home health care (working with elderly, disabled, ill, or otherwise high-risk individuals), operating a nursing home, or operating a community living facility shall provide up to four days of paid sick leave for an employee (A) with flu-like symptoms and (B) who is being tested for COVID-19. The paid sick leave ends if an employee receives a negative COVID-19 test result.

The above temporary emergency rule does not apply in cases where the employee already has paid sick leave. You can read the press release and complete contents of the emergency rules by clicking here.

We are also asking that parents do not send your child to school if they may be sick. Keeping your sick child home will be a great benefit for the health and wellness of all students and staff. We are also asking that staff stay home if they are sick. We may be asking a few additional questions for students or staff calling in sick as well to help us understand the presence of the flu in our schools and community. Please read the link on “How Sick is Too Sick”.

As you know, all of this is a quickly evolving situation and the District will continue to share accurate and timely information as we receive it. We are posting key resources and information on our website that you can view by clicking here.

The district will share any updates or relevant information with parents and the community as it becomes available. At this time, we are monitoring the situation but are not aware of any known Corona virus (COVID) cases in or our area.

Please visit the Colorado Department of Health and Environment for more information and please reach out to the Superintendent’s Office with any questions or concerns.