Parent Letter, March 23, 2020

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 (970-882-7255.

Access to School Buildings

When coming to the school buildings (follow schedule below), 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 below. 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 their graduation and culminating activities are very special. We still do not know exactly how things will transpire but we are all brainstorming together.

Moving to remote learning is uncharted 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