Reopening schools: The latest information for El Paso County districts

Reopening Southern Colorado Schools

A bottle of hand sanitizer sits on a cart as Des Moines Public Schools custodian Tracy Harris cleans a chair in a classroom at Brubaker Elementary School, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. As the Trump administration pushes full steam ahead to force schools to resume in-person education, public health experts warn that a one-size-fits-all reopening could drive infection and death rates even higher. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

COLORADO SPRINGS — School districts in the Pikes Peak region have scrambled to put together guidelines for children preparing to return to school this fall, adjusting and readjusting plans as fluctuating data surrounding coronavirus cases in the area is collected and analyzed.

The Colorado Department of Public Health, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Governor’s Office have released “guidance”, which they expect Local Public Health agencies and individual districts to reference as they develop future plans.

>> READ THE STATE’S 3-PHASE GUIDANCE FOR REOPENING SCHOOLS

The state identified its goals for reopening school include ensuring a “reasonable level of safety for students and staff for in-person learning,” minimizing “disruptions to education,” and ensuring “equity in educational opportunity.”

In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school, the state guidelines say schools should be prepared to shift to remote learning for a time period between two and 14 days. CDPHE is expected to provide statewide standards regarding “exposure definitions” and “outbreak investigation requirements” later in July.

Current plans for each El Paso County School district are listed below:

Academy School District 20
D20 announced a plan to begin the 2020/2021 school year, as expected, on August 24, 2020.

  • In addition to 100% online learning, the school district will offer hybrid and synchronous learning option for families. 

·         Hybrid: Students attend class both virtually and in person.

·         Synchronous: Students attend classes at home, in real time, simultaneously with peers who attend in-person. Essentially, a student attends an in-person class virtually.

  • The plan was built around the three goals of: 
    • Implementing  protocols and structures that protect the health and safety of students and staff.
    • Developing  educational options for students and parents.
    • Maximizing  academic and social emotional growth opportunities for students.
  • This plan was finalized on Aug. 4. Any updates to the Return to School Plan will ONLY be made in the Return to School section of asd20.org.

All students older than 10 must wear face coverings on buses, in school buildings, and while on schools grounds. Teachers, all staff members, and visitors must do the same.

Calhan School District RJ-1
Calhan School District will open, as scheduled, for in-person learning, on August 11, 2020.

Students will attend school daily with “prevailing public health order protection protocols” in place.

Cheyenne Mountain School District 12
The Cheyenne Mountain School District has announced its Return to Learn Plan to parents in Late July.

A previous note from Superintendant Walt Cooper included information that the current calendar will likely be ammended to reflect different start dates for different grade levels.

Colorado Springs School District 11

The Colorado Springs School District 11 Board voted unanimously Wednesday to change the start date for all students, both in-person and online, to August 24. HERE IS THE LATEST on D11.

D11 has released the above “Return to Learn Plan,” which lays out plans for online and in-person learning with safety measures in place.

In D11, K-8 students have the option of attending school in-person, five days a week, Monday through Friday, or may choose to Inspire Online, a fully online learning program.

High school students have the option of a hybrid schedule or opting into several online opportunities.

They released a video statement regarding its evolving plans for the 2020/2021 school year.

Edison 54JT School District
The Edison School District has announced it will reopen its scools to in-person learning on August 13, 2020.

Although not yet made public, the district referenced a “Tiered Academic Learning Plan,” which is being designed to “provide in person instruction every day except in the most extreme health conditions regionally.”

Ellicott School District 22
The Ellicott School District plans to reopen for in-person and remote learning in August. The district says it will follow all state issued mandates.

The district’s superintendent released a draft of guidelines ahead of its return to the classroom next month.

Falcon School District 49
District 49 will start school on August 17, with a mix of e-learning and in-person options.

District leaders are expected to publish a final decision about the balance of in-person and e-learning by August 10.

For students who return in person, everyone (grades one – 12) will be required to wear a mask.

Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8
D8 will reopen schools on Monday, August 17, by phasing in students by grade level throughout the week.

The district expects to release further, clarifying details on topics such as meals, face coverings, sick students and staff, transportation, and more, over the next several days.

Hanover School District
An “action plan” referencing in-person and remote learning is linked on the district’s page, but no document is available.

Harrison School District 2
In keeping with a recent recommendation by El Paso County Public Health, that K-12 in-person learning not begin until on or after August 17, 2020, HSD2 is delaying its start to the 2020/2021 year.

The district has announced elementary students will return to classrooms first because they are at an age at which they are less likely to contract or spread the virus and cohorts are easier to implement.

Grades K-5 will begin in-person (or eLearning as selected by families) on August 17.
Grades 6-12 will return to school on September 8.

Lewis-Palmer School District 38
According to a July update online, D38 is preparing to welcome students and staff back to schools on August 19.

The district is offering two “baseline learning scenarios,” which include in-person and online options.

Manitou Springs School District 14
Schools in District 14 will return to in-person learning in August. The school will provide safety measures such as plexiglass dividers for each student’s desk and face shields as needed.

A weekly update posted on July 22 online noted “by the first week of August, Building Principals will provide more specific details of what parents, students, and staff can expect as we reopen schools.”

Miami-Yoder JT60
The Miami-Yoder website indicates students will return to school on August 11.

Widefield School District 3
Widefield schools will reopen to in-person learning on August 17, per the Governor’s Office recommendations, using a “modified in person model.”

Families that are not comfortable returning to schools may participate in the D3 My Way online program.

This article will be updated as changes are made.

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