As we look ahead to our return from Spring Break, I would like to thank you for your continued patience and support as we have increased in-person learning opportunities for APS students. COVID-19 cases continue to decrease in Adams and Arapahoe counties and most APS staff have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. Our mitigation strategies remain strong and we are confident in our ability to maintain safe learning environments for students and staff.
Below are our plans for the remainder of this school year. Once again, our overarching goal is to increase the frequency of in-person learning and move to a place where every student may attend every day. In keeping with public health guidance, the model for attendance will vary by grade level. Please keep in mind that these plans may change depending on circumstances and additional planning.
Preschool students will continue to attend school Monday through Thursday for the remainder of this school year.
Elementary (Kindergarten-5th Grade)
Students in grades Kindergarten-5th grade will continue to attend school Monday through Thursday for the remainder of this school year.
Middle School (6-8th Grade)
After Spring Break, beginning March 22, every 6-8th grade student will attend school Monday through Thursday for the remainder of this school year.
High School (9-12th grade)
After Spring Break, high school students will attend school in person for half days every week Monday through Thursday. Please note that Monday, March 22 is a teacher work day for high schools, so high school students will return for in-person learning on Tuesday, March 23. Cohort “A” students will attend school in the mornings and then learn remotely from home in the afternoons. Cohort “B” students will learn remotely from home in the mornings and then attend school in the afternoons.
For session 8 that is scheduled to start on April 27, we will continue to evaluate whether we can further increase in-person learning to full days for high school students. We plan to make an announcement about this potential transition in mid-April.
Pickens Technical College
Classes at Pickens Technical College will continue as scheduled. Students will continue to attend classes in person as scheduled.
Fridays (All Grades)
As we shared previously, we recognize that Fridays are an important part of our strategy to plan for instructional supports for fully remote students. After engaging with several hundred teachers and staff from across the district and collaboratively designing strategies to improve attendance and engagement, we have reached the decision that Fridays will continue to be designated as mostly asynchronous (students learn on their own time) after Spring Break.
However, to address concerns about lower student attendance and engagement, schools will be implementing school-specific plans. We will be outlining expectations for every school and working to provide targeted support to schools that are not reaching their target attendance rates.
School plans may include more synchronous learning opportunities and check-ins with students on Fridays. Please continue to work with your child’s school to ensure that learning continues every Friday. If your student is struggling with attendance and/or directions on what to do on Fridays, please contact your child’s school to ask for additional information.
Reminders about Keeping Students Safe
While students are at school, we will keep the same group of peers and staff members together for the entire day as much as possible. If any students are showing symptoms, they will be isolated from others immediately and we will ask their parents/guardians to pick them up from school as quickly as possible. We ask all parents and guardians to please keep their emergency contact information updated through Parent Portal. Also, please have a plan for picking up your students from school if school staff contact you.
If your child has been potentially exposed to an individual who has tested positive or is showing symptoms of COVID-19, you will be notified and provided quarantine guidance. Please know that all APS school nurses and administrators have received training and continue to receive updated information and guidance.
The health and safety of our students, staff and families is our top priority. Please partner with us by adhering to the following practices:
- All students must wear face masks while on the bus and at school. Please continue to practice mask wearing with your children at home.
- Keep your children home if they are sick. Check for symptoms every day by completing self assessments and always check your child’s temperature. If your child has a temperature of 100.0 F or higher, keep your child at home. Additional symptoms to look out for are a cough, sore throat, tiredness, nausea, loss of taste or smell and shortness of breath. If your child has any of these symptoms, once again, keep them home from school.
- If someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, please keep your student at home to engage in remote learning for the quarantine period determined by your medical provider.
- Reinforce and teach frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Make sure to provide your school with a current telephone number where you can be reached.
- Ensure that someone is available to pick up your children within an hour if they are showing symptoms.
- Report your child’s absence each day to the school including the reason for the absence and, if sick, please report illness symptoms on the attendance line.
- Also, please remind your children about social distancing. This means keeping several feet between themselves and others. Current public health guidance recommends 3 feet of distance in our controlled school settings. I know some children may want to hug or high five others. Instead, please show your children how to give a friendly wave or thumbs up from a distance instead.
Once again, thank you for your continued support and partnership as we provide more in-person learning opportunities for our students. We will continue to communicate as quickly as possible if we need to make a transition.
I hope you have a safe and restful Spring Break. We look forward to welcoming your students back.
- Superintendent Rico Munn