Adams 12 Five Star School District students will return to a virtual classroom starting Aug. 27.
The District’s Board of Education unanimously approved the superintendent’s recommended plan for the start of the school year, which included the delayed start.
Virtual learning will continue for all students through Sept. 25 with periodic in-person meetings with teachers to supplement the remote learning and for opportunities to engage with fellow students, according to the district.
In the plan, Superintendent Chris Gdowski identified three key priorities: safety, family needs and efficiency, which the plan identifies as greater predictability and a consistent learning model.
“Starting the school year later than previously scheduled will allow staff professional development time on the district’s new and enhanced remote learning curriculum and give schools time to plan in-person events to welcome students, staff and families back for the new year,” according to the district website.
Families are expected to hear from their child’s school no later than Aug. 14 with school-specific information about the learning plan and back-to-school welcome activities.
Adams 12 plans to make a decision, on or before Sept. 11, about the continued learning model for the rest of the first semester. That decision could mean a return to in-person learning, either with a full-time and/or hybrid option, or continue with remote learning.
Regardless of the Sept. 11 decision, an online-learning option will remain in place for interested students and families for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.
All students will have opportunities to connect in-person as well. For elementary schools that would mean meeting in small groups with their classroom teacher, according to the district, and for secondary school means meeting with an assigned advisor, according to the district. Some in-person instruction will be available for students in special populations, including those with disabilities, English language learners, students with an advanced learning plan and preschoolers as staff is available.
Families can submit an interest form beginning Monday for their child to be part of a daily, no-cost learning pod during school hours. The learning pod option will be based on a family’s “personal need or circumstance,” according to the district, and for families who may need a place for their child “to engage independently in remote learning in a safe and productive environment during standard school hours.”
Once learning pods, which are available for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, are established, families will be notified of their students Learning Pod schedule/frequency based on interest and staffing availability, according to the district’s website. More information about these pods will be shared with families next week with a link to the needs and interest form.
Remote learning will be a mix of live teaching and on-demand instruction this fall, thought most instruction will be live, according to the district. Teachers will use new curriculum from Florida Virtual Schools, which will be supplemented by incorporating the district’s Adams 12 Units of Study.
“Online versions of district electives, specials, honors and Advanced Placement courses will be developed to ensure students still have access to a robust selection of learning options. Students will be taught by Five Star Schools educators who are part of the staff at their school.
Daily instruction during remote learning will be provided through Schoology and Seesaw (elementary students). The use of these dedicated learning platforms will mean fewer logins and platforms for students, parents and teachers to use.
As for Boulder Valley schools, if public health guidance stays the same and a hybrid learning model is needed in the fall, the district is looking at two main scheduling options for elementary and middle schools so fewer students are in buildings at once, according to a Boulder Daily Camera article.
District officials provided an update on fall school plans at Tuesday’s school board meeting, including more details on a hybrid model that accounts for current limitations requiring six feet between people and class sizes limited to 10.
Altogether, BVSD has developed five possible scenarios for when school starts in August, providing flexibility to respond to changing public health data, guidelines and potential COVID-19 outbreaks.
Gov. Jared Polis has said he expects guidance to change and that “most schools” will be back to school “largely in a normal way” this fall, according to Chalkbeat Colorado. While he was optimistic, Chalkbeat reported, he said districts need contingency plans, and state modeling shows a potential resurgence of coronavirus cases in August.
In the Denver metro-area, some school districts are focusing on a hybrid model, including Denver Public Schools. But two smaller districts, Westminster and Mapleton Public Schools, have announced plans for bringing students back for in-person learning five days a week, according to Chalkbeat Colorado.
Week of Aug. 3: Families will receive a link to a needs and interest form.
Aug. 12 – Aug. 26: Schools will host in-person, small group, back-to-school opportunities for preschool, elementary, sixth and ninth grade students and families to meet school staff.
Aug. 27: First day of remote learning for all students.
Aug. 27 – Sept. 25: Remote learning continues for all district students with some periodic, small group in-person opportunities for all students to engage with fellow students and school staff.
On or before Sept. 11: A decision will be made about the continued learning model for the remainder of the first semester, which could be a return to in-person learning (full-time and/or hybrid) or continue remote learning.
For more information on the fall learning plan, to submit questions and view answers to frequently-asked questions visit adams12.org/onward.
For more information about remote learning, including expectations for students, parents/guardians and staff by level, visit adams12.org/Onward-RemoteLearning.
A form has been created on the district website where families, students, staff and community members can submit questions regarding the learning model. Feedback collected will better inform district planning and communication.
To submit a question, visit adams12.org/OnwardQuestions.