With Jeffco Public Schools – Colorado announcing its restart model, Arvadans must now plan for school to resume in late August. At the July Virtual Community Impact Breakfast, we heard from local education leaders about in-person and remote learning, health and safety protocols, logistics of providing technology and meals, efforts around anti-racism, and the budget for PPE and school restart costs.
- Dr. Jason Glass, Jeffco Public Schools Superintendent and Chief Learner
- Kristopher Schuh, Jeffco Public Schools Deputy Superintendent
- Tom McDermott, Jeffco Public Schools Chief Strategy Officer
- Brad Rupert, Jeffco Public Schools Board of Directors 1st Vice President
- Angela Baber, Jeffco Public Schools Foundation Director
- Dr. Michele Haney, Red Rocks Community College President
Watch this program:
FAQs Answered at the Program
- How did we get to the plan that families have to choose either 100% in person or 100% remote?
Jeffco considered a hybrid learning model in the early stages of planning, along with in-person and remote learning options. However, after significant research, considering the most current public health guidelines, and the fact that community feedback showed 90% of respondents indicate they were certain or likely to have their student return to in-person instruction, the hybrid option was removed.
- With your budget concerns, what resources could the community provide beyond liquid funds to alleviate some of the district budget? And, would it be best to work with individual schools, the district, or both?
The Jeffco Schools Foundation would be a great way to support the district, or your local school!
- How many kids will be in a cohort in elementary and middle school?
As few as possible, but the estimate would be under 20 in elementary and under 50 in middle school as probable cohort numbers.
- Since things are constantly shifting with COVID-19, and a quarantine of in-person students/teachers will be necessary if an outbreak occurs, and since a lot of parents are choosing a Remote Learning option, has JeffCo worked on making a more robust online learning model?
“We have learned lessons from what we did in the spring. We will continue to have support, training and examples in place for our teachers who are teaching remotely. They will be specialized in that area, they won’t be going back and forth teaching in person and remotely, unless there is an outbreak and we have to transition to remote learning only again. You’ll see an improved remote learning experience, but the fundamentals of it, where a student is working on a device through zoom or google hangouts and doing projects on their own or virtually with other kids.”
- Is there a place where families can access the surveys regarding their thoughts on the plans? Or is that feedback period closed at this time?
Read the Restart Plan or the Executive Summary. After reviewing the plan, please complete this Family Learning Model Preference Form for each student who will attend Jeffco Public Schools during the 2020/21 school year. This form will help your school determine scheduling and resources as well as transportation options for eligible riders. Please complete the form and submit by Wednesday, July 22. It will remain open until the start of school and a family can change their choice. Likewise, families/students will be able to change from remote to in-person or vice versa at certain intervals after the start of the school year.
- Is there a policy for the number of confirmed cases that would lead to a school shutdown? Also… is that a state policy or a local district policy?
If a confirmed case occurs at a school, JCPH will assist the Jeffco Public Schools leadership team to determine a course of action for individual schools on a case-by-case basis. If a virus outbreak requires the closure of the district or individual schools, we will be ready to serve students in a remote environment as outlined in our Remote Learning Plan.
- As you make plans for the fall, is there a plan for how to handle guest speakers at the schools? Specifically thinking about college fairs/application days, career exploration, etc.
“We are not allowing outside visitors, or even parents to come into the schools, its not a risk we are willing to take. As much as we love visitors and the connection to the outside community and love having our parents and volunteers come in, kids have a lower impact with the virus, but adults are a different story, so bringing more adults into our building or congregating adults is riskier than doing it with kids. We are going to have to be creative, we can do things outdoors or virtually or doing things where everyone is spaced out where everyone is wearing masks. Those are some of the creative solutions we’ll have to come up with, because we want those relationships and conversations to continue, but we have to be smart about it.”
- Will the same teacher be teaching in person as well as online? Will the students who are learning online be “in class” at the same time as the in-person students and participating in the “same” class?
If needed, learning can occur asynchronously and synchronously. Asynchronous learning is when instruction and learning do not happen at the same time for all learners. Students access learning at a time that works for them and their family. Regardless of the setting, teachers will be expected to provide learning resources and tasks in Seesaw, Google Classroom, and/or Schoology. Synchronous learning is an approach where teachers and students are engaged in learning at the same time. The teacher provides learning resources and tasks through video-conferencing enabled by Seesaw, Google Classroom, and/or Schoology during a specific time. More on this can be found on page 12 of the Restart Plan.
- In what specific ways can the community – parents, businesses, electeds, others – best support you, teachers, students and the overall success of this plan?
“The greatest concern is an exponential growth of community transmissions. We haven’t seen this in Colorado, but are seeing it in other states. Don’t be a vector for this virus. If this thing takes off the community, there is no way we can reopen schools when we have high levels of infection rates in the community. We have to keep our community numbers as low as possible and that helps us mitigate the risk in schools. The international systems we have studied and borrowed our reopening plans from, have worked really hard to suppress community transmission. We have to do that in Colorado and in the United States.”
- What support and resources will the district provide to teachers to help them effectively navigate the dual roles of in-person and remote learning?
The fall academic Restart Plan has added more support to encourage consistency for schools regarding technology platforms, best practices for eacher online interactions with students, academic expectations, and assessment feedback.
- How will Warren Tech be incorporated into the restart plan? Will Warren Tech be offering cohorts or remote options?
Warren Tech will be open for in-person experiences, with the same virus mitigation efforts that other schools have. We are also looking at virtual experiential education options through schools.
- As you’re getting survey results back, how do you plan to accommodate your plan to respond to those results?
We had an early survey where we asked parents what their plans were and about 90% of parents wanted their kids in-person learning and now 6-weeks later it’s around 83% of parents are requesting that in-person experience. That is in-line with what other districts are seeing and we expect it to maybe drop a little to 80%. This actually helps us because that reduces the number of students that we have in the classroom. The challenge will be lining up the staff requests with the students. We have a survey where staff is making work assignments on what they want to do. We are going to try and honor as many of those requests as we can, prioritizing staff who have an underlying health condition, or have family members who do.