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Q&A: Navigating the 2020-2021 school year at SVVSD

Parents everywhere have a lot of questions about the upcoming school year. We are trying to answer as many of them for you as possible.
2020_06_25_LL_SVVSD Education Services
The St. Vrain Valley School District Educational Services Center. (Photo by Macie May)

Parents everywhere have a lot of questions about the upcoming school year. We are trying to answer as many of them for you as possible. If you have other questions please email us at info@longmontleader.com. We’ll be updating this with more answers as the information becomes available.

 

When does the 2020/2021 school year begin?

  • Aug. 18 is the official first day of school. The group your child gets assigned to will determine if they attend the first day of school at the school or at home.

  • Aug. 20 is the first day of kindergarten

  • 2020/2021 school calendar can be found here.

Where do I find a list of school supplies?

School supply lists can be found here. The list is not expected to change due to the COVID reopening plan at this time.

SVVSD has made iPads available for all students grades K-12 including those who are enrolled in the LaunchED Virtual Academy. Students enrolled in a charter school should contact their school for information about technology, according to the email. Information about iPad distribution will come from the student's school the week prior to school.

"Additionally, our district will continue to operate community WIFI hotspots and has developed additional resources for families who do not currently have internet access. Please click here to learn more," said Haddad in an email.

What options are available for the school year?

SVVSD announced in an Aug. 4 email to parents that school will begin as online-only through the end of September, at which time the district will "re-evaluate the status of the coronavirus data, including the number of cases, positivity rate percentages, and more,” Superintendent Don Haddad announced in the email. The following links provide parents with information about the online-learning models expected to be followed which will include synchronous instruction, asynchronous instruction and independent student assignments, according to the email sent to parents.

Preschool

Elementary school

Middle school

High school

Families who are not planning to return to a hybrid in-person learning environment as soon as it is safe to do so, should enroll or remain enrolled in the LaunchED Virtual Academy, according to the district. The online program taught by St. Vrain Valley Schools’ teachers “will provide a continuity of learning in an online environment for families who want to keep their student home until a vaccine is available or there is a significant decrease in the spread of COVID-19,” Haddad stated in the email. Enrollment deadline is August 12. 

The district still intends to phase in a hybrid learning model with 50% in-person instruction as soon as officials believe it is safe and feasible to do so, and its ultimate goal is a return to full-time, in-person learning when it is deemed safe, according to the email. The move back to the hybrid model, which was the district’s initial plan for the start of the year, will be evaluated during the last week of September, according to the email. View the full reopening plan at coronavirus.svvsd.org

What is the attendance policy this year?

According to the SVVSD website, “St. Vrain Valley Schools is waiting on further guidance from the Colorado Department of Education for tracking attendance during the coronavirus outbreak. At this time, we plan to closely monitor and document student attendance for both in-person and remote learning days. Students will be expected to attend school or engage in their remote learning classes every day unless they are sick. In the case of illness, families are still required to call the school and excuse your child’s absence, regardless of whether they are scheduled for in-person learning or home learning that day.”

How should students expect to be graded this school year?

Students are expected to meet the district’s academic standards as established in past years. Teacher will explain grading policies in their classrooms to parents and students. “Consistent with normal practice, teachers will use appropriate discretion in deciding which specific measures are factored into students’ grades. Infinite Campus will be available starting in August for teachers to record grades, and for parents to monitor their student’s progress in grades 6-12,” according to svvsd.org.

Is after and before school care available?

The Community Schools program is accepting registrations for the 2020/2021 school year to help parents who have to work, said Haddad.

Is breakfast and lunch provided on online learning days?

Grab-n-go breakfast and lunch will be provided from 12:15 to 1 p.m. from the following schools: Timberline PK-8, Longs Peak Middle School, Mead Middle School, Soaring Heights PK-8, Sunset Middle School, Altona Middle School, Lyons Middle Senior High School, and Coal Ridge Middle School.

In order to claim one of these meals, students need to provide lunch ID, according to the SVVSD website.

What about peer socialization and extra curriculars? 

“School personnel will work to develop online options for students to engage socially with their peers and participate in clubs and other activities,” Haddad stated in the email. “Additionally, St. Vrain Valley Schools will continue to follow Colorado High School Activities Association guidelines for middle and high school athletics and provide as many opportunities as possible. The following sports have been approved for the fall: boys golf, girls softball, and boys tennis. Information regarding additional activities and athletic offerings will be forthcoming and shared directly by your student’s school administration.”

What about students who don’t yet read or those who fall behind?

The district is setting up afterschool support tutoring programs in elementary schools and will offer small group opportunities after school or on Saturdays, Haddad said.

What options are available for parents who cannot stay home with their children or monitor their online learning?

The District is offering a Community Schools program at each of its elementary schools, at which students will be supervised as they complete their lessons, Haddad said Tuesday.

Will late starts still be in place on Wednesdays?

Yes. Haddad said the late start days will allow teachers to discuss how things are going and to make adjustments as needed. Late start days will be noted on the calendars that identify students’ cohorts.

What measures is the district taking to support students in an emotional capacity?

“We have great counselors, interventionists, outstanding teachers all working together to support our children emotionally,” Haddad said.

Students emotional well-being will be a top priority, he said, as will the well-being of teachers and staff.

"St. Vrain's robust social emotional learning cirriculum will continue to be integrated into the online-learning model for all students. Additionally, counseling staff and interventionists will continue to work with students remotely to provide ongoing, high levels of support," said Haddad in the email to parents. 

What about special needs and English language learners?

Special education services will be provided during online learning, and case managers by Aug. 18 will set up phone calls with parents to discuss the logistics of doing so, according to the email.  

Families of English Language Learners, 504 plans and other services will be contacted directly regarding their student's specific needs and services, said Haddad in the email.

What will the first day of school look like?

According to the email sent to SVVSD families, "your student's school administration will be following-up with all families in the next week regarding additional important information to ensure a successful first day of online learning on Tuesday, August 18.

 

 




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