Dear Team DPS,
I’d first like to extend my best wishes to all of you and your loved ones. During this time of great uncertainty, please do everything you can to stay safe. In my home, there are five of us, including my mother-in-law, who is in her mid-70s. We are all grappling with what it looks like to work from home and adjust our routines so that everyone stays healthy and I know you are all doing the same thing.
Earlier this week, I asked our educators to share their favorite classroom activities – a math brain-teaser; an easy science experiment; a favorite poem; a monumental speech from history; a fun art project; a journal prompt – and any and all other activities that come to mind that kids and families might enjoy during the time away from school.
The response has been overwhelming! Thank you to all of our educators who have contributed such thoughtful and diverse activities, giving our children as much access to educators as we can.
Suggestions like the one from Elizabeth Douma, a teacher at Lake Middle School, encouraging students to stay engaged in civic life through iCivics, an online platform that supports civic education, is one of so many great ideas generated by our educators:
”It’s packed with ‘games’ that support social studies. ‘Do I Have a Right?’ is a favorite part of our Constitution unit in 8th grade. The different games work for different age groups. And best of all, you can run for president in ‘Win the White House!’”
We’re posting activities on our Facebook page and will continue to share them with our students and families along the way.
Maintaining a strong connection will be important in the coming days as Gov. Polis recently issued an executive order that suspends in-person learning in all public and private schools across the state from March 23 to April 17.
This means DPS will not host in-person DPS classes until at least Monday, April 20. Instead, we will move to support remote learning. We had anticipated that this might happen, so over the course of the past weeks, our leadership team has been working on remote-learning plans, which will begin on Tuesday, April 7 – the first day of scheduled instruction following our spring break.
We have begun working closely with our schools on how remote learning will work, so please look for more information from your schools and from me over the next few days. To start, we are seeking information on the technology families have accessible in their home to understand our district needs so that we can launch remote learning successfully. We are asking families to complete this short survey by noon Tuesday, March 24. If they are part of a larger family, they will need to complete the survey for each student in the family.
I know there will be many questions about how this will work – I want to thank you in advance for your patience, cooperation and support as we adjust to the changing conditions and take the necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of our students and staff.
As we head into the weekend and then another week of working together by staying apart to flatten the curve and limit the impact of this health crisis, I send along my strongest well-wishes to you and your loved ones.