Dear LPS Families and Community Members:
Welcome back! In these turbulent times, it feels good to be going back to something as reliable as a new school year, even though school looks different for many families this fall. On behalf of the Board of Education and LPS staff, I want to thank you for the flexibility you exhibited and the grace you extended to us last spring as we worked through the onset of a global pandemic to continue to provide students with quality learning opportunities. It was, and continues to be, a time of learning and growth for all of us, and I’m hopeful that we have all learned lessons in how to be innovative, resourceful, and resilient that we can carry with us through life.
Meaningful work continued over the summer, as many of our schools and facilities received upgrades from the bond this community generously passed in November 2018 to begin to replace, improve, and prolong the lives of our district's aging schools. There were improvements made to parking lots, playgrounds, mechanical systems, HVAC systems, lighting, and kitchens. New furniture is starting to be deployed throughout the district, and this will continue in the coming months. Take a drive by the construction sites for the new elementary school in the Ames community and the new Newton Middle School to see these new buildings begin to take shape!
Other summer work included that of the Restart Task Force, composed of teachers, school staff and administrators, parents, community members, district-level instructional administrators, district nurses, and others. They spent many hours developing plans to enable the district to meet any of several learning models for the fall, and their work will be instrumental if we find ourselves needing to change how we structure learning due to Covid-19. I want to recognize and thank the Restart Task Force for their hard work!
I also want to thank LPS employees, including custodians, operations techs, transportation and nutrition services staff, as well as teachers and our learning services team, all of whom are working so hard to make school not only possible, but the best it can be for our students. This is challenging work. Our teachers, our staff, are the very best; together, we can work to keep our students, families, and staff safe. This work does not go unnoticed, and it is appreciated!
LPS continues to grapple with a budget shortfall, which has been further impacted by Covid-19. Surveys indicate the LPS community highly values quality teachers, physical safety, mental health support, and expanding programming to include career, technology, and skilled trades classes that provide students with real world job skills. In order to continue to be a destination district that draws the best teachers, provides outstanding programs for students of all ages, keeps our families engaged, and attracts out-of-district enrollment, the district will need to seek additional funding locally, as state funding for public schools plummets at an alarming rate. The Board of Education decided to place a mill levy override question on this November’s ballot at their August 13, 2020 meeting. I recognize that this is a financially challenging time for many of the district’s families, but preparing our students for their lives both now and in the future is a very important investment, and we need your support. The Board of Education will also continue to work with our local legislators to advocate for additional funding at the state level.
Finally, I want to thank our entire community for coming together to support our students. These are unprecedented times, and it is my hope that LPS students will come out of them better equipped to handle whatever life brings. LPS is committed to ensuring all students have a year of meaningful learning and growth, and it is invaluable that our community supports their education. We look forward with great anticipation to the day when our students can pursue their passions free of health restrictions.
During its regularly scheduled meeting on August 13, 2020, the LPS Board of Education voted to move forward with plans to place a mill levy override on the November 2020 ballot. Throughout the summer, the Board studied various options available to fill the anticipated ongoing $12 million budget gap LPS will face caused by the COVID-19 economic downturn in Colorado and due to the State of Colorado’s chronic inability to adequately fund its public schools. Colorado has shortchanged LPS more than $156 million over the past decade, which has placed tremendous and increasing pressure on the district’s budget. No state solutions are in sight. If local solutions are not found, people and programs – the very parts of our schools that the LPS community values most – will face drastic cuts for the 2021–2022 school year.
The Board began exploring local solutions last January. After making $4.2 million in cuts for the 2020–2021 school year, and projected cuts of $12 million for 2021–2022 (and beyond) looming, the LPS Board recognized that these budget cuts will negatively impact the academic excellence this community values and expects of LPS:
As presented to the Board of Education at its August 13, 2020 meeting, the local mill levy override would raise $12 million to fill the $12 million state funding gap for the 2021–2022 school and in the years ahead. The money would be used to keep the teachers, academic programs (including those in the skilled trades), mental health support and physical safety measures that are currently in place.
“These are extreme circumstances; COVID has placed an additional strain on many of our families and on our district’s budget. But with Colorado’s inability to adequately fund its public schools, we are facing truly catastrophic cuts. While this is a hard time to have to do this, we are a public school district. So we need to at least ask the public and let them decide,” said Board of Education President Jack Reutzel. “We have exhausted all other options. A local mill levy override would give us the chance to save the things our community values the most – the very people and programs that makes Littleton Public Schools so special, which in turn would allow us to keep providing our community with an outstanding education.”
Thank you to LPS voters for the opportunity to make exciting improvements throughout Littleton Public Schools! Investment in our educational infrastructure enables us to provide all students with the best possible opportunities and experiences.
Projects made possible by the 2018 voter-approved $298M bond continued through the spring and over the summer. Major projects included:
Bond dollars are also being used to replace old, outdated student desks and classroom furniture in every school with new furnishings that will facilitate modern instruction while accommodating students with a variety of needs. The 2018 Bond allows the district to strategically replace or prolong the life of aging facilities and provide accommodations and accessibility for all students and families.
Bond work continues on schedule despite the district’s budget constraints, since bond dollars cannot be used to offset general fund deficits caused by inadequate state funding. By Colorado statute, bond funds can only be spent on capital expenses, such as: facility repairs, upgrades, construction, grounds maintenance, Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) modifications, electrical, plumbing, etc. Therefore, bond funds cannot be used for things like teacher salaries, curriculum, or other operating expenses, which come out of the district’s general fund.
The Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC) has been working on updating the district’s attendance boundaries since the fall of 2018. Updating boundaries was part of the original charge from the Board of Education when the committee was formed in early 2017, and the committee has worked to improve the boundaries in order to best serve students, address transportation challenges resulting from increased traffic, provide boundaries for the new elementary schools and balance enrollment. The committee has spent countless hours reviewing maps and demographic data, projected enrollments and building capacities, instructional programming within buildings, information from principals and district administration, input from transportation, and community feedback.
Based on feedback received, the committee developed new scenarios and has been working closely with the Board of Education on potential solutions to the district’s current boundaries. The Board of Education is scheduled to make a final decision on attendance boundaries at their regularly scheduled meeting on August 27, 2020. New boundaries would go into effect in the fall of 2021.
You Invest. We Connect. Students Thrive.
The Littleton Public Schools Foundation provides funding above and beyond the District’s budget to give LPS students every opportunity to succeed. Our fundraising empowers teachers to pursue their best ideas and gives students access to innovative programs that wouldn’t be possible without the Foundation’s support.
Because of you and your generous hearts, the LPS Foundation had a banner year, even amidst a global pandemic that shut down states, cities, and the traditional school setting. That speaks volumes about our amazing community and its ability and willingness to lean in and make a difference for LPS kids, families, and teachers even when surrounded by so much uncertainty. We are incredibly grateful for your generosity and support. THANK YOU!
As did the school district, the LPS Foundation pivoted in a major way and learned how to flex with the ever changing needs that arose from the coronavirus outbreak. Taking all of our late winter and spring fundraising efforts online, we were able to engage with more community members, parents and businesses to garner donations for our Crisis Relief Call-To-Action which included mental health resources, distance learning supports, internet connectivity through providing hotspots to families in need and additional funding to aid in the breakfast/lunch program that ended up serving over 125,000 meals to kids in our community.
We weathered an ice and snow storm for The Stride way back in October of 2019, hosted our first-ever Theater Night event and our annual golf tournament as well as partnered with many LPS schools’ PTOs for an incredible Colorado Gives Day in December. The funds generated from those efforts produced enough funding to provide 70+ LPS teachers with over $65,000 in grants for additional resources that created innovative programs and extraordinary experiences to prepare students for a lifetime of success.
In addition, we were able to provide funding for every elementary school in the district to have access to a unique heart rate monitor program that helps kids learn how to manage their emotions and understand that they can take steps to positively control their mental health. Please check out this news story for more details.
The mental health & wellness of our students is a priority for our fundraising efforts and we provided funding to help with workshops for students, staff and parents as well as student/peer programs, innovative mental health interventions and research, and direct support for students and families. This will remain a major focus of ours as we enter into the 2020-2021 school year.
We are really proud to partner with our community to make an impact on kids and their educational journey through Littleton Public Schools. We strongly believe that we are providing important funding that will help launch LPS students into whatever they define as success and, in doing so, we are helping to strengthen our community, one student at a time.
We hope that you will join in our efforts this year as we traverse these new normal times. If you would like to help students and families prepare for a successful school year, please check out our most recent Crisis Relief call-to-action for school supplies.
Follow the LPS Foundation on social media!
Littleton Public Schools Nutrition Services is serving healthy choices for successful students to more than 5,000 students daily!
We know that many of our parents and students are immersed in a world of unknowns. That is why we are dedicated to ensuring our community not only feels safe but can rely on us to be a constant in your family's life. Whether that be providing your student(s) with a nutritious meal that will help keep them healthy or ensuring students have a clean and safe place to eat their meals, we are here for you! We have implemented many new protocols that will ensure proper social distancing, mandatory face masks and shields for staff, and thorough sanitization between cohorts. Here at LPS Nutrition Services we have your back.
Did you know we have over 25 scratch-made recipes on our menu?! Our meals are taste-tested and kid-approved. They include local ingredients, whole grains and an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. Breakfast is served before school starts at The Village Preschool, Ralph Moody Elementary, East Elementary, Centennial Academy, Euclid, Goddard and Powell middle schools, Options Secondary Program, Arapahoe, Heritage and Littleton high schools. “Breakfast After the Bell” is available following the first bell at no charge to all students at Field Elementary. Lunch is served in all LPS schools.
We have a new payment and menu portal!
Check your students' lunch account balances, add money to their accounts, see what they've been purchasing, apply for free and reduced meals, check out breakfast and lunch menus, and get low balance notifications using Titan School Solutions. Create an account today at: family.titank12.com OR download the Titan Family Connect app.
Prices for the 2020-2021 school year:
Preschool - $2.05
Elementary - $ 2.15
Middle - $2.15
High - $2.25
Preschool - $3.30
Elementary - $3.40
Middle - $3.50
High - $3.60
Charter - $3.50
Adult - $4.25
Milk - $0.85
*All students who qualify for reduced meal benefits
receive breakfast and lunch at no charge.
Follow LPS Nutrition Services on social media!
For more information, call 303.347.336 or visit www.lpsnutrition.com
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