LPS In Motion 2020-2021


LPS Begins 20-21 School Year

Littleton Public Schools began the school year on Monday, August 24, with in-person learning for Pre-K–5 and a hybrid/blended model for Grades 6–12. Another review of Arapahoe County COVID data showed that it was appropriate for students and staff to return to school, with overlapping and extensive health and safety protocols in place. (More information about the start of school year plan)

We will continue to monitor Arapahoe County COVID-19 data and use it to guide our decisions. The learning model we implement will be directly tied to how well our community responds to the pandemic and is likely to change throughout the fall. Girl in Mask in School Hallway

Remote Learning
This fall’s remote learning model will be one that is consistent, robust and engaging for our students. Teachers receive training through the new online LPS Educator Academies, which will help them implement best practices and provide consistency for students within schools and across the district. Training is provided for families through the new online LPS Family Academy, which will help family members support their children as they learn at home. 

8 Things You Can Count On During Remote Learning

The Temporary Online Program for Students (TOPS) began as scheduled on Monday, August 31, 2020. The schedule will not be affected by COVID-19 data. 

Decision-Making Process

The decision-making process uses Arapahoe County’s COVID-19 data as reported by Tri-County Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. This process helps us ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, decisions about school learning models are based on science and facts, not popularity, pressure, perception or politics. This approach to decision-making is endorsed by Dr. John Douglas, executive director of the Tri-County Health Department.

There are four sets of data evaluated when making decisions about school:

  1. Percent of positive COVID-19 tests in Arapahoe County: daily and 14-day rolling average
  2. Daily hospitalizations in Arapahoe County
  3. 14-day COVID-19 incident rates per 100,000 Arapahoe County residents
  4. Daily new COVID-19 cases in Arapahoe County

LPS Delays the First Day of School Until August 24, 2020

Several metro area school districts recently announced their plans to delay their first day of school. Based on the information available to us at this time, and with the safety of our students, employees and their families as our top priority, Littleton Public Schools has made the decision to delay its first day of school until Monday, August 24, 2020.

As promised in previous communications, we want to give you an update on details related to the return to in-person school in August. The return to in-person learning is good for our children academically, socially and emotionally. The decision was not taken lightly and was based on research, recommendations of health officials, the findings and work of the LPS Restart Task Force and the plans of other school districts locally and across the nation.

Reasoning Behind the Delayed Start
We exhausted all possibilities of keeping our originally scheduled start date in an effort to provide consistency for our staff and families. However, we feel it is in everyone’s best interests to delay the start of school until August 24 for several reasons:

  • Tri-County Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) need more time to finalize and communicate to us their protocols for schools around testing, contact tracing, quarantine and temporary shifts to distance learning when outbreaks occur. It is critical that we understand these protocols and have plans in place to keep our students and staff safe before we welcome students and staff back to school for in-person learning. 
  • We need more time to complete the hiring and training process for teachers selected to teach in the online program (more information below) to best meet the needs of our families, once we know how many students will choose the online program.
  • District and school leaders as well as teachers need more time to prepare all of our classrooms and school spaces for physical distancing, which includes removing furniture, posting signage and disinfecting - all in accordance with the most recent guidance of local health officials.
  • Our teachers and school leaders need more time to prepare to shift in and out of a more robust distance learning model should schools need to do so as we react to the pandemic in our community.
  • Parents need additional time to consider their options for student learning (at school or online). In addition to this communication, parents will receive;
    • A communication (the week of July 20th) with details related to TOPS (Temporary Online Program for Students) - the LPS online program
    • A communication (in early August) from principals and program leaders with details specific to each school 

We understand that changing the start date may cause confusion and frustration in our community. However, at this time we believe starting school August 24 will help us better prepare to begin in-person learning more successfully.

Masks and Health Screenings

  • Happy student in mask, thumbs upAll staff and all students in preschool through Grade 12, including Transition Services, are required to wear masks with breaks throughout the day
    • Students are expected to provide their own masks
    • If a mask is left at home, one will be provided
    • Health officials say that mask-wearing protects teachers and other adults in the building as much as it protects the students
  • All students and staff receive a daily health screening
  • This is differentiated by level and includes self-screening and screening by school staff

Face Coverings Do's and Don'ts

Physical Distancing

  • Physical distancing guidelines within a school setting are different than those out in the community 
  • Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends students maintain 3 to 6 feet of distance or to the degree possible while in the classroom, if students and staff members are wearing masks and are symptom free

Learning Environment

  • Classroom furniture is arranged to maintain the recommended 3 to 6 feet physical distancing as much as possible 
  • Student movement around the school throughout the day is planned and organized to maintain physical distancing and minimize transitions as much as possible
    • Fewer students are allowed in hallways, restrooms, cafeterias, food serving lines and on playgrounds at the same time
  • All school front entries and classrooms have sanitation stations
    • Bottle of hand sanitizer in classroomStudents and staff  use these sanitation stations when they arrive at school, before lunch, before recess and as needed throughout the day
    • Hand sanitizer is available in every classroom and in every space in every school
    • Dispensers are checked nightly and refilled
  • All areas inside schools, as well as playgrounds, are cleaned and sanitized (following the protocols of local health officials) as frequently as possible
  • Drinking fountains will not be used
    • Students are expected to bring their own water bottle to school
    • Every school has at least one bottle filling station (most have several)
    • Times to refill water bottles at these stations is scheduled into the day to maintain physical distancing
  • Signage on walls and stickers on floors help students maintain physical distancing 
  • Ventilation systems were serviced and will be frequently checked to make sure indoor spaces are properly ventilated
  • Parents and visitors are not allowed in schools during the school day at this time – as a general rule and in an effort to limit exposure
  • Field trips, travel and large gatherings such as assemblies will not be scheduled at this time


  • Current guidance from health officials limits ridership to maintain appropriate physical distancing
  • Buses are cleaned after each route, before a new group of students is transported, in accordance with the guidance from health officials
  • Students must practice physical distancing at bus stops
    • We ask parents to help us in this effort
  • Plans are in place at each school to keep students safe and physically distanced as much as possible when they arrive and enter the school, and when they leave at the end of the day


Meal Service

  • Physical distancing is practiced during meal service
    • Schools will utilize cafeteria space, outdoor spaces, and possibly other locations - including classrooms - for meal service  
  • Change to meal service help us keep the same students together in smaller groups as much as possible (cohort grouping) to limit exposure
  • Nutrition Services employees wear masks, face shields and gloves
  • Meal service areas are cleaned throughout the day

Nutrition Services

Improved Distance Learning

In that case that a virus outbreak requires the closure of the district, individual schools or affects specific groups of students, LPS is ready to serve students in an improved distance learning environment.

  • Teachers received additional training through the new online LPS Educator Academy, which helps them implement best practices and provide consistency for students within schools and across the district
  • Training is provided for families through the new online LPS Family Academy, which helps family members know how to support their children as they learn at home

Temporary Online Program for Students (TOPS)


LPS is also providing a fully online school program for K-12 and Transition Services students during the 2020-21 school year as an alternative to attending school in-person. 

  • This is a separate, virtual program that is not connected to the student’s home school, but is supported by licensed teachers from LPS schools  
  • Student distance learningTOPS is primarily designed for students who are either health compromised and COVID-vulnerable themselves or those who have family members who are
    • It is also available to families who simply do not feel comfortable sending their students back to in-person school at this time
  • There are specific guidelines and timeframes outlining when students can return to their home school for in-person learning
  • Students in TOPS are able to participate in before- and after-school extracurricular activities at their home school 
  • Students in TOPS are not able to participate in any in-person classes at their home school during the school day
  • The TOPS program began August 31

More Information about TOPS