Littleton Public Schools is currently in an In-Person Learning Model for Pre-K–5

Littleton Public Schools is currently in a Hybrid/Blended Model for Grades 6–12

LPS Family Academy

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LPS COVID Tracker

Coronavirus Updates

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. 

TOPS
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

In-Person Learning

Students, staff, parents and community members must work together every day to make in-person learning successful. We will follow the guidance of health officials and will implement the public health and safety measures in place at the time that are shown to limit spread of the virus, such as mask wearing, health screenings, frequent hand washing and maintaining physical distancing to the greatest extent possible.

We all must have patience and must be dedicated to following the safety protocols at every school, every day. It will not be perfect, but please know we are committed to doing our best to keep everyone safe. Our chances to continue and maintain an in-person learning model increase with the successful implementation of safety precautions. 

It’s also critical that we all continue to remain flexible and open to change. The circumstances around the pandemic and the return to school this fall seem to change daily.

Masks and Health Screenings

  • Happy student in mask, thumbs upAll staff and all students in kindergarten 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
  • Preschool students are not required to wear masks at this time, but they will be learning how to wear them at school in a developmentally appropriate way
  • 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

The 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

Transportation

  • 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

Transportation

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)

TOPS Logo

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

Child Care

School Age Child Care (SACC) resumed with the start of school on August 24. Likewise, preschool extended day options that include child care resumed with the start of school on August 24.

LPS in Motion 20-21 Logo on Notebook

2020-2021 School Year Calendar

Calendar Icon

*approved August 13, 2020

Budget Concerns

All Colorado school districts, including LPS, are facing some of the biggest budget cuts we’ve ever had. The negative effects of COVID-19 on Colorado’s economy are causing a $3.3 billion shortfall in the state budget for next year, and public education will take a huge hit. It’s important to remember that the State of Colorado has owed its public schools funding since 2002. Last year the amount owed was $572 million; next year, due to COVID-19, the amount owed will double to $1.1 billion.

Littleton Public Schools will lose $9.5 million in state funding for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. LPS received about $6 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds (CARES Act) that will help offset some of the budget shortfall next year. But, COVID-19 relief funds are only available for a short time and will not help LPS after the 2020-2021 school year. Therefore, deep cuts will continue for the next few years until Colorado’s economy recovers.

The LPS Board of Education has been grappling with these issues over the past few months. The Board passed a budget during its June 25, 2020 meeting that included additional cuts for next year, as COVID-19 relief dollars only cover part of the state’s deficit affecting LPS. These cuts are in addition to the $4.2 million in cuts for next year that were decided back in December 2019, which resulted in the loss of 17 positions at the central office and a variety of other reductions throughout the district.

Debt Free Schools Mill Levy Override
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. 

There is no clear state-level solution for schools at this time. Passage of a local mill levy is the only way to save what the community values most in LPS.

Budget Matter$

COVID-19 Testing for Staff

In an effort to help keep our community safe, Littleton Public Schools will be covering all costs for staff to have regular testing for COVID-19 through its partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado.

COVIDCheck Colorado complements Littleton Public Schools strategies to reopen by providing access to accurate and affordable COVID-19 testing, symptom tracking and contact tracing tools.