Restart Task Force

Our goal is to build plans that best meet the needs of our students and make the most of every in-person learning opportunity we are allowed to have within the severe budget constraints we must work within.

Image of children running towards school doors

Task Force Update:

Task Force Recommends Return to In-Person Learning In Our School Buildings

As many of you know, the LPS Restart 20-21 Task Force consisted of a diverse group of stakeholders who came together to study the current research and plans from our neighboring districts to collaborate and to design instructional scenarios for a variety of potential health and safety recommendations. The LPS Task Force has completed its work and the Task Force team leaders presented the recommendations of the Task Force, to the Superintendent and his team on June 24 and to the Board of Education on June 29.

Throughout their work, the Task Force kept the need to build relationships and community at the front of their minds.

The Task Force groups prioritized in-person learning as often as possible, while balancing the realities and needs of educators and families. 

They presented their best thinking and their current recommendations, while producing plans that bring students together as much as safe, healthy and medically possible.

The high level points of the committee’s recommendations are:

  • Hold in-person classes, 5 days/week this fall, at all levels
  • A departure from where we may have started from earlier plans that called for a blended learning model
  • LPS will also create and provide an online learning choice for the 11% of students who may not be able or choose not to return to the school building
  • The Restart 20-21 plans will be in congruence with the updated guidance of the Metro Denver Partnership for Health
  • LPS will also be prepared to toggle to a distance learning model, should there be a significant outbreak in a school or schools


View Detailed Instructional Models and Recommendations


Link to Restart Task Force Presentation
 Restart 20-21 Task Force: Report to BOE


Continued Steps

Father hi-fives young son while mom looks on smiling

We will continue to work regularly with the Governor's Office, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Tri-County Health, the Colorado Department of Education, and with other Front Range school district leaders. LPS will open schools, athletics and activities and school age child care under the framework, guidance and restrictions put in place by the health departments and/or Governor Polis. 

We want to have students physically back in school as much as possible, but it is our responsibility to adhere to the advice of our health department officials to make sure we are keeping our students, families and employees safe.

Restart Task Force Background

Objectives of the Task Force
The LPS Task Force learned from research, closely studied the plans of other school districts locally and across the country and worked to improve LPS distance learning, as it will likely have to continue in some form. Addiitonally, the Task Force developed potential in-person learning models that include additional health guidelines and protocols. The Task Force created 5 potential learning models for the 20-21 school year. The learning models are:

  • Distance Learning for Secondary
  • Distance Learning for Elementary
  • Blended Learning 15:1 Ratio
  • Blended Learning 10:1 Ratio
  • Back to School with Parameters

The LPS Task Force was made up of teachers, school leaders, parents and other professionals in nutrition services, school age child care, operations, and transportation who met from late May through the middle of June.

Survey Results & Neighboring Districts

High School student in hallwayThe LPS plan for returning to school aligns with those of our neighboring school districts that are also planning to welcome students back to school in August. It also meets the needs of LPS families;

In a recent survey, 74% of responses indicated a preference for children to return to school for in-person learning this fall.

* On June 17, all LPS parents were emailed a link to a survey about the return to school this fall. The survey collected responses from June 17 to June 24. Of the nearly 4,000 survey responses we received, 74% indicated their first choice would be to return to in-person instruction, either with no restrictions or with social distancing guidelines in place. The preferences voiced align with the research and guidance that went into the decision to return to school. 

Our teachers did an amazing job moving to a complete distance learning model in a matter of days last March, and we are prepared to return to an improved distance learning approach if we are required to do so.

Understanding Potential Models

What is a Hybrid Model? What is Blended Learning?
The Task Force developed potential solutions that would bring students back to school in a “hybrid model” – also known as a “blended learning model” – where students come back to their school building part of the time and continue distance learning at home part of the time. It is necessary to have not just one, but several hybrid models ready to go; we must be nimble in order to adjust to social distancing requirements that will remain fluid and change on a moment’s notice throughout the school year.

Moving to a blended learning model would not be easy – every other hybrid model we’ve seen so far in other districts across the country is problematic for lots of reasons, not the least of which is the challenge it poses for working parents who rely on their children being at school on a normal schedule. Additionally, we may need to implement models that achieve varying student to teacher ratios to meet health and safety regulations. 

Each hybrid model requires a completely different plan for class schedules, teacher schedules, student seating, hand-washing, symptom screening, temperature checks, breakfast and lunch, restroom use, recess, bus transportation and cleaning schedules. Successful blended learning models require great creativity to determine which students and teachers are learning at the school and which are learning at home on any given day at any given time. This is much more complicated at the high school level, where as many as 2,300 students and staff occupy one building.

Task Force Members

Mary Abbott
Counselor, Heritage High School
Clay Abla
Director of Secondary Education
Mary Allman
Transition Program Specialist
Kathleen Ambron
Director of Elementary Education
Tom Andrews
Teacher, Goddard Middle School
Brooke Basner
Teacher, Wilder Elementary School
Cathy Benton
Assistant Principal, Littleton High School
Courtney Berry
Assistant Principal, Euclid Middle School
Kim Bogue
Parent & ETAC representative
Kim Bryant
Early Childhood & Elementary Special Education Specialist
Teresa Burden
Principal, Twain Elementary School
Carla Burnell
Coordinator of Secondary Special Education
Tina Caranna
Teacher, Hopkins Elementary School
Kelly Card
Principal, East Elementary School
Angela Christensen
Parent & PPC representative
Loretta Collins
School Age Child Care (SACC) Coordinator
Melissa Cooper
Director of Student Support Services
Terry Davis
Director of Operations & Maintenance
Don Emmons
Teacher, Littleton High School
Marc Finer
Teacher, Newton Middle School
Nathan Frasier
Coordinator of Blended Learning, Voyager Program
Jessica Gould
Director of Nutrition Services
Guy Grace
Director of Security & Emergency Planning
Nicole Guider
Nursing Services
Lisa Jenkins
Instructional Coach, Newton Middle School
Elena Jones
Teacher, Goddard Middle School
Tera Helmon
Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services
Jess Hesselberg
District Librarian
Sarah Kruger
Facilities Manager
Lauren Lee
Instructional Coach, Arapahoe High School
Rachael Lessman
Instructional Coach, Runyon Elementary School
Dana Levesque
Instructional Technology Specialist
Jill Lewis
Psychologist, Franklin Elementary School
Julia Lyons
Counselor, Options Secondary Program
Sara MacDonald
Elementary Instructional Coach
Alberta Maybee
Teacher, Franklin Elementary School & LEA representative
Amy McIntosh
K-12 Literacy Coordinator
Ryan Miwa
Assistant Principal, Arapahoe High School
Julia Montano
Gifted and Talented Specialist, Field Elementary & ESC
Ken Moritz
Director of Human Resources
Suzanne Neufeld
Teacher, Euclid Middle School
Sarah Orlando
Nursing Services
Brandy Pentecost
Principal, The Village for Early Childhood
Marcy Phelps
Director of Transportation
Mike Porter
Director of Technology
Leslie Prock
Parent & SSAC representative
Kristin Radebaugh
Parent & GTAC representative
Terese Rainwater
Parent & DAC representative
Crystal Reid
English Language Development Specialist
Stacey Reindeau
Principal, Heritage High School
Mary Shay
Director of Innovation, Equity and Relevance
Michelle Spease
Teacher, Field Elementary School
Ann Summers
K-12 Mathematics and Interventionist Coordinator
Christy Swafford
Instructional Technology Specialist
Nate Thompson
Director of Social, Emotional & Behavior Services
Jon Widmier
Coordinator of Social, Emotional & Behavior Services
Steve Wolf
Principal, Powell Middle School
Anna Ziverts
Marketing & Creative Designer

Reactionary Readers

Emily Abell
Teacher, Franklin Elementary School
Ashley Broer
Principal, Options Secondary
Angela Burnell
Director, Village Preschool at North
Lyndsey Case
Principal, Hopkins Elementary School
Christine Casey Perry
Facilitator, Collaborative Intervention Program
Crysti Copp
Cindy Corlett
Principal, Euclid Middle School
Maria Fraietta
Teacher, Options Secondary
Ashley Griffith
Jennifer Gustafson
Instructional Coach, Heritage High School
Tracey Hansen
Director, Village Preschool at Highland
MaryMichael Hawkins
Parent and DAC
Meredith Henry
Social Worker at ESC
Lisa Kreutz
Teacher, Wilder Elementary School
Annelise Lawrence
Teacher, Twain Elementary School
Carolyn Moretti
Teacher, Goddard Middle School
Michael Newton
Assistant Director, Security
Amy Oaks
Principal, Littleton High School
Carrie Orcutt
Teacher, Lenski Elementary School
Todd Porter
Pediatrician, MD, MSPH, FAAP
Nordyka Pulai
Teacher, Littleton High School
Melissa Sager
Tri-County Health
Mindy Wilson
Teacher, Heritage High School

Father helping daughter with distance learning

Key Dates

May 27
Intro session and work teams meet

June 3
Work teams session

June 10
Work teams share scenarios with whole group and reactionary readers

June 17 & 19
Work team sessions

June 24
Final recommendations made to Superintendent Staff

June 29
Recommendations presented to the Board of Education

Severe Budget Constraints

It’s important to know that, just when we need additional funding the most, all Colorado school districts including LPS are facing some of the biggest budget cuts we’ve ever had. We are being told that, due to the negative effects of COVID-19 on Colorado’s economy, the state budget will decrease by $3.3 billion for next year. Funds for public education in Colorado will be slashed nearly $577 million. 

$9.5M - $10M Cuts for LPS
This means that LPS will have to cut anywhere between $9.5 million and $10 million, beginning in 2020-2021 and continuing for the next few years until Colorado’s economy recovers. In our students’ and families’ most critical time of need in our district’s history, we must find multiple ways to provide meaningful learning, both in person and online simultaneously, with significantly less money.