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District Announcements

  • Health Updates for 2020-2021 School Year In-Person Learning

    Dear LPS Parents/Guardians, As we prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, we greatly appreciate your efforts to keep our schools healthy.  As school staff work to implement health and safety guidelines, we ask for your partnership in screening your student for symptoms each day before school at home.  Please keep your student home if they are demonstrating symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or other illnesses.  Specifically, do not send your child to school if they are experiencing fever (100.4 or higher), chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea,or if they have been in close contact with someone who is ill.  When students arrive at school, we will be conducting a secondary screening. This will consist of screening questions and temperature checks differentiated by age and grade level.  Students who demonstrate one symptom will be sent home.  Students demonstrating symptoms at any point in the day will also be sent to an designated isolation area and required to go home.  We ask for your prompt attention to pick your child up within one hour of receiving the call to pick them up.  It is important that students with symptoms are not around other students and staff in the school  We greatly appreciate your efforts to adhere to this.  Students who are sent home should not return to school until the parent has spoken with the nurse consultant/school staff to discuss the requirements of the return to school.  This may involve providing documentation from your child’s primary care physician.  If your student does test positive for COVID-19, please contact your school nurse consultant (not the school health assistant) as soon as possible. Your student will be required to isolate at home for 10 days from the onset of symptoms and or 24 hours after fever and symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer. If you are not sure  who your school nurse consultant is, please see below.  Secondary students will be able access learning through their teachers’ google classrooms during their time of absence, as they are feeling better. Elementary teachers will work with parents to provide essential make up work. We ask that all parents complete an acknowledgment of these health considerations before your student returns to in-person learning on August 24.  To access this, please login to the Infinite Campus parent portal here.  Please follow these directions (click here) to complete the health screening acknowledgement.  As we partner together for your students’ return to in-person learning, also, please be aware that we will be asking you to complete a form for each absence that your student has.  After calling the attendance line, please access the link on the district/school website and complete this form for each student who will be absent. As you know, students in grades K-12, including Transition Services, are required to wear masks on the bus and at school.  As the school year approaches, please be working with your student to practice wearing a mask so that they will have a greater tolerance for wearing a mask for longer periods of time. Your collaboration and support are greatly appreciated as we prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 school year!  Please do not hesitate to contact your school nurse consultant or me if you have questions.  In partnership, Melissa Cooper Director of Student Support Services Charlotte Brazelton BSN, RN Arapahoe, Franklin, Hopkins, Twain 720-951-3853 Janet Deutsch MS, RN ChildFind, Goddard, HHS, Village Highland, Village North, Nova North, Wilder 720-281-7635 Kim Gates BSN RN Euclid, Lenski, Moody, Options 720-827-6455 Nicole Guider, BSN, RN Centennial, Highland, Powell, Transition Services, Voyager 720-951-7495 Geri Johnson MS, RN LHS, Newton, Nova Newton, Runyon, Sandburg 303-495-9631 Sarah Orlando BSN, RN East, Field, Littleton Academy, Littleton Prep, Peabody 303-495-9619

  • LPS Updates Restart Plan and Introduces Decision-Making Process

    Dear LPS Staff, Parents and Community Members: As school leaders, one of the biggest challenges we are facing during this pandemic is knowing what kind of learning model we should start the school year in and how we should determine if/when that learning model should change to provide the best learning environment possible while keeping our students and staff safe. It’s critical that our students get a good start to the school year and continue to learn and thrive. To do that, our students and staff must have the best chance possible of staying healthy.   We must rely on information provided by our local public health experts to help guide us in our conversations and decisions.  As part of the regularly scheduled LPS Board of Education meeting Thursday, July 30, 2020, the Board heard our most recent recommendations for making these decisions based on health department data to ensure we can effectively and safely begin the school year this fall.  This new 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 both at the start of the year and in the months to come 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 we will evaluate when making decisions about school: Percent of positive COVID-19 tests in Arapahoe County: daily and 14-day rolling average Daily hospitalizations in Arapahoe County 14-day COVID-19 incident rates per 100,000 Arapahoe County residents Daily new COVID-19 cases in Arapahoe County Earlier this month, health department information suggested that a return to in-person learning for all of our students would be possible. But, the COVID-19 rate in our community has increased since then. Looking at the COVID-19 data listed above, we believe a change to our plans for the start of school is necessary.  As of today, our plans for the start of school are as follows: First day of school: August 24, 2020 Preschool–5th: All students return to in-person learning with overlapping extensive health and safety protocols in place 6th–12th: Hybrid/blended model of both in-person and remote learning, where students attend school in person with their teachers two days a week with overlapping extensive health and safety protocols in place, and engage in learning remotely from home the other three days. This model allows for greater physical distancing, as only half of the students will be at school at the same time. This approach is fully aligned with the research and the recommendations of pediatricians and other health experts regarding what is safe for preschool and elementary-age students (who have less risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19) and what is safe for middle and high school students (who are more at risk due to their age). Please know that these plans for the start of school are subject to change should health department data indicate a change is necessary. Administration will provide an update on August 13, 2020 with the health department data available at that time. This fall’s remote learning model will be one that is consistent, robust, and engaging for our students. Teachers will 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 will be provided for families through the new online LPS Family Academy, which will help family members support their children as they learn at home. These training platforms will be available in early August, and details about how to access them will be provided at that time. The Temporary Online Program for Students (TOPS) will begin as scheduled on Monday, August 31, 2020. The TOPS registration deadline is Friday, August 7, 2020. The course catalog is now available on the TOPS web page. The schedule will not be affected by COVID-19 data.  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. We will be ready.  I invite you to review my presentation regarding the decision-making process and our most recent plans for the start of school. I also invite you to review the Restart 2020–2021 presentation that outlines these plans at a high level. A recording of the July 30 Board of Education meeting will be available in the next few days, as well.  School leaders will communicate to parents the details specific to their schools early next week related to the start of the school year. Thank you for your continued support, patience, trust and flexibility as we prepare to begin the new school year safely and effectively. Warm Regards, Brian Ewert Superintendent

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

    Restart LPS 20-21 Dear LPS Parents and Community Members: 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.  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.  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 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 according to 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 another communication early next week with details related to TOPS (Temporary Online Program for Students) - the LPS online program. Parents will also receive communication from principals and program leaders in early August 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. The Return to In-Person Learning Students, staff, parents, and community members must work together every day to make the start of the school year 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. These are our plans for the start of in-person school at this time: Masks and Health Screenings All staff and all students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade including Transition Services will be required to wear masks with breaks throughout the day. At this time, 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 will not be required to wear masks at this time, but they will be learning how to wear them at school in a developmentally appropriate way. More details will be provided to preschool families soon. Additional information will be communicated to families whose students may need special accommodations regarding mask wearing. All students and staff will have a daily health screening. This will be differentiated by level and will include self-screening and screening by school staff. 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 will be arranged to maintain recommended 3 to 6 feet physical distancing as much as possible.  Student movement around the school throughout the day will be planned and organized to maintain physical distancing and minimize transitions as much as possible, with fewer students in hallways, restrooms, cafeterias, food serving lines, and on playgrounds at the same time. All school front entries and classrooms will have sanitation stations that students and staff will use when they arrive at school, before lunch, before recess, and as needed throughout the day.  Hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom and in every space in every school. Dispensers will be checked nightly and refilled. All areas inside schools, as well as playgrounds, will be 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 will have at least one bottle filling station (most have several). Times to refill water bottles at these stations will be scheduled into the day to maintain physical distancing. Signage on walls and stickers on floors will help students maintain physical distancing.  Ventilation systems have been serviced and will be frequently checked to make sure indoor spaces are properly ventilated. In an effort to limit exposure, and as a general rule, parents and visitors will not be allowed in schools during the school day at this time. Each school will develop a process where parents and/or visitors may drop off materials that students need. 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. More detail will be provided soon. Buses will be cleaned after each route before a new group of students is transported in accordance with the guidance from health officials. Students will need to practice physical distancing at bus stops. We ask parents to help us in this effort. Please keep in mind that as a result of our limited ability to provide bus transportation due to physical distancing requirements, it will be necessary for significantly more parents to transport their students to and from school.  Parents will receive more information soon from LPS Transportation about how bus ridership will be determined.  High risk students will have priority. Students who require special transportation per their individual Education Program (IEP) will be provided transportation with health measures in place. Plans will be 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 will be practiced during meal service. Schools will utilize cafeteria space, outdoor spaces, and possibly other locations in the school including the classrooms for meal service.   This change in meal service will help us keep the same students together in smaller groups as much as possible (cohort grouping) to limit exposure.  Nutrition Services employees will be masked, with face shields, and will wear gloves. Meal service areas will be cleaned throughout the day. Improved Distance Learning If a virus outbreak requires the closure of the district, individual schools, or affects specific groups of students, we will be ready to serve students in an improved distance learning environment. Teachers will receive additional training through the new online LPS Educator Academy, which will help them implement best practices and provide consistency for students within schools and across the district. Training will be provided for families through the new online LPS Family Academy, which will help family members know how to support their children as they learn at home. These training platforms will be available in early August, and details about how to access them will be provided at that time.   Schools and Programs Will Provide More Details in Early August We know you have many additional questions and are eager for additional details. School leaders will communicate with families and staff at the beginning of August to outline additional details specific to their schools or programs.  Temporary Online Program for Students (TOPS) LPS will also provide a fully online school program for K-12 and Transition Services students during the 2020-21 school year only 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.   TOPS 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 will be specific guidelines and timeframes outlining when students can return to their home school for in-person learning. Families should consider the social and emotional impact on their child, the student’s desire and ability to do online learning, and the availability of adults to help and support the student at home.  Students in TOPS will be able to participate in before- and after-school extracurricular activities at their home school.  Students in TOPS will not be able to participate in any in-person classes at their home school during the school day. More details about TOPS and registration information will be sent to parents early the week of July 20th. The TOPS program begins August 31. Child Care School Age Child Care (SACC) will resume with the start of school on August 24. Likewise, preschool extended day options that include child care will resume with the start of school on August 24. To learn more, visit: Restart LPS 20-21 As the circumstances in our community change, so must our plans. We will continue to communicate our plans with you as quickly as we can. We truly appreciate your patience, your willingness to be flexible, and your trust in us to ensure a successful start to the 2020-2021 school year.    Sincerely, Brian Ewert Superintendent

  • LPS Returning to In-Person Learning August 13, 2020

    Dear LPS Students, Parents, Staff and Community: We are pleased to tell you that, following the recommendations of the LPS Restart Task Force, Littleton Public Schools will return to in-person learning for all of our students in August. Most schools and programs will begin on Thursday, August 13, 2020, as originally scheduled. Individual schools and programs will be communicating specific back-to-school dates and schedules. All students Grades Preschool through 12 (including the Nova Center and Transition Services Program) can return to school for in-person learning five days a week, unless healthcare experts from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Tri-County Health Department or Governor Polis tell us otherwise.   The LPS Restart Task Force was made up of 55 teachers, school leaders, parents and other professionals in nutrition services, school age child care, operations and transportation. The Task Force has been working hard since the end of May to provide realistic and viable options for returning to school in the fall. We thank them for their thorough and thoughtful approach to this complex work.  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. We truly believe that returning to in-person school with safety precautions in place is best for our students and their families. Learning happens when we can interact face-to-face, collaborate and connect with one another. We are excited for the opportunity to do so once again! The 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 LPS parents said they want their children to return to school for in-person learning this fall. LPS will also provide an online learning option for the 2020-2021 school year for families who choose not to have their students return to in-person learning  in August.  In a recent survey, 11% of LPS parents said they preferred an online option. The online learning option will be available to K-12 students. More information and the registration for the fully online option will be available in mid-July.  School Age Child Care (SACC) will resume with the opening of school. SACC programs will follow licensing, health and safety guidelines to reopen. Further information regarding registration will be available in mid-July. The LPS Restart Task Force also developed hybrid models of learning (a blend of in-person learning and distance learning) should we need them, but ONLY if we need them. These hybrid models would only be used if LPS is ordered by health officials to reduce the number of students in attendance at one time. Our goal is to return to “normal” as much as possible, but it’s critical that we take necessary precautions to keep our students, our staff, their families and our community safe. We will diligently follow health experts’ guidelines for cleaning and social distancing. The Metro Denver Partnership for Health recently released, "COVID-19 Strategies for Schools," an evidence-informed guide for the region’s school districts as they plan to reopen. We will follow this group’s guidance along with recommendations from the Colorado Department of Education as we finalize plans for bringing our students back this fall. This may include health precautions such as: Students and staff wearing masks when six feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained;  Frequent handwashing;  Keeping the same students together in small groups as much as possible (cohort grouping) to limit exposure; Reducing the number of students on school buses to one student per seat with masks (which is the current guidance, unless that changes); and  Parents screening younger students and older students self-screening for fever/symptoms at home before they come to school. There are many questions that still need to be answered. More details will become available throughout the summer, and we will keep you informed along the way. Thank you for your ongoing patience and confidence in our processes. These plans represent our very best thinking, but we also know they could change as circumstances in our community surrounding COVID-19 change. Details will continue to be available: Restart LPS 2020-2021 I wish you all a safe, healthy and happy summer. We truly look forward to seeing you back in school August 13!   Warm Regards, Brian Ewert Superintendent

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