Principal's News

 

 

Dear Runyon Parents, 

Welcome Back! I do hope your summer has been full of family time and healthy for all! All of us at Runyon are so looking forward to welcoming students back to in-person learning on Monday, August 24, 2020. (The first day of school will be a half day for elementary students. We will dismiss at noon. Students will have lunch at school on August 24th. You may send a sack lunch with your child or your student can purchase lunch from the cafeteria.) We know this year will be different as we continue to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. What will be the same is our commitment to a welcoming and supportive school community and our partnership with parents to meet the needs of every student. As we prepare for a return to in-person learning, I want to share information on a variety of key topics to support a successful start to the school year. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Department of Education, and Governor's Office released the draft health guidance for keeping our kids safe as schools reopen this fall. The guidance is organized by COVID-19 incidence levels and provides specific recommendations on the levels; Stay at Home, Safer at Home, and Protect our Neighbors. This guidance is designed to help local public health agencies and school districts ensure the safest learning environment possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the guidance on the Reopening Schools: Health Guidance by COVID-19 Phase. The guidance document is available here: Reopening Schools. You may also find the Reopening Schools Questions and Answers information helpful. 

Health and Safety We will have a variety of requirements and protocols to support student and staff health. While these may take some time and require some adjustments on the part of families, students and staff, strictly following them will help us maintain in-person learning. 

● School staff will complete an in person health screening and temperature check for each student each day. 

● Students who begin the day in childcare, SACC, will also have a daily health screening and temperature check. SACC will open on the first day of school, August 24th. 

● Do not send your child to school if they are not feeling well, have a fever, or have been around someone who has symptoms of COVID-19. As always, please adhere to the How Sick is Too Sick guidance when determining if your child should come to school. 

● All staff and students in K-12 will be required to wear masks with breaks throughout the day. Health officials say that mask-wearing protects teachers and other adults in the building as much as it protects the students. Students will not be required to wear masks when eating or when at recess. 

● All staff and students in K-12 will be required to wear masks with breaks throughout the day. 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. 

● Parents are asked to ensure their student has a mask every day. If a mask is left at home, we will have one to give your child. Here are two district resources that you may find helpful: Face coverings - Do’s and Don’ts and How to Help your Child Adapt to Wearing a Mask, 

● If your child may need an exemption to mask wearing, please submit the Request for Exemption for Wearing a Mask. 

● All students and parents who are on school grounds must be wearing masks. 

● Students will practice hand hygiene throughout the day. This includes before lunch and after all recesses. Building these hand hygiene routines will support our health and build good habits. 

● The district is providing sanitizing stations to each building at entrances and cafeterias. 

● Specific guidance about positive COVID cases, contact tracing, and quarantining will be in place. The district is working with Tri-County to finalize this. 

Teaching and Learning Instruction is designed to meet the academic, social-emotional and safety of our students. 

● Students will remain with their classroom cohort or homeroom for most instruction. 

● Student support services including Literacy Support, GT Services, English Language Development and Special Education Services and Mental Health Services and Support will be in place to meet student needs. 

● Students will participate in Specials: Art, Music and PE. 

● Some students may have new classroom placements due to the TOPS program and the impact of that on classroom size and to also support instruction and cohorting. 

● In an effort to support cohorting and limit student contacts, there are no field trips, assemblies or large gatherings at this time. 

● Students will be utilizing google classroom as a support for learning during the instructional day. Our teachers will be using Google Classroom to support learning whether we are in face-to-face sessions or if we move to a distance learning platform at any time during the school year. 

● We want to support families in using Google Classroom at home, so please be looking for our upcoming Family Academies for using this great tool to support your children. 

● We will continue to use 1:1 technology (one Chromebook per child) for grades 2-5. The district will provide an assigned Chromebook for the student’s exclusive use in these grades. More to come, but this practice will help us with social distancing and hygiene practices. Additionally, should we need to return to remote learning strategies, we’ll be that much more ready. 

● Parents, please check the revised school supply lists. You may notice some changes or additions. We have added supplies at some grade levels so that students have their own materials. 

● Please send a water bottle labeled with your student’s first and last name. Drinking fountains will not be used, but we do have a bottle fill station. 

School Environment and Building Access 

● A necessary change to our school is that only students and staff will be able to enter the building. We know this is hard as we love having parents and volunteers in our school. We just can’t have parents or visitors in the building as we need to make every effort to keep our students and staff healthy. There will be more information in our school newsletter about how parents can stay connected. 

● Classrooms, instructional areas and the cafeteria are being set up to maximize space and provide social distancing to the greatest extent possible. 

● Meetings involving parents will be held virtually. 

● School Accountability Committee and PTO meetings will be held virtually. 

● We will not have any before or after school activities or enrichment classes. SACC will be open for registered students. 

● We want to thank our custodial crew for all their work to get school ready to open. They have done thorough cleaning of every area. As students and staff return to school, all areas inside schools, as well as playgrounds, will be cleaned and sanitized (following the protocols of local health officials) as frequently as possible. 

● We also want to thank the district Operations and Maintenance department for increasing the ventilation in our building. The ventilation system has been serviced and will be frequently checked to make sure indoor spaces are properly ventilated. 

Structure of our Day The structure of our day is designed to support current health and safety precautions for students and staff. 

● All elementary schools will have a soft start. Students may enter the building starting at 7:45 am and they will report to their grade level classroom outside door. We will have guidance the first few days of school for students to know exactly where to go for entrance in the morning. There will be no morning playground supervision. Students can’t be on the playground in the morning. A soft start allows students to social distance as they enter the building. Temperature checks will be done as each child enters their classroom door. Students will then wash hands upon entry to the classroom. 

● Students will eat lunch by grade level and classes will be assigned specific areas to support cohorting and limit exposure. Hand hygiene will be required prior to students eating lunch. 

● LPS Nutrition Services will be utilizing a new system where families can make online payments for students' meals. We are no longer using MySchoolBucks so families are not able to make payments with their old accounts. Please use this link, https://family.titank12.com, to begin the process of making a new account. Simply click on "Sign Up Today!" to begin the process. Families will be able to check what their student has purchased for the day, put limits to their account and much more. Additionally, families will be able to fill out their Free and Reduced meal application at this link. If you have questions or need assistance, please call the Nutrition Services department at 303-347-3355. 

● Some parents have asked if we will continue to have recess. The answer is YES! Recess 

is important for physical activity and supports all kinds of learning. Lunch recess will be by grade level. Mid-day recess will support student cohorts. 

● Students will be dismissed in an organized manner that supports social distancing. Students attending School Age Care will be released first, followed by bus riders, then carpool students and walkers. This process may add a few minutes, but it will help us in the long run. 

● If your student is a bus rider, please review the information from Transportation and talk to your student about what is expected on the bus: Bus Transportation Expectations. 

School to Home Communication 

● Our school website is adding a Restart tile to provide current information on the start of the school year. 

● Our school newsletter is sent out via email every Sunday Night. Please contact our PTO if you are not receiving this Newsletter!! 

● You can also find helpful information regarding the return to school on the district website Restart LPS 20-21. 

● Prior to the start of school, there will be a communication that includes more first day of school information as well as information about our virtual Back to School Night. 

STAFF CHANGES: As is always the case in August, we do have some staffing changes. The changes we have this August are due to what is best for these teachers during this COVID/Pandemic time. Betsy Sise/Martin (5th) will be teaching in our TOPS program. Mrs. Martin is due with her first child in October and this model is what has been recommended by her physician. Mindy Allen (4th) will also be teaching in our TOPS program and this was also on the recommendation of her physician. It goes without saying that these two teachers are extremely sad to be leaving Runyon for the 20-21 school year, but it is also what is best for them during this time. We have posted both the 4th and 5th grade positions (one year only) and we will be doing interviews later this week and early next week. I would also like to bid a very fond farewell to Ms. Camille Perno, one of our Resource paraprofessionals. Camille has been at Runyon for over 20 years. She will be missed terribly and we wish her the best in her next journey. 

KINDERGARTEN PARENTS: Kindergarten assessments are still taking place, August 12th - August 14th. The assessments will take place outside of the kindergarten pod, by the primary playground. Please make sure to RSVP to your child's teacher by August 7th. Also, please bring your supplies to the assessment appointment! Masks are required, so make sure everyone in your group is wearing theirs. The Kindergarten teachers can't wait to meet you! 

Thank you for your partnership, flexibility and understanding as we all navigate the changes and circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On behalf of the entire Runyon staff, we can not wait to welcome our students back to Runyon! 

All the best! 

Trudy Meisinger and the Runyon Staff

 

 

On another note regarding parent drop off and pick up: 

If you are planning on driving your child(ren) to school or picking them up after school you will use the lower lot or north lot. You will enter coming south on Elati to the entrance of the North lot and drive around toward the flagpole. IF YOU ARE COMING NORTHBOUND ON ELATI -PLEASE CONTINUE ON TO THE ROUND- ABOUT  AND THEN HEAD SOUTH BOUND ON ELATI TO THE ENTRANCE OF THE PARKING LOT. PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO COME NORTHBOUND ON ELATI AND MAKE A LEFT HAND TURN INTO THE NORTH PARKING LOT.

*We will load and unload children for you. Please do not get out of your car, doing so holds up the line of cars. Thank you.

Kindness

~~“Can you say ‘Thank You?'”~~

Here are a few ideas:

One of the first things we teach our kids as soon as they learn to speak is to say, “Thank you.” Think of the countless times you have said, “what do you say?…” to prompt your child to utter these words. But do our kids really have any idea what it means to be thankful?

Practicing gratitude has benefits that go beyond having a polite kid. Studies show that people who practice gratitude feel 25% happier, are more likely to be kind and helpful to others, are more enthusiastic, interested and determined, and even sleep better.  

And grateful children and teens tend to thrive. Kids who practice gratitude get higher grades, are more satisfied with their lives, are more integrated socially and show fewer signs of depression.  So how can families practice gratitude in meaningful ways so that our kids learn what it means to be thankful?

  • Express your appreciation for each other. In my house we started this as a birthday tradition. When it is someone’s birthday we go around the table and express what we all appreciate about that person. The first time we did this it was uncomfortable for me, it felt ‘cheesy’ for lack of a better term. But when I heard the amazing things my kids had to say it quickly became my favorite family ritual, and we remind each other of what has been said often.

  • Acknowledge the small stuff. When we practice mindfulness it helps us to be present in our relationships and pay attention to our environment. Often it is easy to go through the day distracted, out of sync with our environment and the people around us. When you are with your kids, be intentional about noticing the beautiful flowers, bright blue sky, the helpful person at the coffee counter, and the nice man who held the door for you. Your appreciation for the the little things around you will rub off on your kids.

  • Make a gratitude jar. This can be a fun project for kids. Find a container and let the kids decorate it. Cut out some pieces of scratch paper and put them in a convenient place so that family members can write down things they feel grateful for and place the paper in the jar. If kids can’t yet write, then having them draw a picture of something works great also! Then, open the jar once a week or once a month and read what everyone has written.

  • Make it part of your bedtime routine. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to show appreciation for the little things in your life for which you are thankful. It is important for parents to model gratitude for meaningful things like relationships, kindness, and the natural beauty in your environment (rather than your 60 inch plasma TV or your new ipad). This is a wonderful way to end each day!