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Good evening and welcome to the St. vrain Valley School District Board of Education meeting. If you could please stand and join me in saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
I pledge allegiance
to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for
Barb, can you please call the roll this evening?
Mr. Arens absent? Mr. Bercow? Here, Mr. Garcia here, Dr. martyr. Yeah. Miss Pierce absent Mrs. Raglan absent Miss siegrist
here. Thank you, Barb. And, Barbara, are there any changes or denims to the agenda this evening? There were no changes.
Then I’m going to go ahead and move into the public comment of the meeting. I’m going to read some comments. We’re continuing to Public comment through a special link on the website. So I do have some of those to read. I do also want to note though, I’m going to take this off while reading that, that Paula piers and Karen Raglan and john Aaron’s are absent from the meeting this evening. We typically don’t meet in the month of July. This is a special meeting that was called so that we can all stay informed on the district plans and provide input to the district plans, as it specifically pertains to COVID-19 and opening the school year, given that Paula, john and Karen are absent, though I want everybody to understand they might be absent physically from the meeting. But they have all relayed that they will be watching the video so that they can stay apprised of the plan and also hear the comments from the public. All right. The first comment I have this evening is from Kim Kim Coventry, and cam writes, could we see some more supportive language for the families who choose to remote learn in the fall, when I read the district’s reopening plan, I felt a bit ostracized. I had previously read the plans for boulder Valley and pooter school districts that were shared from friends and family members in the area. And they understood and supported the families who decided that returning to school, at this time was not the best option for their families. with clear plans on how to support these families and plans for the reintegration of these families when conditions improve. I was dismayed about the district’s wording about the online school being for families with health conditions and extenuating circumstances, without a plan for reintegrating these families in the future or any wording of support for those decisions. Are all families Welcome to use this plan. Will students who start the year on this plan be welcomed back when they are ready or perhaps in phases as teacher teachers are also ready to protect Turn, the language of the plan made us feel like we were fairly alone and not being ready to return. But after talking with a variety of families in the district, many of them were not comfortable with sending kids back and plan to online or homeschool. Some even had already enrolled in Boulder, Boulder Valley instead, because they felt a lack of support for their decision within St. vrain. Valley. We have a wonderful district and I would hate to see people leaving because of this. Can we get more support for the challenging decisions facing parents at this time in a way that will keep us united rather than divide us? down if you’re comfortable? I think I’ll read all of them and then then you can speak as far as the response goes, thank you. The second comment this evening is from Wendy Macmillan. It must go without saying we can all appreciate the enormity of the task the district is working with to create schedules and plans for this fall, and the unattainable ality of an ideal solution. Our family is grateful for options and striving for flexibility. The current state of this evolving situation continues to Cost concern and apprehension. However, the way the Virtual Learning option has been presented specifically noting extenuating circumstances implies that families who might wish to consider it must apply and qualify under certain conditions. Can you provide clarification on whether this has been considered a legitimate supportive option for all families? And if so, will there be points within the year that families of students enrolled in launch will have the opportunity to reassess and be welcomed into their physical classrooms depending on how things change? The next two comments are actually identical. They are written by Melissa hoghton and Elizabeth honan. And given that they are identical, I’m going to read them read the comment one time. How will the school board ensure that additional public input is solicited prior to making any decisions regarding the 2021 21 school year due to COVID. As part of that, what are the plans by district leadership and the school board to share all district and Task Force committee discussions in a transparent and public way? Lastly, what are the contingency contingency plans for when a teacher or student tests positive for COVID-19?
This comment is from Anya Flo Ha. As a parent of an incoming first and second grader in the St. vrain. Valley School District. I was disappointed by the proposed plan for full time in person learning put forth by the district for the 2020 2021 school year. The plan lacks specifics on keeping children and staff safe and appear to ignore current medical trends on how COVID-19 is transmitted and manifests itself in different populations. among my friends, family and school community, I see a wide spectrum of personal attitudes and behaviors around combating the virus and I expected The district would take a more diverse and creative approach in its offering of different education platforms to meet the needs of all families for the upcoming school year. My husband and I do not feel safe sending our two young children to school full time, but prefer a hybrid approach approach of a few days a week in person paired with some remote learning. current medical data shows that this would minimize the exposure to the virus and would also mean any outbreaks could be caught and contained, before having the potential to spread throughout the school slash community. The fact that the remote learning option is only accessible full time and to students with defined medical or other exemptions to impressing learning is unacceptable. During the last couple of months, I have watched as both friends and family and neighboring school districts, Jefferson County and boulder Valley School District have received numerous questionnaires around meeting the education needs a family in their district. unless I’ve missed an email or communication I’m unaware of any such input being collected in SV VSD. My questions are as follows during The last board meeting on 624 2020. Dr. Haddad stated that a pretty representative task force that included administrators, teachers and operations and maintenance personnel helped in the formation of the upcoming plans to reopen schools full time. Who exactly were these members of the task force? Were parents also consulted when devising the plan for the upcoming school year? If so, how many families were consulted and how were their desires disseminated into the upcoming school year plans? If the answer is no, how do you expect to meet the expectations of a school community when you are unaware of the needs and desires of that community in which you are serving? What are you doing moving forward to ensure that more parent and community involvement is included in your decision making for the upcoming school year?
This comment is from Chris Johnston
as a parent of a same brain Valley elementary school child in your district I Many questions and concerns regarding the plan released last week by Superintendent had I requested this time that you do not approve any plans for the return in return to school in the fall without sufficient community involvement. As any parent fully knows at this point for our sanity and more importantly for their growth and development, we need our kids back in school. However, the fall 2020 reopening plan that was admitted emailed to parents in the St. vrain. Valley School District by Superintendent had on June 30 2020, was deeply disappointing. The plan lacks specificity specificity, was not responsive to current understood conditions of the COVID-19 virus, and did not adequately meet even minimum state guidelines as outlined by the cdph NCD. While I realized the plan released is not in the final form, there remains many unanswered questions and concerns. Particularly disappointing to me and many parents I’ve spoken with with was the line noting the desire to minimize the use of masks whenever possible. everything we know about this virus and the mode of transmission points to simple cloth masks as being a major factor in limiting person to person spread the plan. While perhaps not the intent appears to appease a small faction, I’ll be at a vocal one who oppose the basic scientifically documented fact that masks worn by all while indoors. worn by all while indoors is one of the most effective way to return to gatherings such gatherings such as classrooms. I understand, as do many parents that there’s no magic solution to any of this, I know that there is no ellenton by anyone on the board or the task force. A rushed return without adequate consideration of all scenarios. However, coupled with the sheer desire to return to normal has been shown in recent weeks and neighboring states to be an approach with dire consequences. All the time and energy going into these plans will go out the window if it all needs to shut down again in a few again a few weeks into the year. I urge you and your fellow board members to consider one thing if nothing else from my letter. We all want to return to normal but if everything we’re doing in the coming weeks a month is an attempt to return to that version of normal, then it is a fool’s errand. We’re not getting back to normal anytime soon. As much as we all want it, the sooner we abandon that hope for the time being and instead accept and adapt to our current reality and adjust our priorities for the coming year, the more likely we all are to be successful. Lower standards have more outside time for planned instruction, which is shown to be much safer than indoors, including designated outside areas for each class or grade level, except the kids made bit behind by yours and so will all kids across the country and focus on the things that truly matter for their development in the short term of this national crisis will pay dividends a year from now when we can celebrate hopefully, getting back to that normal we also dearly Miss. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from the school board our superintendent and our school principal on what the next steps are. I wish you and yours good health, safety and of course sanity. Thank you for your efforts supporting our children during these unprecedented times.
The final comment is from Katy top them.
In the event that SV SD isn’t able to fully carry out the current 2020 2021 return to school plan. I was wondering if the SPV SD board has something separate in mind for the SPV SD preschools. I would love to see the preschoolers have at least some kind of in building learning this year. I’m considering online learning from my older two children, but would be willing to send my preschooler in person because preschool classes are already set up to work with a hybrid on off schedule. The classes are capped at approximately 14 to 16 Kids per class and attend on Sat staggering time slash days of the week. Given that preschool is focused primarily on learning through in person play socialization, and learning how school routine works. Online preschool doesn’t seem like a very good fit for preschools, thank you so much in advance for potentially passing this question slash request onto the board for the meeting tomorrow. I hope you are staying safe and doing well. All right. Thanks, everyone, and thank you to all of the community members who submitted responses. We certainly appreciate the collaboration, and that you are providing input on the district’s plans to return to school through sending that email. Don, I think you were going to address many of the issues that were raised in those emails. So I will turn the floor over to you.
The first thing that I would share is maybe I’ll start with that last question, since it was the most recent
about preschool. Sure,
yeah. And we outlined in our document that went out on June 30, that we would be offering preschool full time that we had received that approval from the state. And so that information would have gone out. And in that last document that we sent related to that came out in my email. So the answer to that question is yes, we are Going to have preschool. So, and we’re excited that she is interested in doing that, because we were too and we were wondering what the state was going to ultimately decide. And then coming back, the first one, yes, all students are permitted to enroll in launch dad. And when we refer to it in, in our July communication, or in our June communication, we refer to it as extenuating circumstances, which includes any circumstance that you as a family feel, creates something out of the norm of returning to school. And so in this case, if that is a discomfort with returning, then yes, you are welcome to enroll and the launch dead program. It has a very solid curriculum through Florida Virtual, which is what we have in our Soga program our st reign online for high school kids currently, but it will be taught by saying Rain teachers. And there’s alignment there with our curriculum and standards. So that’s the first thing. And then the second part of that question was can students return to in person during the year if they choose to do that after starting? And the answer to that question is, yes. And we would try to make that return at a quarter break or something that makes sense. But at any time, they could return. If there were to be a vaccine, if they were decide it. They feel more comfortable. They can. And the second question was basically asking the same things. So I’ll bypass that one because they wanted to know those same two questions. The third one around input. Giving input to this process is happening. Now. The way that we have it set up, people can reply to the board,
Secretary and get questions. They can reply to emails we invite people to call after they have a chance. To look at the plan, they can communicate with their principal, they can call me and a number of people have we heard a lot in the spring that informed us. We talked to a number of people who had questions, suggestions, concerns. And so we it’s been a constant state. And then the other thing, in terms of this process is the input is one thing. And then the guidelines and the orders are something completely different. And so it’s not as though we’re going to take all of the input and be able to make a decision, that input can inform us and it certainly has. And the options that we have, which are the same options that every other school district basically has, is you can have all students return in person. Or you can have all students online the way we did in the spring, or you could have the form of a hybrid. And so those are the three things that we have looked at, and we’ve looked at them collectively as an entire system and then we’ve also looked at them by grade level, there’s also a principals video that has been made in collaboration with me. And that will be shown to all the parents of each particular school. And the principal will walk the parents through the school virtually. and talk to them about the kinds of things that will be happening in the school. Now we’re still six weeks, five and a half weeks, six weeks out. And while that doesn’t sound like a long time with the Coronavirus, it’s a lifetime because two weeks ago, we didn’t have any of this spike going on that’s going on, at least not to the extent that it is. And that’s why I’m always very careful to say in bold print. This is an evolving process it will continue to change this is our best thinking at this point. Now we sent out a communication at the beginning of June we sent out one in the middle of June we sent out another one at the end of June. And then our next one will be coming out around July 20. But even the one that comes out July 20 could change depending on how the virus evolves. But those principle videos will be shown and people will have a chance to say, Wow, that looks good to me or maybe that not so good. I might want to look at a different option. The other question was who’s participating on the task force? It’s, I was the participant or deputy superintendent, our three area assistant superintendents that oversee all the schools. Each principal had a team with several teachers at their school that looked at these things with their particular school against the collective plan. Our operations and maintenance leadership, our custodian staff leadership, our transportation staff leadership, our nutrition services, staff leadership, our athletics and activities director, our technology leadership, our curriculum and instruction leadership, our district nurse, our Student Services leadership, our human resources leadership, our communications department, our attorneys, Boulder County Health, the metro Denver area Partnership, which is comprised of all of the health departments across the metro area. We got guidance to from the American Association of Pediatrics, which has 67,000 pediatricians, and they are responsible for best practices, physical and mental for infants, children, young adults and our adolescents and young adults. We also received guidance throughout the process from the governor’s office, the Colorado Department of Education, and the State Department of Health. And then I’m also in constant communication with the other metro area superintendents. We conducted. I don’t know Jackie, probably over 200 meetings. And in this process, and it’s just been constant and probably before the start of school, we will have logged in another 200. So it’s not an event. This is a process. And at each meeting, everyone concurs that this can change dramatically within the next few days. And so we’re in constant communication. My next meeting is tomorrow. Here With the leadership of the Boulder County Health Department and the Broomfield county health department, and other administrators in our district, as well as some of our neighboring districts, the the transparency around this is that we have these conversations in these board meetings that are public meetings, and can be observed at any time either in person live or reviewed afterwards. And then the letters that I send out, represent a summary of these 200 meetings that we come up with and share that with our community. And then we we get feedback. The next question was basically asking the same thing as that question so I won’t answer it again because they were very similar.
The next one, first, want to be clear, they indicated we are ignoring the health recommendations. That is not accurate. We are following the health recommendations from Boulder County Health from the metro Denver area. partnership for health, which includes Denver County, Jefferson County, the tri counties, we are working with the governor’s office, the Colorado Department of Education, and then also looking at the Association of American Association of Pediatrics. So I want to be just clear on that and not to be oppositional. Just I want that to be on the record that everything we’re doing is being driven by the medical field here, as well as what we know about education. The question around cohorts for secondary, we looked at a hybrid model, and so kids would be cohorted because some of the kids would be in school, some would be out, and they would be cohorted. in that fashion. Elementary structures are much more structurally cohorted because they’re in a classroom and not going to different classrooms every single period of the day like a high school student might. So therein lies how that cohorting would take place. And then the options that we’ve come up with the three options are, you know, either all online or all in person or a hybrid model. Some of that’s based on the health department, which is driving much of this. But it’s also based on staff availability. In other words, we can’t simply open it up to anyone’s preference because we have to make sure that we have staff available to walk out the plan because we can’t ask our teachers to teach during the day and then teach at night to a different group of kids. That would not be feasible, we wouldn’t have the number of staff to do that, nor would it be fair to them. So we have to pay and then we also have facilities that are very different. Every school has a different look to it. And so different lunchroom and so some of the plans are adjusted because of the facility limitations. I have already covered the taskforce I’ve already covered the principle video which will be another opportunity for parents to see it in person, virtually and then As far as expectations from the community, part of it is community preference, and part of it is health guidelines. And part of it is what our facilities at our staff will be able to walk out in a very safe and quality manner. So that’s how we meet the expectations of our community. I want to shift a little bit now. And I thank all of these individuals for their questions. I really appreciate it. I actually had a chance to talk to a few of them on the phone, and very friendly, supportive and I, you know, as a parent, I fully understand and appreciate the anxiety. You know, I pulled this as Yeah, because I think I’ve been reading as has our team, just hundreds of articles. And the headline on this one was the upcoming school year has everyone worried here’s what experts say. So these questions that are being asked by our community, are the same questions that are being asked across the United States. This is not you And so and I, our parents have always been outstanding, and they continue to be outstanding and supportive. And so I want them to know that at any time they can pick up the phone and call me. They can submit questions to the board. They I know that you guys are always welcome to questions personally and via email. And just want them to know that I appreciate the questions, and I appreciate their continued involvement. The other thing that I would share and looking at our current plan right now, it calls for preschool to be in full time. It calls for K through five to be in full time. It calls for sixth graders to be in full time. seventh and eighth graders would be on a hybrid model, ninth graders in full time, and 10th 11th and 12th would be on a hybrid. That’s the plan today that has been approved and supported by Boulder County Health and it’s based on again, the ability to cohort, the age group of the kid against what medical experts are telling us. And then also the the facilities and those kinds of things.
The other thing that I would share is when these students are at home, in the hybrid format of seventh and eighth graders and 10th 11th, and 12th graders, our technology, which is unique to st rain, and not always the case in other areas. And again, that comes back to our community support is our kids can log in, in a synchronous manner. So if I’m a 10th grader, I’m going to be in the building two or three days a week, but the two days that I’m out of the building, let’s say or the three days, I can go into that classroom in real time virtually hear the teacher see the teacher see the rest of the class and participate from at home and every one of our students will have an iPad at home to do that. And every one of our teachers has a laptop That is equipped with high powered lens microphone and a stand for the laptop. So that’s in their classroom. And it brings the student at home directly into the classroom in real time. And so that’s a little bit different than what we experienced this past spring. The other thing that I would share in terms of some of the questions that have come up
the concern around health and measures, and again, in our last I know that there was a statement in our, in the document one of the questions that indicated we did not provide any information about how we’re going to keep our kids safe. In the last document that I sent. There was a full section entitled hate health and safety measures that went into information around social distancing face covering student health and hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing temperature and symptom checks. And that will be again, submitted to parents Everybody in my next communication, what I want people to know is that we have hired an extra staff for custodial staff, so that we have our regular staff and then we will have another staff that will come in in the evenings and do cleaning and all of the buildings, and there will be spot cleaning throughout the day. So our buildings will be in a constant state of being cleaned, and we have hired that additional team. We also have ordered hand sanitizer for all of the schools large amounts, we will have hand washing, available and promoted throughout the schools. The social distancing, we are now being told in schools, three feet is what they’re requiring and saying would be appropriate masks. I just want to clarify, in a perfect world. Our objective is at some point when we find a vaccine, you know, hopefully to move away but in the meantime, just to be clear, and I will make this point Very clear in my next communication masks will be expected to be worn by students
all the way through pre K through 12. So they’re not going to be optional, they will be worn pre K through 12. We understand at the lower grades that can be even more challenging. So we will build in breaks. And we will also make exceptions for students who might have some type of a health condition that would put them at risk if they had to wear a mask. And so, that part I appreciated the feedback and we’ve made that clear to our teachers through our association leadership. Tomorrow, I have a meeting with all of our teacher, a ours met again today with our teacher association president. They’re very supportive of that. And so I’ll clarify that with them as well. The other thing is we’ll have hallway markings. And again, these things are all outlined in the plan that I submitted to our communities but I just want to share them again in the event, some didn’t have a chance to read it in the hallway markings will direct kids different ways to try to keep them separate. In our larger schools with high schools and middle schools, since we’re doing the hybrid, we’ll have much fewer kids in the hallways as they’re changing periods. We also have the block schedule at the high school level, which means they’ll only be a few passing periods, as opposed to what they might experience. Lyons high school would be the only exception to that. We also will be cleaning our buses disinfecting them between all of the routes. Students who are on the buses will be expected to wear masks and socially distance as well. Temperature screening will take place we have 20 thermometers in each building, but we will be asking parents to also screen their children at home, make sure they don’t have a reading of 100.4 or above. Check for all of the symptoms that come with COVID. We know that during the flu season that could become complicated because it’s some of the Many of the symptoms are the same, but will ask for parents support there. We also have an epidemiologist who has been assigned specifically to St. Rain Valley schools from Boulder County, who will be working directly with all of our nurses who are also certified. Many of them are certified nurses. And if we were to have any kind of a test that’s positive, similar to what they do with other outbreaks, like when we had the tuberculosis outbreak, when we have pertussis outbreak, they would be the ones who guide and direct and it would be based on the specific specificity of that particular incident. They could tell us to close a classroom, they could tell us to close a school, they could tell us to close three schools, they could tell us to close the entire district, that would be dependent on the circumstances, but those decisions will be made by the medical professionals and they are assigned directly to work with same brain. We also have the hybrid model at the high school and middle school model because we have more kids there and they’re older and things like that. We have shut down that Traditional drinking fountains and students will use water bottles as fillers. There’ll be signage around again, we sent this health and safety measures out that includes not only what I just read, but the second page of that is what we refer to as safe with seven that identifies seven major things that parents should be doing to keep their kids safe at home and things that we will be doing to keep them safe in the in the schools. for teachers who have pre existing conditions or age issues, they will be some of the teachers who have the option to teach online. And there will be other accommodations made for them. Students with Disabilities, and again, this was outlined in the plan that I sent and they will have opportunities they are working directly with our Special Education Department on IEP requirements. And we will have the option to bring our students in who need that every day and get face to face support and then additional support. If there at home. And we’ll also be working to make special exceptions for students who might have language barriers or are struggling with other challenges related to travel, social economics, whatever it might be. Because our goal and our objective is to make sure that every single child, that every single child is protected, safe and has access to every single opportunity. And so while we have a systemic approach to this, we also know that there are going to be times to make exceptions because we’re dealing with children. And it’s always going to be based on what’s in their best interest as we know it. Again, I did talk about the launch Ed, I think the feedback that some of the community members gave was, was helpful that the language was perhaps too vague, and so want to make it clear again, that everyone has the choice to be in our launch dead online program. I also want to wouldn’t let you know that in this letter we spoke about volunteers, the Career Development Center, the community schools, programs and the wraparound programs, athletics and activities, transportation, lunches, the Innovation Center, how our funding has been impacted by the massive budget cuts that was imposed on all districts as a result of this virus.
We are in a better place financially because of our community support. And I want to keep saying that because our community is second to none in terms of the way they step up and support education, and I am truly grateful and this is an example of how when it has protected us from furloughs, from staff layoffs, from program cuts from a whole host of different things. teachers and staff we talked about that if they need an option based on extenuating circumstances. The Just see if there’s anything I don’t want to be too redundant here. In my next communication, I will include links from the metro Denver area partnership for health, that states clearly and I’m going to read a couple of those to you, as well as the American Association of pediatricians. And then Jackie will be talking here in a little while, because sometimes the question comes up. Well, what happens if we get three weeks into the school year, and all of a sudden we have to stop. We have the technological capacity to move our students to blended learning. We have the capacity to move them to synchronous learning from at home, and we have the capacity to utilize Florida Virtual, our teachers, many of them have been trained in the blended learning models and the synchronous and we also have training scheduled for all teachers prior to the school year beginning. So that piece is in place as well. Some of the things that I will emphasize in my next letter, based on feedback from the community. gonna highlight that the online is for everyone who chooses it. That masks will be required for everyone K through 12. With breaks and exceptions to kids with certain needs. We will add the research links. We will clarify what social distancing means in schools based on the medical feedback. We will talk and highlight that we’ve hired a second crew for cleaning and disinfecting in the buildings. We will highlight that lockers are not going to be available for secondary students. We will highlight our community schools and wraparound program for preschool. We will highlight the the epidemiologist and our nurses who will be making medical decisions. We will highlight the technology and what synchronous learning will look like. We will highlight the fact that we have ordered iPads so that in the event we go out every child K through 12 will have their own iPad and we will reinforce the need to register for transportation. Now I know a number of districts around the state have already reported to their communities that they will not be providing transportation, except to kids with special needs. We are trying to avoid that and trying to accommodate transportation. We’re going to ask parents who can drive to do so. But we’re also working closely with the Department of Health to figure out how to get more children on the bus. elementary schools might be able to get two kids per seat and things like that. So we’re not in that space to say we’re not providing transportation, where we are in that space is there might be a few that we can’t. However, we’ll try to work around those issues for the kids who need it the most and try to get again from our community some support, if they’re if they’re available to drive their students. So those are some of the things I want to read to you a couple of items here. This is from the metro Denver partnership for health and it includes boulder County Public Health. It includes the Broomfield city and county public health. It includes Denver Public Health
and Environment than in Denver Public Health itself Jefferson County and then a Tri County which is out in that Cherry Creek Aurora, Douglas County and it says continued school closures threaten the health and safety of Colorado children. In addition to learning losses, children faced increased risks of food insecurity, potential abuse, poor mental health and social emotional wellness and lack of physical activity. And these harms may fall hardest on children from lower social, socio economic families lower income families, then it goes on in the background with almost 9 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide. In the worldwide pandemic. Thus far, several issues are relevant to school opening are beginning to emerge. First, children appear to have lower rates of infection than to older persons. And when infection does occur, they’re much more much less likely to have serious complications than adults. Second, while children, including those not showing symptoms can transmit COVID-19. emerging evidence indicates that children are not primary drivers of transmission. And that school reopening is likely to have minimal impact on Transmission between students, or between students and staff. Now, even though we’re requiring the masks, and we are working with Boulder County who’s recommending masks, they’re also telling us that it is very low risk, especially at the elementary age level. And then it says much of the decision making regarding school closures that we dealt with back in the march was based on decades of research showing that schools are a major venue for influenza transmission. However, the emerging evidence suggests that COVID-19 transmission among children is quite different. For example, recently published contact tracing data from several other countries indicate that children with COVID now Illness transmitted infection to very few other individuals in school settings. Zero out of 122 in France, zero out of 924. In Ireland, and zero, let’s see two out of 735 children in Australia, zero out of 128 adults in Australia,
zero out of 101 adults in Ireland and then
zero out of 900. And, okay, they didn’t have the adults for France, at least some. I’m not seeing it. But anyways, so they go on to say no reopening structure can ensure zero transmission and some infections are likely to occur among students, staff and families, whether it’s exposure in the home, the community or in school, on balance. We think health benefits of in person school attendance outweigh the health risks. And this document goes on to talk about that and that’s considered And with what Boulder County Health is telling us, especially at the elementary level, that the health risks are, I guess on balance, we think the health benefits of in person school attendance outweigh the health risks. So this is coming back to when, when somebody asks, Are you paying attention to the health professionals? The answer that question is yes. And
because we have to, we have to pay attention to the science.
This is from the American Academy of Pediatrics with 67,000 pediatricians, charged primarily with the best interest of infants, and this is physical and mental infants, children, adolescents and young adults. And it says the AAP, the American Association, PDA strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with the goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of in person learning is well documented and then there is already Have the negative impacts on children because of the school closures in the spring of 2020. It goes on to say and this is a lengthy doc document, and I will, this is available to anybody who wants to read it, but I will just highlight a few of the things. And Colorado Department of Health as well as the erg in Boulder County Health and others in the tri town and or Tri County areas have said that they’re gleaning a lot of information from this. It goes on to say that policymakers must also consider the mounting evidence regarding COVID-19 and children and adolescence including the role they may play in transmission and infection. It appears to behave differently in children and adolescents than other common respiratory viruses such as influenza, on which much of the current guidance regarding school closures is based. Although children and adolescents pay and play a major role in amplifying influenza outbreaks to date, this does not appear to be the case with COVID. Although many questions remain, the preponderance of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to be symptomatic less likely to have severe disease resulting from infection. In addition, children may be less likely to become infected and to spread infection. policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within schools must be balanced with the known harms to children, adolescents, families and the community by keeping children at home.
It goes on to say there is a conflict between optimal academic and social and emotional learning in the schools and strict adherence to current physical distancing guidelines. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that schools space seating desks at six feet apart when feasible in many school settings six feet between students is not feasible without limiting the number. Evidence suggests that spacing as close as three feet may approach the benefits the same benefits of six feet of space, particularly if students are wearing face coverings and are asymptomatic and it goes on to share the risk reduction of reducing class sizes in elementary school aged children may be outweighed by the challenge of doing so. And there are several other recommendations consistent with some of the things that we have identified in our plans. I also want to share that our operations and maintenance team has put together information about our h fac systems. And we have all meeting code and everything in terms of that air movement. And that will be included in my next communication. I also stated that we have ordered and have on hand now for each of our schools and our departments, gloves, sanitizers and masks. And then the last thing that I would say is we checked with the other major school districts. And I would want people to know who expressed concern about the elementary school. Not that this means their concern is not appropriate to express and it doesn’t mean that it’s not valid. I just want them to know that Denver All kids in elementary school will be attending five days a week in Aurora. All kids will be attending five days a week in Douglas County. Same thing in Cherry Creek. Same thing. In jeffco. Same thing in Boulder same thing. In Thompson, same thing did not get the data from pooter. Yet in Westminster, same thing and mapleton same thing. And Greeley, same thing, and all of these school districts are working with the same medical advice that we are working with, and have made the decision. So when we have made the decision to put all of our elementary school kids in all the time, it’s consistent with every other major school district in the state. Now, if it were consistent with every other major school district in the state, but inconsistent with the health recommendations, I would follow the health recommendations. But in this case, the health recommendations that’s what they’re telling us. And evidence invited. You Joey and tomorrow’s meeting with Boulder County Health so that you can be in that room and have that conversation with them and hear from them exactly what they’re what they’re saying to us. What I want our community to know is a few things. One is that I could not be more grateful to them for the way in which they have been supportive. We went through the spring, you know, on a moment’s notice our community and our teachers were just nothing short of heroic. We moved to online in a matter of a few days, and our kids responded and I could not be more proud of them. I also want them to know that since that, we have been working with all of those folks in the task force 24 seven we have logged in over 200 meetings, and we are literally on the phone with the county health departments at least three times a week and we have individual meetings with them. We are reading we are conversing we are planning and we are trying to keep everyone communicated with But also not having to backtrack every time we send something out. Because that’s been the case with some other districts, they send something out, they reel it back in, they send. And what we’re trying to do is when we get something that resembles some sort of this is kind of where we are, but please No, it could change. We want them to know. And then we gather feedback as they respond to the plan. So that’s the second thing that I would want them to know. And then the third thing that I would want them to know is that the only thing that matters to me and to our team, in this whole situation is that our kids are safe, that our teachers are safe, that our staff is safe and that our communities safe. And that safety is both physical and emotional. And while I have a great deal of expertise in the area of public education, and the impact of public education, I don’t have that level of expertise. That a epidemiologist would have or that Boulder County Health would have, or that the American Association of pediatricians would have, or that any of the metro Denver area partnership for health would have or the governor’s office would have. So I am relying on them to guide us or our nurses here in St. Brian. And I want to say to our community, please, if you have questions, just pick up the phone and call or send an email and I will respond and that goes to any board member to send a letter or an email to your board member. And it’s been my experience, they respond as well very quickly. We are here to serve this community. And we are taking this very, very seriously. I also know that this is the this is the example of you cannot make everyone happy. I think I read in there that some of the decisions were designed to appease a vocal minority that couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re not here to appease, we’re here to serve and to protect our children and our staff. And if the voices are such that they contradict what the health department’s are telling us, the loudness of those voices will not cause me to change my direction. Because my focus is not on appeasement. My focus is on safety and well being of our children. And I want that to be understood clearly. So I will stop there. And if you have any questions, community, if you have any questions, and thank you to all of you and to all of our community, I’m going to turn it over to Jackie, because Jackie is going to share a little bit about our instructional programs, if we have to move offline because of a spike in the virus that continues.
Yep. Thanks. So it’s really important, I think, for our board and our public to have some additional information about our models. We may be working in and out of these models throughout the school year. And so it’s important that we understand the distinction between the programs and the models that we’ll be using to serve students. I’ll start with launched ad Academy. That is our online program that will be a fully online program for any parent who does not want their child to come to the physical setting of a school. This program will utilize Florida Virtual online curriculum which is available to students in grades K through 12. It is a common core standards aligned curriculum and connects students with a st brain teacher who will be available to teach live lessons, provide specific support, monitor student progress and communicate with the parent and the student about that progress. There are over 190 secondary courses available from algebra to AP art history, students receive direct instruction for a set number of hours per week for core Have a few less hours for specials and electives but still direct instruction. And they also engage in a variety of learning activities. They attend class time with other students. They collaborate with classmates. They read play games, listen to audio clips, watch videos, there are handwritten worksheets, matching worksheets, projects, and they also perform experiments with things that are easy to find at home. To ensure mastery of the content. Students work through a course from beginning to end of semester. So this is not a program likely that we will use for students and teachers to drop in and out of should we need to quarantine for two weeks. If at any point in the school year, classrooms or schools have to close and go completely online. Our teachers will use St vrain adopted unit plans, materials and supplies supplemental resources that have been adopted by the Board of Education to deliver instruction in this same way that I described around Florida Virtual. They will provide live lessons to an entire class post assignments and projects and provide one to one tutoring support to students as needed. I’m providing you and I’ll pass this around. With a quality online learning packet that is used by our district professional developers to support teachers in their use of best practices for online and blended learning approaches. We will continue to use seesaw and Schoology platforms to deliver any online instruction. And in this scenario, teachers may be able to teach from their own classrooms. We might be able to still bring in small groups of students each week and schedule office hours students to come in and meet with their teachers in small groups face to face a couple of times a week, even if the overall building is closed to large groups of students. So that’s what it would look like if at any point we have to stop and do some teaching online for a classroom for a school or if at any point, the board and the superintendent have to call the school closed, or the school district closed.
For our grade levels, all grade levels except for seventh, eighth, 10th 11th and 12th. We will be in school full time when we start the school year on August 18. These other grades seventh, eighth, 10th 11th and 12th will be in person learning 50% of the time or five days over two weeks, and students will join their courses synchronously or in real time. On the days they are not that they are working from home. We have ordered specialized equipment as Dr. Haddad alluded to earlier camera lenses and microphones that will increase the visibility and the sound in the classrooms for those students who are at home and online, and this will increase the quality of instruction in each classroom. Some of our best practices will include assigning a group one peer partner to a group two. So if I’m in class that day, my partner will be home that day and if there are any questions about what happened, or or any questions about what the teacher instructed, a pure partner can connect with another student, and they can do some clarifying questions. We’ll be assigning some roles to students in classrooms to help monitor online technical glitches or questions from student Who are at home? if they have questions for the teacher coming in during that at home instruction, we’ll be using a variety of engaging materials including short instructional video materials, choice boards, online discussions, office hours, and a variety of formative assessment tools and individual and group projects. That’s what that packet really talks about. What are all those best practices that keep kids really, really engaged while they’re working online. Examples of all of these activities are included in those packets. And then when we are back in school, full time, our goals for coming back to school including providing the most normalcy as possible, while following all of the prescribed guidelines from our health agencies that keeps students and our staff safe. Our students will participate in all of their courses that they normally would as As much as possible, including electives and specials recess and lunch, that includes safe peer interactions and activities, it is really important to us that when students are back full time in school or even part time, that that feels normal that they have really good peer experiences with one another, even if they have to be distance that we build in time for discussions, that we allow peers to have their friendships and interact with one another. Our principals and teachers have been very innovative in their approaches to structuring the school day. We feel when we work with our, with our teams that our schools who are planning for the start of school that they are very much up for the challenge and they are very excited to have our students back during the school day. So those are those are our models that we’ll be using and our hope as well. Dr. headset is to have our students back in as much as possible while aligning with safety guidelines. And if we have to be online and when we have to be online that that also is a very quality experience.
Thank you, Jackie, did you have any other comments done before I open it up to the board for questions? Okay, do board members have any questions or comments about anything that Don or Jackie have covered or anything that’s been talked about so far? Dick?
Well, thank you very much for that. I really appreciate the thought and comprehensive nature of the reports you’ve provided it really is answered a number of the questions that I’ve heard questions that have rose arisen in my own mind, and those that I’ve heard from members of the community, both through phone calls, In an email, so I hope that many of us on the in the same frame, all the school district community, a family have been listening in and and can have access to the information that you’ve provided this evening. I do think that it will be in, as you already recognized, increasingly important to convey this information in as many forums actively as possible. I know that I trust that you’re doing this and regardless of how, how diligent we are in attempting to reach out, we realize that there may always be some who feel that they haven’t had an opportunity, one either to know about or to participate in contributing and I One I’m going to continue to encourage them to contact you and your staff directly is in addition to initially responding to let them know that we’re, we’re hurt. Sure.
Yeah, no, absolutely. Dick, I could not agree with you more. I also want you to know that we have met extensively with our building principals. And they too, are communicating with their teachers. They have all had virtual meetings with their staff, and have compiled questions with their teachers and they also are available to parents to contact their principals directly, as well as to contact me or Dr. Kapoor ocean or any one of you so. Absolutely.
I think it’d be appropriate to have an opportunity for just general questions before. I have a sort of five or six specific questions that are pretty much in the weeds. So at the appropriate time, I’d be glad to ask those but maybe other members of the board could
ask their questions before I continue.
Yeah, Dick, why don’t we, um, maybe, you know, cheek or Jim, if you have comments on on this on what we’ve specifically discussed, then we’ll go ahead and go to our action item and then your your details might fit better in the COVID-19. We’re blurring the lines a little bit of our agenda, but we do have a COVID-19 update on the agenda also this evening.
Whatever you wish. I think that the
my comments are with regard to the report.
If so, are they in? Okay,
if the report is is fine, the COVID-19 report then, or? Well? I thought that puts your reporting on was our planet open in light of COVID-19
Yeah, that’s fine. So why don’t we let Chico go ahead? Did you want to make a comment Chico?
Sure, just just
First of all, I want to thank the staff for the enormity of what’s been been worked on here. I know for me, myself as a parent, my own thoughts. I know, as I’ve been talking to people, I might talk to one person who says we want to be all in and then the next person has, we want to do something remote and or hybrid. And then someone says, I want mass so as I don’t want mass, so I know that the complication of this is, is big. So I appreciate listening to medical professionals, the health you know, the county health department, so those those groups and keeping safety first in in mind and in doing what we can at the same time, balancing that with the fact that we want to be back when when we can. I think a couple things to that I heard that I want to lean on hard is when we say Whenever possible, right, and that whenever possible changes at different times and was possible two weeks ago might be different today and different again in a couple of weeks. And so just encouraging families to stay. Consider the fact of, we have to stay flexible in this and we have to just move as things change. And we want to be nimble in this. And so I appreciate the plans that have come out so far.
I also want to encourage families to
think about how they communicate with their students about how you know, we know it’s not going to be maybe perfect for every person and what they want, but how they communicate to their students might have impact on how their students actually engage in what we’re doing. And so, I know that’s something I’ve been trying to think about in my own household and just trying to create a positive for everyone, you know, everyone’s gonna be doing the best they can and you’re gonna do the best you can and all those kinds of And so, just want to put that out there as a mindset for for folks to think about. No doubt teachers are, you know, going to do the absolute best, you know, everyone who’s involved in, you know, the 200 plus meetings already are doing their best as well. So so just want to put that out there and, and have folks consider that and again, thank everyone who’s been doing their work on a daily basis. Thank you. And she goes, thank you for that. And I, you know, you said something at the end there that, you know,
it’s really our teachers and our staff. By nature they want they want to give 100% of themselves to the students. And as we make our plans, we have to be mindful that we want every stakeholder to know that we want to protect them and it’s important for our teachers to feel comfortable and our teachers and our staff to feel comfortable so that they can be support coordinate our children in feeling comfortable, because that’s who’s going to be with them in the classroom. And so that’s also balancing the interests of principals, teachers, staff, parents, students health, you know, there’s just so many different perspectives. And I really appreciate you recognizing that because literally, you can go from one meeting where they want this. And the next meeting they want the different group wants the polar opposite. And so you’re trying to always stay grounded in what’s, what are the medical professionals saying and what’s best systemically for our kids and it’s not always gonna be looked upon in agreement by everybody. But I want people to know that we really care deeply about this.
So much information. I’ve been reading everything that you’ve been putting out to the community, and I get a chance to look at what’s coming out. From a couple of different schools because it comes to my daughter, and so I’m listening in on some of the sessions that are being discussed in very great detail and good questions, legitimate questions from the staff yet? I mean, this so this is such a big area. It’s like It’s like developing infinity one question leads to to those two leads to those. It just goes on. And this is not even when we get to the end of this month. It’s not the end. It’s just the beginning. And I think the parents need our parents have to even understand that concept. Because the success of our district is, is continued assistance from the our constituency, as parents are going to have to provide accurate information, make sure that they’re checking on their children’s health, making sure that they’re making good decisions around that they have to move realize it just cannot be. We have to get information like if you’re going to do transportation, you need to have them supply information so that people who have to do that yet and can get it done accurately,
who’s coming to the school who’s not gonna come to the school? You have to make some decisions because at some point in time,
it’ll be It’s the new beginning starts. And I think like he was saying, if we have to rely on the parents to continue
to step up and make understanding it, like you say, we may say one thing next Wednesday, and Thursday, it can be different, and it’s nothing we can do about it except relating information and ask for assistance. But the information I’ve been reading from pediatrics and boulder Valley, everything that you’re sending out and then the information you sent out, I thought, you have to persevere and read it because he just did it. Every, every sentence in every paragraph has information. You can’t stop halfway through and say, Oh, I get it, I get it, because it’s not that way. And I, I just think if we continue to get that type of information out, the people will be more receptive to it. And hopefully, they’ll understand we were heard and your staff is doing a phenomenal job that they’re going to need those parents to step up at a point in time here in the near future, to make this opening successful for the kids. So again, thank the staff, thank them for what they’ve done is phenomenal. All the options and all the all the information you guys provide, you know, makes you feel comfortable knowing that this stuff going on. And it may it looks like it’s it should work.
But things could change. When now you’re exactly right. And I’ll tell you to the parents credit, and the teachers when we went through what we went through last spring, our parents were incredible. Our kids were our teachers were. And so that’s why we were able to do what we were able to do because of them. So I agree with you wholeheartedly.
Dick into the weeds you go.
You know, I, I’ve had second thoughts about the order. I think that the important thing is he action item and I can follow up afterwards.
After if there’s still time.
Okay. Oh, that will certainly be up time. So that’s that’s not an issue whatsoever. Okay, so we’ll move on to our action item then. You know, Don, I guess it just a few closing remarks. I do want the community to know that the plan for going back to school is on the district website. So for those people who might not have received, you know, might not have children in the schools or received that email communication people can ask access that on the website, your your health and safety precautions, you know, signing up to ride the bus, everything, everything is on there. So people can access that there. I also do want to let everybody know that our our Board of Education meetings are televised and they’re on the website so people can certainly watch those meetings. The past several meetings that we’ve had, well, my goodness since March, we specifically had a COVID-19 update. So people can watch that to hear a historical perspective of, of where we started and where we are now and everything that’s been discussed, and certainly want to encourage people at any time to contact the Board of Education. You can contact any one of us our contact information is on the district website. We’re always willing to speak with you don’t hesitate to reach out to us to speak with Don or Jackie, or anyone else across the district if you have questions or want to provide input. You know, Don, and you and Chico. I think everybody has actually mentioned this the importance of relying on the experts in the medical field. professionals in this this situation, and I know that you’ll continue to do that with safety as a priority. And at a very high level and please No, I in no way want to minimize the significance or importance, you know, of COVID-19 in any way, shape or form. But at a very high level, I do believe the district has put together a plan that at this point is tentative, we know that might change, right? You know, the district has put together a plan it has and has the capacity to be very flexible and fluid in that plan as needed to be responsive to changes. But we’ve really created an opportunity. I believe, you know, at the end of the day, I think about what my responsibility is as a board member, and agree with all of you that I want everybody to be safe. And I know that all of you are doing the very best you can when you sit in those meetings and and parents now the community they have they have a choice. You know, we have a plan. That we hope we’ll be able to implement and change and evolve over time. And if that doesn’t fit their ideal situation, they can choose to do online learning. So there are definitely opportunities. They may not be perfect for your family,
But they certainly are, in my opinion, very reasonable, and very safe. So I guess I want to support your plan. And say thank you for everything that you’ve put together, I certainly appreciate the input of the experts. And I know that you’ll continue to do your very best and put the safety of kids at the forefront of your decision. You know, and ideally, we wouldn’t have to be here right now. We would just be looking forward to starting school as usual. But this is what’s in front of us. And we all have to be a little bit comfortable with just living with a certain amount of uncertainty as well. And that can be challenging. Yeah. So thank you for everything you’ve done and really do encourage the community to reach out So, Jackie, you have an action item on here 1.1, which is the recommendation for adoption of resolution for the 2020 2021 educational process of the district. And this is something new that we’ve not seen before, but sticks with the theme of the evening, which is COVID.
Correct. In our Are you going to read the resolution? Um, you know,
we certainly can we can? Sure,
why not? Okay, and have somebody read it. I can give you an overview. Just real quick before you read the resolution. You know, state laws sets our instructional days and hours for students in the state of Colorado. So typically, we are working under state law, which says 990 hours for elementary students, and about 1080 hours 1080 hours for secondary students. They also set a minimal number of calendar days that students have to be in school for the 2020 One school year, the Colorado Department of Education has asked local school boards to define the educational process. So how will we count time and student contact hours and instructional time, which is closely tied to compulsory attendance, which we will continue to monitor closely. It’s also tied to our October 1 student funding count. And they will look at how we track attendance for that reason, which is a really important reason. So what we’re basically asking you all to do is to or what we’re recommending in the resolution is that you consider our time spent with students face to face a student contact time, which makes a lot of sense, our time that students spend online with teachers and synchronous learning as instructional time and also time that students spend Working on assignments that have been posted by teachers as instructional time. And we will line up our attendance taking systems in all of those scenarios to account for the time that students spend on instruction. So that’s, that’s the overview of this resolution.
Right. Thank you, Jackie. Do board members have any any comments or questions before? Hopefully one of you volunteers to read the resolution.
No questions or comments stick or you have a question. Are you
gonna volunteer to read it? I think. So. The resolution itself is a procedural resolution required by the Colorado Department of Education for us to define in each year. What constitutes a full day and how we’re going to count it? Count attendance,
and it’s specifically it is specifically to this next school year. Yes, they’ve only given that authority to local boards for the 2021 school year. Yes.
Okay, so thank you within that context.
Whereas the Colorado Department of Education, CTE creates policy and alignment with state law related to school calendars, instructional hours and student attendance, and allows local school boards flexibility in changing that calendar as a result of emergency closings and unforeseen circumstances. And whereas CDs policy specifies that teacher pupil contact and teacher pupil instruction, as time when a pupil is actively engaged in the instructional process of the district, as well as defines the minimal instructional days and hours and we’re out The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted normal in school operations and require some or all students to receive their instruction at home, using online tools provided by the district. And whereas for the 2021 school year, the city city has granted the authority to local school boards to define the educational process including its length of calendar, instructional hours requirements as well as defining the delivery of instruction. Therefore, let it be resolved. That for the 2020 and 2021 academic year, the st brain Valley school boards of education defines the education process to include instruction that is delivered in the school setting, instruction that is delivered electronically or online from a remote location. All assignments that are provided by the teacher in school assignments that are provided electronically by the teacher, and independent work time for students that is assigned and monitored by educators. Further result students, whether in school, or working online in a synchronous manner, and or in a hybrid model will be scheduled and assigned independent work for their courses each day, regardless of the setting school or home and receive the equivalent amount of teacher student contact as a typical academic year. student attendance will be taken each day regardless of the instructional setting, at school, online and working independently for each course for the perfect documenting instructional days, teacher student contact hours compulsory attendance. And for the October one student count and funding documentation.
Thank you deck. Appreciate it. If there are no further comments or questions, then I would entertain a motion for approval of the adoption of the resolution for the 20 2020. Thank you, Jim, and a
second by Chico BB.
Mr. Arens absent. Mr. Berthold? Yes. Mr. Garcia? Yes. Dr. martyr. Yes. appears absent Mrs. Raglan absent Miss siegrist. I thank you.
So, the next agenda item we actually have this evening is the COVID-19 update. We’ve covered much of that already. I believe. You know, Don, I’ll give you or Jackie an opportunity to make any final comments on COVID and if Knock them all. We’ll open it up for Dick’s questions.
Great. Thank you, Dick.
Thank you, Madam President. Am I the only one that has questions?
Apparently, all right. Well, at this point
I wanted to ask about you. I noticed that with interest that you’ve made a comment about the HV AC air circulation patterns in schools. And it’s recently at least within the last two weeks, there has been discussion among health care professionals about modes of transportation, transmission, enclosed spaces. That being that enclosed spaces with their circulated Err, that those then use are at higher risk. And I’m wondering if are we looking at possible ways to reduce that risk or mitigate that risk in some way to clean the air as its recycled, recirculated? Is that part of the
HV AC air circulation system update?
Yes. And one example on the bus they’ve You know, when we have the opportunities to open the windows, we’ll do that. But I’ll read this to you and this will be summarized in our report. as essential workers when the district restructured face to face learning in the local health department guidelines, the maintenance department continued working in preparation for the return of school. In conjunction with several outside resources we have taken the effort to prepare for a safe and successful year. We began this effort in February prior to the state and local mandate to close educational facilities. And the reason we started then was because for several reasons, but we started tracking this long before it was brought to most people’s attention. And Brian lamer. And I had talked about starting that cleaning earlier because we were reading about this. And there were signs similar to this. h one n one. This document drafted by CDC and there’s a link there that will be provided outlines best practice for our school buildings. In conjunction we design and operate our heating and cooling systems to as h ra e standards. As guidelines are updated with new information we reevaluate our processes, readjust and continue to create and support great learning environments. Some of the adjustments we’ve made include replacing filters in the whole district to ensure optimum airflow in our equipment. We have extended air handler runs times before buildings open and are occupied each day. The maintenance crews are manually checked. For the proper operation of building exhaust fans and in the coming weeks visual verification that outside air dampers are operating correctly to ensure outside air is delivered to the classrooms. The H HVAC heating ventilation air conditioning department created a program that will set the outside air minimum positions on all units with just one override to the percentage determined that for the best operation in short, we can easily increase the outside airflow in a building. Some of the new schools like BlackRock have a reset feature that controls outside air based on the co2 in the space. The maintenance department is working with local engineering firms provide the district with the ability to override this programming sequence and go to a minimum outside error position for our choosing. We will continue to explore and solve the problems we face to deliver the best learning environment to our students. You may also know that the district is working to replace high touch fixtures like drinking fountains, we get into whole other things on a personal note. Sandrine Valley Schools has one of the best automation systems in Colorado if not the nation, we have the skilled personnel to operate and maintain the system. We will thrive or others struggle because of our grade teachers and support staff that great create great places to learn. So, yes, they’re working extensively on that.
So, so there’s a plan. So the specific questions would be, you know, how many, what are we planning as a standard for the circulation of fresh air into classrooms? Per? How many times would that beast?
You know, would you like me to read it again?
Because it didn’t say,
yeah, it talked about it’s set to bring in the airflow that’s dependent that it didn’t the aka the optimal, because I can go through it because I’d read it pretty quickly.
It didn’t talk about the number of times the air would be changed in a classroom per hour for Jay,
right. But it happens automatically throughout the day to bring in optimal airflow from the outside what is optimal? Well, I don’t have the exact number, but it’s all to that code that I shared with to you that
is the code specific with regard to producing a viral contamination in the air. Is that what the code deals with?
outlines the best price in conjunction we design and operate our heating and cooling systems to as h ra e standards as guidelines are updated with new information, we reevaluate so if it was new information to COVID we would reevaluate, readjust and continue to create the learning environments so it could be depending on the weather outside, it could be depending on the quality of air, a whole host of things. And then it goes on to talk about replacing the filters in the whole system district to ensure optimum airflow in our equipment. we’ve extended the air handler run times before buildings open and are occupied each day. The maintenance crews are manually checking the proper operation of building exhaust fans and in the coming weeks of visual verification. That outside dampers are operating correctly to ensure outside air is delivered into the classrooms regularly. So it’s not just it starts and then stops. It’s a constant thing with our automation system.
So the filtration system does not deal with the virus. It’s the fresh air circulation in the building. And I’d appreciate that taking a look at that standard, because that’s not a standard that I believe deals specifically with a virus.
Well, I think when you have influence, you have different viruses that come up every year. It’s I don’t know that there’s a filter system that specifically recognizes a virus and addresses it. It addresses the air in the system to bring in outside air. And that’s why they say when you’re outside, so it’s bringing that outside air into the system.
Okay, I’m glad to follow up. Afterwards,
okay, or continue now? I feel like I mean, whatever. I don’t know what you’re asking other than we’ve got that, that covered. If you’re looking for a specific number, then I’ll have to go back and get that. But the concept to your question is, yes,
that’s being addressed. So the air circulation is occurring at a sufficient level, to protect our children from who are in enclosed space from transmission within an enclosed space.
Correct. To the best of our knowledge based on what the experts tell us that airflow is.
Okay. All right, thank you. My next question actually has to do with the details of a of those high school students that are taking courses that require every day attendance, those courses like advance AP Calculus AP chemistry AP Biology where typically, most classes meet every other day, those classes at least for one semester meet every day.
Not only are they at the very
the most rigorous among the most rigorous classes we offer, but
the cut the level of instruction and
the pace of instruction is sufficiently
strenuous so that a student
I would assume that we’re making accommodations for students taking those classes to be present in class every day.
Is that correct? Are you talking about an AP student,
a, someone who take an AP chemistry for example, that means every day in the block system.
Now when you say in an alternating block system and they made it in block system, they made it Every day for one semester and every other day for the second semester,
and so they would be meeting, they would come in two days in a row, go one through four, and then five through eight, and then every other Friday, and the days that they’re at home, they would log in and watch. You know, whatever real time. So I’m not sure. If what you’re saying is, are we planning to bring the AP students in every single day five days a week
for those? Not every AP classes, that kind of class of course, but there are a handful of them and, and you and I’ve talked about that over time. And I think I’ve named the ones that are actually the three semester courses,
which ones specifically are thinking about AP, Chem,
AP, biology, and AP calc.
You know, I would have to go back and check the general schedule does not speak to that. The general schedule speaks to what we have articulated. So I don’t feel comfortable saying yes, kids with AP classes will be coming in every day for that first semester and then every other day for the next semester. But they will have work to do every day in the AP classes. Some of it will be online, some of it will be in person. And there will also be an opportunity on Saturdays, where we’re going to have some Saturday school sessions. And then there will be also an opportunity. This is not just for AP students, who because we want to make sure that every kid has that opportunity. But after school two days a week, there will also be an opportunity for teachers to connect with some of their students. It may not be the same teacher of their class, but it would be the same content area. And in the case of you know, AP Biology, it would be a person who’s qualified to help with AP Biology. So we’ve talked about that. Opening up the school on Saturdays and then two nights a week for some additional support. But I don’t think the schedule is such that they would be coming in every day for that first semester with that particular class
for those students who might have, you know, difficulty adjusting to the online schedule, and that will occur not only in AP classes, but also in in the regular classes. I think that you’ve already addressed that, but I heard you say was that that would be decided that the option was available for any student, either to go online if they wish to or in person. You didn’t actually speak about going in person if you were in the high school system, but if you’re in the high school system, and for whatever reason, your student does not adapt well to the online experience. Do they also have an opportunity to attend a full time on a case by case basis,
in some cases, depending on why they’re not adapting to the online, if they have a reason, that they’re not adapting? And it’s something that we can help mitigate? Yes. If it’s a preferential thing, it may not be as easy to accommodate. The other thing that I would share with you is, as these AP students are taking college level courses and preparing for college, online is going to be a part of their experience in college. So part of its good preparation. So it Yes, it’s on a case by case basis. But if somebody were to come to us and just say, you know, I don’t really like online, can I come in every day? The answer that question might not be Yes, because I wouldn’t want to start creating opportunities for this kid and then telling a kid who’s struggling. You can’t come in every day because your needs are important too. And so I’m not going to create separate policies for advanced students. And then not forget are challenged and struggling. But yes, the answer to your question is, with individual needs, we try to mitigate that. And part of that so you can come in on Saturday, you can come in Tuesday nights, you can come in Thursday nights or whatever, those kinds of things that we have,
you know, I’m not asking specifically for the example I used to was advanced placement classes because they do meet on a different schedule than most high school students. But the flexible inherent flexibility that you’ve talked about with regard to individually evaluating the needs and experience of each student and then making a decision based on that is is what I hoped,
right? It just as long as I just want to make sure that we’re not talking about telling every single student in our district, we’re gonna accommodate your personal preference. Because if we do that, then we the system blows up. So there is a set schedule and if there’s an extension Waiting circumstance that comes with a disability or a language barrier or something unique an injury or something, yes, we will work to accommodate those. But if somebody comes in and says, you know, I’d like to come in every day, somebody at the elementary, Luke’s level says, you know, I’d like to come in on a hybrid, even though you’re not doing a hybrid, we have to be careful not to say that, yes, we’re going to evaluate every single individual circumstance and address it. If there are extenuating circumstances that make sense, then we will do that. But it’s not just open for everything. Sure.
In addition, who could ask for more,
in addition, that’s what I’m saying. I’m sorry. In addition to the Saturday sessions, our high schools are also planning to offer after school support for students who may not have been able to be in that day but have questions and need some additional tutoring
or support on one thing I’ll tell you to accommodate a lot of the districts are that I’ve heard are going to close their schools on Friday. And then we’ve also had another have school districts that said they’re going to eliminate a lot of courses, because they don’t have the capacity. So they’re gonna eliminate a lot of electives are gonna eliminate it. And so what we’re trying to do is keep the integrity of our academic program in place. Part of that reason we’re able to do that is because we’re not millions of dollars in the red as many of these districts are. The other part of it is we want to make sure that we’re not creating solutions that are worse than the problem as we try to accommodate and so what we’re saying is we’re going to give every child the very best education we can give them, and we always make accommodations for kids. But I really want to just avoid that. That scenario where we start saying, for our AP kids, we’re going to make these accommodations and for our other kids, we’re not and for you we are, it’s across the board, we’re going to reflect on every single situation, knowing we can’t accommodate everybody’s preference.
Yes, I was not again, I’ll say again, I was not asking for special treatment of a piece students. I was using that as an example of how an individual students scheduler experience might affect their ability to learn.
Yeah, no, I thought you were saying because the AP schedule is unique that they come every day for a first semester. The question was so specific around the schedule coming in every day that that’s where I thought you were talking about AP.
I, yes, I should have used a more general example. But I think the your responses, we designed a system that we intend will work and you didn’t use the number but I would say 90% of the cases or so. And that means that we’re going to need to respond individually to whatever that remaining percentage of the cases is. on a case by case spaces. And you know that that makes all every sense, all the sense in the world to me that you’ve brought up neighboring school districts and I was just curious. Is it is it true that boulder Valley and Thompson and and pooter and other large districts are
holding high school every day?
No, Boulder Valley has not indicated that they’re holding high school every day. pooter has not indicated that. But several other districts have indicated that they are and doing that they you know, some of them are cutting back to four days a week. Some of them are eliminating a lot of courses to be able to condense it to their four cores, right, things like that. And then the other piece to it is is some of them have just articulated things such as, you know, when the kids are out of school, they’re going to congregate anyway, so we’re going to just go ahead and go for it. And some of them don’t have the technology capacity that we have to create Smaller cohort, right. And so there’s a lot of things, I know that there’s been some concern expressed by some of our colleagues that if they don’t bring them in every day, they may not be able to account for them. And then that could create some challenges with funding and other things. And we’re trying to keep our decisions based on health and safety and not start to create, again, solutions to problems that are, you know, worse. And, and we’re going to try to get to that place to as quickly as we can, for these folks that are making these recommendations, the Partnership for health and they’re not recommended because if you have a you know, if you have like, for example, a high school of 2500 kids, which is what
Westminster High School has, for example,
I not sure how you socially distance 2500 kids in a building, having spent a lot of time at a high school, and I’m not sure how you do that with 2000 kids. I’m not sure how you create The the safe guidelines that these health agencies are recommending. And I, you know, I’d be interested in seeing how that happens. So I think there’s a question of
if you’re told you can do that.
But you need to follow these social distancing guidelines and everything else.
I don’t feel that we could do that with the high schools, or some of the middle schools based on the size of the student enrollment numbers. But to your question, yes, there are a number of them that are going every day. But in my last conversation, and I don’t want to speak for boulder Valley, because he’ll make his announcement. That was not what he indicated. Nor was it what I heard from up in pooter.
Yeah, that that
your response is, is aligns with what I’ve heard from school board members in both of those districts, but I’ve heard something different, you know, the parent community is hearing from their parent community. And, and the information that’s being communicated in those other districts has been misleading. Well, that has led to different interpretations. I wouldn’t say that information has been misleading.
Yeah, no, you’re exactly right. And and I know that Cherry Creek in those other places, they came out with that announcement weeks ago. Right. And so, and they have not changed. But I am curious what they’re thinking now given the most recent evolution of the Coronavirus, and we still got five and a half weeks to go. So it remains to be seen. You know, how that’s gonna play out for him. If we start school with the current plan that we have, and things look good, as quickly as possible, we would move to get everyone in. What I don’t want to do is make that commitment today, of course, and there are so start that way if it’s tenuous, and then two weeks later have to reel it all back in. So we’ll see. We’ll see. But you’re you’re correct in what you’re saying. I’m not sure that I agree with what they’re doing at this point.
Quick question. Film is coming back from vacation and from Florida or Texas or Arizona, if they arrive here, you know, the day before the week before school starts. Do we have plans to identify those people? Are we going to ask them to self quarantine?
No, we would not be there are some states that may create that as a policy. If the governor were to declare that that’s what we need to do from certain states, but we would not ask them to quarantine or test them unless they had symptoms that were overt and temperature, that dry hacking cough, then all the chills, the body aches, all of that kind of stuff. But it wouldn’t necessarily be because they’re from a particular state at this point in time.
As you can tell, I’m sort of conveying questions that I’ve gotten from various conversations and and parents.
I guess the last
Well, just a comment. Did you mention that? Or you say that every child k 12 will have an iPad?
Yeah, we ordered an iPad for every fifth grader, every fourth grader and every third grader, and then we’re taking the iPads that were in the fifth grade, fourth grade and third grade and moving them down to combine with the ones we have in K One, two, so that they will then have full classroom sets. And we’ll have that all the way K through 12.
That is simply wonderful. Yeah. That that is a They’ll have to double up at home. Tremendous. That’s that’s a tremendous asset resource to our families and students.
You know, like to john Aaron’s his credit, when he made the recommendation, I don’t know, it was like two years ago, three years ago, that every teacher gets a laptop. That is, in essence, what’s helping us today, to be able to deliver the synchronous learning. So it’s not only every student has an iPad, every teacher has a laptop, every teacher has an iPad. And then we have the bandwidth and the infrastructure to manage all that traffic. So it’s a decisions made three years ago are are coming back to like, turn into a good thing.
That’s simply wonderful, Don. It’s a tremendous tribute to the foresight and the resources, our community it’s given us but certainly a tribute to the foresight of your staff.
And I guess the
I got a, I had a question about
the, and this is a specific one about, are we changing the grading system for high schools to a four to a four point system, where an F a zero and an A is for is that I was confused when I heard this come from a student from a parent, that there’s a transition at the there’s going to be a change at the high school level with
an A is a four in terms of a grade point calculation.
You know, for us of core point
oh and a three point like a three would be a B and but we’re not going to identify it as a four. It’s an A,
but an F is not zero and F could be 59%
Right in a particular class, but an F towards a grade point average would be a zero.
Yeah, of course,
you know what I’m saying. So, if I got a 55%, I would get an F in the class. But I would get a zero in calculating the formula for a grade point.
Right? You know what I’m saying? Sure, because a D would be one and then a would be four.
Correct? Correct. Yeah. Now, if it was a weighted class, it could be, you know, that’s why kids can get a 4.5 GPA. kid get a five point dva. And we changed the valedictorian thing several years ago, because it used to be every, every 4.0. But now, obviously, you’ve seen some of the different ones. So am I answering your question now?
Yeah. And you’re saying that the district’s grading policy
is not changing this year. Compared to last year,
correct? It’s an A is an A, A B is a B, but those used to calculate GPAs would be the 43210. Right? Right. Thank you, but a parent would see an A student would see an A or a B, they would not see it three.
Yes, the parent concern was in a particular class, the F would be a zero on a paper with regard to the grade and
it would not in percentage, not in percentage, it would be a zero in terms of calculating it for for a grade point average, but if it was an F could be 20% and F could be 40%. And f could be 50%. Those kinds of things. Traditionally, you go up to 60. When you get to 60%, and above is a D 70. It now some teachers have the discretion to create You know where they’ve created, you know, like a 92 and above as an aid, something like that. But the parent would see the letter grade. On the report card, when the registrar’s office calculates the grade point average, an F, whether it was a 40%, or a 20% would calculate as a zero on their grade point average.
Well, hopefully I’ll, I’ll be able to respond to that. I did say that it didn’t seem to me
that a teacher or a parent was a parent,
talking about the conversation with the teacher with regard to experience her son had had,
you know, the only thing I can think of is when we were in the spring, we had participation rates of a 01 to four engagement. And we held kids harmless at the third quarter grade. So that may be what they’re referring to, but as far as us changing our grading system, that was accommodation made for that final quarter of the spring semester that we just finished to hold kids harmless. So that might be it.
Well, I was confused because it didn’t align with anything that I had either experienced or or heard.
Our principal also, you know, our principals were fairly prepped last spring, that if questions arose around grades, especially as we had to transition to the engagement work piece, to sit down with parents and students who had questions with the teacher. So you know, it, it may be helpful to involve the principal and in some of that conversation, because they might be able to answer some of those questions.
Yeah, that’s exactly what I recommended. I felt that if it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense and you should talk with the people that are the principal on the teacher together. If you have further question sounds
like in this case, it might have been a particular situation, but there is no system wide changing over our grading system. Thank you.
Thanks very much. Appreciate it.
Yeah, no problem. any follow up with that you want let me
well, as we hear those comments, I’ll pass them along. I guess what I’ve been doing when I have these conversations, is stress that the details are ever changing in response to the exterior environment that we face, but the principles the guiding principles that we’re applying are to provide a fully safe and excellent learning environment for our students with a student’s needs first, we’re going secondly, that we are of course going to follow all state and local guidelines with regard to health requirements and mandates. And the third is that we’re going to be flexible as we respond to individual needs if they arise
are in a situation that they’ll be evaluated on a case by case basis within the context of the overall system. Right. So that seems to be reassuring in that general. The parents understand that in a general sense. And then they are tied up in the details that we at the board level, or at least I had a as a board member, don’t I’m not aware. But I really do appreciate the depth of thought that has gone into clearly clear this gone into the approach that you’re taking and the responsiveness that you’ve had throughout the process to doing what’s very, very best. for teachers, for teachers and students with regard to instruction and safety, so thank you.
Yeah, no problem. I appreciate the questions. And then any other questions that have come up as a result of those? I’m more than happy to respond to those as well.
All right, then we’re pretty close to eight o’clock. So we’ll go ahead and adjourn. I do want to note that we’ll be having another special meeting on July 22 2020. And then we have graduation coming up on the Saturday after that, and would you like to talk about?
Yeah, go ahead. Yeah, I would like to say that. Absolutely. We’re excited about that. We’ve got Saturday the 25th for our graduations. Jackie and her team have worked really hard. We’ve got the approval from Boulder County, and we’re hoping for great weather. And it should be a wonderful experience. It’s going to be a opportunity for parents to sit with their child on the field and participate really in close proximity. So That’s kind of a cool thing. And I’m really looking forward to it. The other thing that I wanted to say, and Jackie, you can say something if you want about graduation because I know you’ve worked really closely with that. But the other thing that I want to say is just to, to reinforce my commitment, and our commitment as a system, to the equity and the non discrimination, and the anti racism, approach and value that we hold in this district. And I’ve had really some wonderful conversations with some community members. And with Olga and Johnny and Lulu and our team. We’re very excited about the fact that we’re going to be able to take all of our teachers through learning experiences as part of our professional development and working closely with our community but just want to reinforce that as we’re working through all of this. We’re always refocusing and reinforcing that equity lens to make sure that every single child in this system and every single adult is is at the top of our list of priorities in terms of their well being physically and emotionally. So,
thanks. Thank you, Tom. I appreciate it. All right. So I think that brings us to the end of our meeting. Thank you, everyone for for meeting this evening and I would entertain a motion for adjournment. Please.
Chico in a second. Sure. Can I jump All in favor? Aye.
Aye, drive safely. Thank you, everyone.
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