News from The Principal
Dear D11 Families,
This week has been a learning experience for so many of us as we navigate the new ways of teaching and learning remotely. The highlights of this week for me have been the conversations I've had with students either via phone or video chat focused not just on education, but this "new normal" way of life! I am encouraged to see so many pictures shared with me on many platforms of our students smiling from their home work stations, chatting with their teachers via WebEx meetings, and adapting to learning outside of the classroom. While I know challenges exist, I also know hope continues to grow as we encourage one another, demonstrating grace and patience.
Today, several Denver area school districts announced they will cancel all in-person learning, continuing distance learning for the remainder of the school year. The Pikes Peak area school districts are not yet ready to make a decision to cancel the remainder of the year.
We will continue supporting our students and their families with remote learning. We will also continue working closely with our Governor and our local health department, and lean on their guidance for our planning efforts. Plans seem to change daily, and sometimes hourly, but we will keep in touch with you and share our plans as they are implemented.
Things to keep in mind for next week as we embark on another week of remote learning:
• Keep in contact with your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and be sure you are communicating your family’s needs for continued learning from home.
• Continue to view the D11 Distance Learning website, which also has many social/emotional resources, as well as tools and How-To tips for students and families.
• We understand remote learning will not take the form of a typical in-person school day, especially when it comes to time. Remote learning days will typically be much shorter than the in-person instructional days. It’s okay to take breaks, allow your child to take breaks, and be patient with your child and the teachers. We are all learning together.
• The District Instructional Technology team has been working to develop a technology deployment plan for students in need. The goal is NOT to provide a laptop for every student at home, but rather identify families without access to a computer. We anticipate starting to deploy these devices, based on prioritized needs, starting April 13. We plan to communicate to these identified families regarding pick-up processes starting April 10.
• This week, our school-based teams worked to identify families who need hard copy or paper educational materials. Those materials will be prepared and delivered to identified families via U.S. Mail.
• We continue to expand our food distribution sites and will still provide breakfast and lunch combined grab-and-go bags, Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following sites:
o Doherty HS
o Russell MS
o Mitchell HS
o Swigert MS
o RJWAC HS
o North MS
o Mann MS
o Coronado HS
o West ES
o Adams ES
o Monroe ES (new)
o Rogers ES (new)
I hope all of our families and employees get a chance to disconnect this weekend and get some much-needed rest. As a district, we are looking forward to some uplifting scheduled “virtual” events next week. We encourage everyone to participate in the first-ever Distance-Learning Virtual Spirit Week next week, organized entirely by our D11 student social media ambassadors. Details are in the attachment. Also, several of our families and staff are taking part in the #BeTheLightCO challenge as seen in this video. I know the phone calls I’ve made this week have made a positive difference in my days.
It’s my honor to serve as your superintendent and I know we are all in this together. We will persevere and come out stronger, gaining new knowledge that will serve us in the future.
Yours in Partnership,
Dr. Michael J. Thomas, Superintendent
Colorado Springs School District 11