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Superintendent's Message

Superintendent's Message

To Our D11 Community,

Since the onset of COVID-19, our world has been carefully navigating through the challenges of a global pandemic In Colorado Springs School District 11, our top priority remains the health and safety of our students, families, teachers, staff, leaders, and community. We remained steadfast in our commitment to health and safety last spring, ending our year of instruction in a distance learning format with very little time to prepare. Our staff demonstrated swift, adaptive leadership to ensure we provided the highest quality education possible given the realities we all faced.

Over the summer, many of our staff have been working tirelessly every day. In an effort to develop the best possible plan for returning to school in-person in August, our staff consulted with various officials from El Paso County Public Health, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Education, elected officials to include our Board of Education, the Governor, and community stakeholders (e.g., staff, parents and students). We closely monitor the infection rates of COVID-19, specifically as it pertains to El Paso County.

I, along with our Board of Education and many staff, continue to receive a lot of varied communication from multiple stakeholders, expressing concern of returning to in-person instruction, eagerness to return to schools, ideas and strategies to ensure safety, and an overwhelming amount of empathy and understanding for the challenges we are facing as a PK-12 community. Additionally, this proves to be challenging in a rapidly evolving public health crisis; what we know and do today could be drastically different tomorrow.

We will continue to work closely with all of our employee groups, students, parents, guardians, and community stakeholders to ensure we have plans in place that will welcome students and staff as safely as possible back into our schools. Additionally, we acknowledge that we must offer comprehensive online options for those who are not yet ready to return to physical instruction. Lastly, though our desire is to return in-person, we remain open to the possibility of needing to open our entire district virtually for a period to ensure the safest physical return to our schools.

Our District 11 vision states, “We are a dynamic, collaborative community of energized educators, engaged students and supportive partners with a passion for continuous learning.” We will not waiver from this and we will continue making the best decisions grounded in data while adhering to all applicable health guidelines.

Thank you for your continuous support and grace as we lead through these challenging times. Together, we will empower our students to profoundly impact our world!

Yours in partnership,

Dr. Michael J. Thomas