August 28, 2020
Dear Colden Families and Students,
The last time I saw all of our students and staff together was our PARP closing ceremony. I look forward to the time when we can all return together as a school family. I hope that everyone is healthy during this time. The past six months have been challenging on our students, families and staff. I thank all of our families for their support, patience and flexibility during our school closure. While we are committed to educating your child, our first priority is the safety and well-being of our students and staff.
Although students have not been in our building since March, our staff continues to work diligently to welcome students back to school in September. In addition to our usual summer work of thoroughly cleaning the building, registering new students, and preparing instructional materials, this summer brought the important task of additional planning to reopen schools. Our Reopening Committee and administrative team have been meeting regularly to safely and responsibly open school. I feel confident about our plan and have never been more excited to see students on the first day of school!
The district will begin this school year with a hybrid model. Students will attend school based on their grouping. A letter was sent a few weeks ago, assigning your child(ren) a group(s). Students in the Purple Group will be attending school Monday and Tuesday. The Gold Group will be attending Thursday and Friday. Our Griffins are attending Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. All students are remote learning on Wednesday. When students work from home, they will have at home learning activities to complete. Our administrative team will evaluate at the end of every month to determine if more students can safely be brought back to school.
Health and Safety
Above all, student health and safety is our top priority. We are asking parents to complete health screenings for their children before sending them to school. The health screening will be a temperature check and a short questionnaire. We have created a Care Room off our nurses’ office, where students can be sent if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
Students will be required to wear masks any time they are moving in the hallways or throughout the classroom. Mask breaks will be provided throughout the day. Students will be seated 6 feet apart in the classrooms and the cafeteria. Teachers are encouraged to take their students outside. This summer, we set up four outside classroom spaces.
Students are welcome to bring in a birthday treat, as we have done in years past. This school year, we ask that treats be an individually wrapped store-bought items, such as individual bags of pretzels or Rice Krispie treats. The drinking fountains will not be accessible. Students are encouraged to bring a water bottle each day. Water bottles can be filled in our bottle filler.
I would like to draw your attention to a few important items to protect the safety of our students:
- No outside non-essential visitors at this point.
- Parents will not be allowed to walk their child to class the first day of school.
- Please send students with water bottles.
- Extra cleaning throughout the school day.
- Two neck gaiters/balaclavas and a lanyard are provided to each student.
- Masks are also available to students. Masks can be attached to their lanyard.
- Students will be eating in the cafeteria and seats are marked.
- All of our students will have their temperature taken upon arrival.
We have the pleasure of welcoming several new staff members to CES this year. Joining us this year are 4th grade teacher, Katie Braun, and special education teachers, Josie Perkins and Jennifer Smutek. Fourth grade, like 5th grade, will be following a co-teaching model. A Teaching Assistant will be joining the special education classroom. Please welcome Julie Schleyer.
Instructional and Communication
This school year, our teachers will all be using a platform called Google Classroom. This program will help teachers and students collaborate via video chat. It will provide one central location for students to complete and submit assignments, video conference with teachers, and access files.
Attendance will be taken daily, whether our students are in-person or remote. Students and teachers are to make daily contact Monday through Friday. In order for students to receive attendance-credit, communication will be key.
Please be at your bus stop 10 minutes early for the first few days. After the first week, regular times will be established.
Parents who will be picking up their child at the end of the school day will wait outside of the front entrance. Your child will be delivered to you by a staff member. It is imperative that our dismissal procedures are followed for the safety of all students.
We fully understand your concerns for your child’s health, safety, and education. During these times of uncertainty, we ask for your patience, as we navigate through these unchartered territories. Thank you for your continued support and positivity, as we strive to do what is best for all students.
Stay healthy, stay positive, and stay safe.
Colden Elementary Principal