Important Updates About State Testing

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March 29, 2021

Dear Douglas County Families,

The State of Colorado was recently granted a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education reducing the number of state tests for students for this school year.

During the annual testing window of March 29 - April 30, the Douglas County School District will be required to administer the following assessments. You can view the testing schedule at your school by visiting their website.

  • 3rd Grade - English Language Arts (Math suspended for 2021)
  • 4th Grade - Math (English Language Arts suspended for 2021)
  • 5th Grade - English Language Arts (Math and Science suspended for 2021)
  • 6th Grade - Math (English Language Arts suspended for 2021)
  • 7th Grade - English Language Arts (Math suspended for 2021)
  • 8th Grade - Math and Science (English Language Arts suspended for 2021)
  • 9th Grade - PSAT 9
  • 10th Grade - PSAT 10
  • 11th Grade - SAT 11 (CMAS Science suspended for 2021)

Click here to view a fact sheet from the Colorado Department of Education for additional information on Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) testing in Spring 2021.

Parents/guardians may excuse their students from CMAS testing if they wish to do so by following this process.

Parents/guardians wishing to have their students tested in a suspended content area at their grade level will need to opt in for that specific test. To opt in please complete this form no later than Friday, April 9.

Thank you for your partnership in helping students succeed.

Sincerely,

Douglas County School District

Welcome Back!

March 26, 2021

Dear DCSD Families and Staff,

This was a monumental week in the Douglas County School District. DCSD is the first large school district in the Denver/Metro area to have all grade levels in full, in-person learning, five days a week!

On Monday, I had the privilege of welcoming students and staff back at Highlands Ranch High School. Click here to watch the excitement!

Seeing the joy as students reconnected with friends and school staff really felt like the first day of the school year all over again. Well, except for the snow and the delayed start! I truly enjoyed seeing the school pride and talking with some of our seniors who are able to enjoy their last 40-some days of their high school career in person. We look forward to providing students with opportunities to experience important milestones such as elementary and middle school continuation ceremonies, spring activities, proms, and graduations in the coming weeks.

Share Your School’s Good News!

We will begin sending these celebratory emails out each week. If we missed a celebration above, or if you have good news to share, please submit it here.

Transportation

As a reminder, in early February we announced that we are now able to fill our buses to capacity. If your child is eligible for DCSD bus transportation we encourage you to sign up for a SmartTag bus pass and take advantage of the transportation available to you. To find out if your student is eligible, please visit our website, or contact the DCSD transportation department.

Health and Safety Protocols

While the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet behind us, having all grade levels back in the classroom is a huge step in the right direction. We will continue to follow health and safety precautions such as requiring face coverings, encouraging frequent handwashing, disinfecting surfaces often, and physical distancing where possible. I hope we can continue to count on you to partner with us in this effort. Please remember to stay home if you or your child is not feeling well. Together, we can minimize quarantines and keep students in school for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

Thank you for your ongoing partnership and patience over this past year! I truly consider it an honor to serve as your Interim Superintendent, especially during these challenging times.

Sincerely,

Corey Wise
Interim Superintendent
Douglas County School District

Student Immunization Information - 2021-22

February 10, 2021

Dear Timber Trail Families,

Please take a few minutes to read this letter from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regarding immunization requirements for all students grades K-12 for the 21-22 school year.

Middle and High School Students

Last update:  January 20, 2021

During the DCSD Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, January 19, it was decided that our middle and high school students will remain in remote learning for the time being. This will continue to provide some consistency for students and staff while we work to make improvements to our hybrid/in-person learning model.

For additional information, please reference the following email communication:

Our target for returning middle and high school to hybrid/in-person learning is now Monday, February 8
An update on our readiness will be provided at the next Board meeting on Tuesday, February 2.

*This information is for DCSD’s neighborhood, district-operated middle and high schools only. Students enrolled in DCSD eLearning will remain in eLearning for the remainder of the school year. If your child attends a DCSD charter school, please check with your child’s school regarding their current learning model.

Plans for Second Semester

December 11, 2020

Dear DCSD Families,

As you know, state and national health experts and elected officials have been stating
that students should be in school even as positivity rates are at high levels in our
communities. We agree that schools are safe and the COVID-19 transmission rates in
schools are low, but health experts and elected officials fail to address the real reason
why schools are not open: schools do not have enough staff members available
(including substitutes, bus drivers, and nutrition services personnel) to support in-person
learning at every level five days per week. This is mainly due to staff members being ill
with COVID-19 or other seasonal illnesses, or being included in quarantines.

We hear our community members when they express sadness and frustration about
students not being in school. We share your concerns about missed academic,
social-emotional learning experiences, as well as other social experiences and
milestones. We believe we must do all we can to get students back in school even as
COVID-19 positivity rates are currently high in our community.

We also take seriously our role in protecting the health and safety of students, staff, and
the community when schools are open. Per state public health orders, schools are
required to follow quarantine and other Colorado Department of Public Health and
Environment (CDPHE) and Tri-County Health Department procedures. These protocols
are working and have kept COVID-19 transmission rates within our schools extremely
low. However, the protocols have also resulted in the quarantining of staff members
including teachers, bus drivers, kitchen workers, office staff, etc., resulting in not having
enough staff at our schools to keep our students safe and engaged in learning.

Yesterday, we shared our initial return to school plans with our Board of Education and
they provided their support of these plans. Today, we’re pleased to share with you what
we currently have in store for our students following Winter Break. Please keep in mind
that the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be unpredictable -- everything is subject to
change. We know that having an idea of when your child can return to school is critical
for planning and preparing.

Please click here for detailed information.

Important COVID-19 Update

November 12, 2020

Dear Douglas County School District Families and Staff,

We are continuing to closely monitor COVID-19 data in our community, as well as positive cases and the number of quarantines in our schools. At the DCSD Board Meeting on Tuesday we discussed that data was trending towards a change in Douglas County’s status to Level Orange on the CDPHE COVID-19 Dial. Today, we learned that Douglas County’s status will, in fact, be moved into Level Orange effective Friday, November 13 at 5:00 p.m. This comes with increased restrictions for our community and our schools.

DCSD currently has nearly 5,000 students and staff members in quarantine and 13 schools in remote learning status, and it appears those numbers will continue to rise in the coming days. This is creating a staffing shortage for in-person learning that can no longer be overcome.

As a result, the Douglas County School District has made the difficult decision to move all in-person and hybrid students in grades preschool through 12th grade to remote learning status following Thanksgiving Break (beginning Monday, November 30). DCSD will continue to evaluate the COVID-19 situation during December to make further decisions about the second semester. Currently, the second semester is scheduled to resume Monday, January 4 for staff and Tuesday, January 5 for students. We will continue to keep families updated on our plans for return following Winter Break.

Please click here for additional information.

DCSD Elementary Students to Return to In-Person Learning

September 16, 2020

Dear DCSD Family,

Last night the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education voted unanimously to return our elementary students to full-time, in-person learning by a target date of October 19, 2020. The Board will review the status of the targeted return at its next regularly scheduled board meeting on October 6.

The rationale for the vote was largely based on DCSD’s decision dashboard metrics.

A 100% eLearning model will continue to be offered to elementary school families who prefer that option.

DCSD will implement all health and safety mitigation measures, as outlined in its Road to Return plan, to ensure the safety of our elementary students and staff.

Returning middle and high school students to full-time, in-person learning will require more time to plan for logistical challenges, such as ensuring larger numbers of students can be distanced and that health and safety mitigation measures can be maintained. As such, DCSD staff will soon begin engaging with community members, educators, and staff on the feasibility and potential timing of returning middle school and high school students to full-time, in-person learning in the future.

Additional information about this transition will be forthcoming.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and support as we navigate this ever-changing pandemic.

Douglas County School District

More information about DCSD’s Road to Return is available online at www.dcsdk12.org/roadtoreturn.

Important News from DCSD Board of Education

September 8, 2020

Dear Douglas County Community,

We have important news to share with our school district family. At a Special Meeting of the DCSD Board of Education on September 8, Superintendent Thomas Tucker resigned from the school district, effective September 30, 2020.

Please click here for additional information.

DCSD:  Road to Return 2020-2021

Welcome back to school!

While things will look different this fall, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) staff members are eager to welcome our students back to school in August!

At a Special Meeting of the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education on Saturday, July 25, it was recommended to the School Board that DCSD begin the school year implementing a hybrid learning model, which is a blend of in-person learning at school with independent learning and live online instruction (eLearning) at home. The Board voted unanimously to begin the 2020-2021 school year implementing this hybrid learning model with allowance for families to select a 100% eLearning option for their students if they prefer.

Please click here for additional information.