Dear St. Vrain Valley Families,
As we look forward to a great second semester in St. Vrain Valley Schools, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Also, thank you for your ongoing support as we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, and implement programs and services to support our students, families, teachers, and staff.
Over the past two weeks, we have continued to closely monitor levels of COVID-19 in our community, in partnership with our state and county health agency partners. On the Colorado COVID Dial, case data for Boulder and Weld counties have declined over the past several weeks, with cases in Boulder County at 4.1 percent positivity rate and a two-week cumulative incidence rate of 335.6 and in Weld County, a 9.7 percent positivity rate with a 561.5 two-week cumulative incidence rate. Accordingly, we will begin the second semester with the schedule that was shared on December 18. Beginning January 6, elementary students will return to in-person learning four days per week. Middle school students will begin the semester remotely and return to hybrid in-person learning on Monday, January 11. High school students will begin the semester remotely and return to hybrid in-person learning on Tuesday, January 19. Please click here to visit our coronavirus website for additional information.
Additionally, we are implementing new engagement opportunities to further support our students’ well-being and social emotional growth. This is in addition to an already robust school counseling program that offers students and families mental health support, academic counseling, and more.
- School Counseling Support: There are counselors and interventionists in every school in St. Vrain who provide academic guidance, social-emotional support, and career and post-secondary readiness guidance. During this pandemic, our mental health team members are available to our students throughout each day, Monday through Friday. Contact your school counselor or principal to make an appointment.
- Friday Classroom Connect for Elementary Families: During this time of remote and hybrid learning, it has been challenging for elementary families to find opportunities for their children to connect with classmates outside of school for learning support or other social interactions. To help with this, we’ve created a voluntary platform for parents, Classroom Connect, to provide a way for families to exchange contact information, similar to when students are in school full time and parents see each other at school events. Parents voluntarily participate and decide when and how to connect with classmates outside of school by contacting other parents. Later this week, your school principal will share additional information on how you can register for this voluntary program.
- Friday Academic Independent/Peer Work Center for Middle and High School Students: During asynchronous Fridays, all St. Vrain middle and high schools will have an open space for students to work independently or with peers on school assignments, or engage in office hours that can be scheduled by teachers with their students. Students will participate in Friday Academic Independent/Peer Work Centers within their current group cohorts, and each group will have alternating a.m. and p.m. blocks. Later this week, your school principal will share additional information about Friday learning centers with specific schedules.
Health and Safety Measures, Symptom Screening, and Free COVID-19 Testing
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Boulder County Public Health (BCPH), and the Governor’s School Task Force have shared numerous studies that have demonstrated that schools are not a primary source of transmission for COVID-19, as they have many controls and safety protocols in place making them safer environments than most public spaces. Accordingly, the guidance from our county and state health agencies, along with information from various sources, continues to guide St. Vrain Valley Schools’ decisions regarding our instructional model. Please click here to review some of these sources, and numerous health and safety measures that have been implemented throughout our schools and departments.
As we prepare for the return to in-person and hybrid in-person learning, it remains critically important that families continue to check their students DAILY for any symptoms related to COVID-19. Please click here to download our attached home-screen checklist to use as a guide to screen your child EVERY DAY on their in-person learning days. St. Vrain will also continue to promote health and safety standards through our Safe with 7 initiative, including:
- Take your temperature at home prior to coming to school
- Stay home when you are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms
- Stay hydrated and use a refillable water bottle
- Wash hands regularly or use hand sanitizer
- Use face coverings appropriately and avoid touching your face
- Social distance appropriately
- Engage in safe and enjoyable activities
In addition to our numerous safety measures that include required mask wearing, social distancing, partial cohorting, high-quality air ventilation, increased cleaning protocols, hand sanitizer stations, and symptom check stations, free COVID-19 testing is available for students, teachers, and staff at our St. Vrain Valley Schools’ Innovation Center. Any adult or student who has been required to quarantine is strongly encouraged to be tested 7-14 days after their initial exposure. You can register for free testing at our Innovation Center site at https://covidcheckcolorado.org.
Additionally, many of you may have heard that educators have been moved up to Phase 1B on the state’s vaccination plan. Please know we are in close communication with our county health departments and COVID-19 testing partner to coordinate the soonest possible vaccination effort for our teachers and staff. We will communicate with you as soon as we have definitive information.
Again, thank you for your continued support as we work through these challenges together. If you have any questions about how to best support the well-being or safety of your student, please feel free to reach out to your school building principal, or contact me directly.
Don Haddad, Ed.D.
St. Vrain Valley Schools