• Polis extends suspension of in-person learning through April 30

    Posted by Press Release on 4/1/2020

    Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced that he is lengthening the suspension of in-person learning in Colorado’s schools through April 30, revising the original order that had been set to expire on April 17. Polis reiterated that it remains unlikely that schools will return to in-person learning this school year and said that districts are allowed to lengthen their own suspension past the April 30 deadline.

    Polis explained that due to the constantly evolving information around the novel coronavirus pandemic his general practice is for executive orders to be enacted for 30 days at a time.

    The Governor said he has high expectations for remote learning in schools and that districts should continue to proceed with their processes with the understanding that students will likely not be returning to in-person instruction this school year.

    View the Executive Order here.

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  • Schoology Performance Issues Exist

    Posted by Technology Team on 4/1/2020
    As we join countless districts across the nation in providing educational content, we have discovered that our service providers are struggling to keep up with the demand.  Schoology, our learning management system for secondary, has been addressing issues related to higher-than-usual demand.  Read what Schoology is doing to remedy this issue here.
     
    We thank you for your patience as we experience these pitfalls along the way.
     
    Please work with your teachers to find alternative solutions to turning in work until Schoology can get its capacity increased, such as submitting work through email.
     
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  • EPMS: Online Learning Begins Tomorrow!

    Posted by Mrs. Janet Fanning on 3/30/2020

    Dear Middle School Parents,
    As spring break comes to an end, and we prepare to begin online learning tomorrow, I wanted to reach out to you. There is great information for parents on the district website. Make sure you check out the CloudSchool handbook! Remember, this is new for all of us! Be patient with yourself and your child as we navigate these new waters. It is important that your child check Schoology and email every day so that they can stay engaged in learning! The middle school staff is here to support you in anyway we can. Thank you for all you are doing to help your child with online learning. I am so proud to a part I’m of the Estes Park Middle School community!

    Mrs. Fanning 

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  • EPSD Superintendent Update

    Posted by Sheldon Rosenkrance, Superintendent on 3/30/2020

    As we approach our first week of online learning, I want to provide an overview of the district’s expectations and clarify a number of questions that we have received over the past weeks. Please take a moment to view this special message from my home to yours.  

    Our goal is to support student engagement in their learning and maintain the important established relationships between our teachers, students, and families. Further, we are required by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to demonstrate a good faith effort to meet required instructional hours and days so that our students can stay on track with progression to the next grade-level and graduation requirements.

    Access to Online Curriculum
    The district has developed a handbook for parents and staff during the closures to outline the process and expectations for remote learning. This information can be found at www.estesschools.org/CloudSchool

    Through this first week following our regularly scheduled spring break, we will share information with our families so that you can begin to work with your students on their daily lessons.

    Many of our teachers have already developed additional online instructional resources that they may use as well. Your student’s teacher will communicate directly any changes to their online learning plan throughout the school closure. 

    Grading
    We understand that these are unprecedented times and will cause some changes to the end-of-school-year grading process. Students will begin Cloud School with the grade that they earned at the end of third quarter (or when school closure went into effect). If students continue to engage they will maintain their grade or raise it.  If students make no effort to engage, teachers in collaboration with administrators may determine that your student’s end-of-year grade should be lowered. If your student is not satisfied with their third quarter grade, they can contact their teacher(s) and request the opportunity to work toward raising their grade by completing the necessary level of work as determined by their teacher.

    Tasks and targets will be identified and assigned by teachers and may include any of the following: 

    • Teachers will  identify if and/or when a task will be used for progress monitoring.
    • Students will provide evidence of completion for each of these tasks for monitoring participation.
    • Teachers will provide students with feedback on their evidence for learning.
    • Teachers will provide ongoing feedback to students at identified checkpoints on tasks that extend over multiple lessons.
    • Students will have the opportunity to revise their tasks following feedback, reflection, or a relearning opportunity when submitted work does not meet the learning target. 

    Please note that during the school closures, teachers will no longer be required to use Infinite Campus to track assignments. With the new guidelines for remote learning, there are several factors and indicators that cannot be tracked in a traditional student information system. If you want to know if your student has submitted assignments, please ask them to show you their work in Schoology or Seesaw. If you have questions about assignments, please reach out to your teacher or school principal for guidance.

    Curriculum Remote Learning Platforms
    Online curriculum and communication will be shared with families and students through the following learning platforms.

    • Google Suite and Schoology as communication tools used to contact and communicate with families 6-12.
    • Google Suite and SeeSaw as communication tools used to contact and communicate with families PK-5.
    • Schoology Conferences, Google Meet, and/or Zoom as the online synchronous learning platforms 6-12.
    • Google Meet as the online synchronous learning platforms PK-5.
    • Google Suite (Google Drive, Email, Slides, Sheets, Docs, Forms, Chat, Meet, Hangouts, Jamboard, etc) are the online collaboration tools used in PK-12.

    Access to Wifi
    Due to the prolonged school closure of school, we are working on measuring our ability to provide online learning to all of our students during this time. Contact has been made with students and families to identify how many students do not have access to online learning or have limited access to online learning.  This will help us develop a plan to meet the needs of students without equitable online access. Estes Park School District is working with several local companies on helping families secure internet access if there is a need. If your family does not have equitable online access, please reach out to your teachers or building administrator. 

    Special Education
    Special education goals and accommodations to meet the requirements of your student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be included in the online learning plans. If you have any questions, please contact your student’s case manager. If you have an IEP or 504 meeting scheduled during the school closures, a member of the special education team will contact you with information in order to continue with a remote meeting.

    (High School Only) SAT Tests, AP 
    As you may be aware, all state assessments for the 2019-2020 school year have been canceled. We are still waiting to hear from the College Board about plans to accommodate SAT testing for high school students and will share more information when it becomes available.

    We have been informed by the College Board that Advanced Placement tests will take place online this year and will focus on content that was covered earlier in the year. We will share additional information regarding AP as it becomes available.

    (High School Only) Concurrent Enrollment
    Due to contractual obligations with our postsecondary partners, concurrent enrollment classes will not be graded using the district’s new grading process. We are working directly with teachers and students on learning expectations and support for online concurrent enrollment course access and completion.

    Arts, Activities, Athletics, and Events
    There are numerous events and activities that have been impacted by the coronavirus health crisis. As a reminder, all events, activities, and athletics, including all practices, at this point are canceled. If anything in this area changes, we will communicate accordingly. Further, we are keeping a close eye on our end-of-year graduation ceremonies and developing contingency plans in the event we need to make any logistical adjustments. We will keep you updated as we move forward.

    Meal Service and Distribution Sites 
    Estes Park School District will continue to provide meals for families during the closure of schools.  Free meals will be available for any child from age 0-18 through the district’s food service program during the emergency closure. Students do not have to qualify for the Free & Reduced Meals Program for this service. Meals provided will be breakfast and lunch and will be packaged in bags so they can be taken home. You will not need to exit your vehicle to receive meals. For those that can make it to the school to pick up food please continue to do so during these times.

    For weekly schedule, please visit www.estesschools.org/foodservices

    We are deeply committed to the success of our students and community. If you have questions or concerns in the meantime, please know you can reach out to our staff, teachers and support teams by emailing us using the staff directory, or email us at  info@estesschools.org for any general questions. We have also set up a parent communication section on our website regarding COVID-19 and health orders, updates, etc. at www.estesschools.org/parentcommunications. We will continue to push out communications in multiple ways via email, text, and social media. 

    Again, thank you for your outstanding partnership in supporting our students, teachers, and staff through this difficult situation. 

    Sincerely,

    Sheldon Rosenkrance
    Superintendent

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  • EPSD Updates on Cloud School and Closure

    Posted by Sheldon Rosenkrance, Superintendent on 3/29/2020 3:00:00 PM

    Dear Estes Park School District Community,

    Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time for our school district. As you are aware, on March 18, Governor Polis issued an Executive Order directing all schools to suspend in-person instruction through April 17, 2020, in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, you should be aware that the governor said there is a high possibility that in-person instruction will not resume for the remainder of this school year.

    As a result, changes will be necessary for some important educational functions, such as the number of teacher-pupil instructional hours, special education and graduation requirements.

    Waivers for instructional hours

    The Colorado Department of Education has waived the minimum number of school days and teacher-pupil instruction hours normally required under state law. Instead, districts must make every effort to provide alternative learning opportunities during this time. For Estes Park Schools, this means that we are not expected to extend the school year or start early next year to make up for lost in-person instructional time.

    As a result of the possibility of an extended period of disruption on in-person instruction, we will transition to continuous learning utilizing our newly developed Cloud School Handbook, through a combination of online and student-led/project-based learning. We are working with our schools to determine what continuous learning will look like for each school community and hope to communicate that plan in the coming week.  

    Services to students with special needs

    Our schools will make every effort to provide appropriate special education and related services for students with disabilities. We have been given some flexibility on how to provide these services, so we are thinking about other ways to meet the needs of students with disabilities based on the nature of a student’s disability and individual needs of the student.

    To support students with identified IEP-related services, we will work with our schools to determine whether it is appropriate to provide alternative services or delay services in coordination with students’ parents and IEP teams. We may also determine whether we can make up for a gap in access to the curriculum or delay in services with additional services in the future.

    Graduation considerations

    Graduation requirements across Colorado are locally determined by school districts and charter schools. This means that we have flexibility to adjust requirements for the class of 2020 based on this unprecedented time of disruption to our schools. 

    We are also looking into alternative options to in-person graduation ceremony(ies) for the end of the school year. The governor has suggested that it will be unlikely that we will be able to conduct traditional graduation ceremonies and we want to ensure that our students and families still have a way to mark this important occasion.

    Thanks again for your support during these difficult times.

    Sincerely, 
    Sheldon Rosenkrance, Superintendent 

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  • Stay-at-Home Orders for Colorado

    Posted by Heather Gooch on 3/25/2020

    Dear Families and Staff,

    On March 25, 2020, the Larimer County Public Health Director issued a Larimer County Public Health Order to Stay-At-Home effective March 26, 2020 through April 17, 2020. Governor Polis also placed a state-wide Stay-at-Home executive order effective from 6:00 am on March 26th through April 11th, 2020. 

    There are many exemptions to these orders for activities and businesses that are considered essential. Educational institutions are considered essential, “for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.” 

    At this time, the school district does intend to continue meal distribution services to our families as we have been since the beginning of the closure. We are making every effort to ensure that our food distribution sites are following necessary precautions to allow for physical distancing, as well as having staff follow strict protocols on the handling of materials.

    Our staff will be permitted to make arrangements to pick up materials to aid in distance learning and our administration team is actively planning for what the learning plan looks like for all of our students, after Spring Break and beyond. This includes communicating resources for acquiring internet access for those families that may not currently have access, and working with families to determine the needs to tailor the best learning plan possible based on these findings. 

    For updates on meal distribution sites, days and times, for all areas within Estes Park and surrounding towns, please visit www.estesschools.org/foodservices. Information will be updated weekly. 

    If you have questions or concerns in the meantime, please know you can reach out to our staff, teachers and support teams by emailing us using the staff directory, or email us at  info@estesschools.org for all general questions. We have also set up a parent communication section on our website regarding COVID-19 and health orders, updates, etc. at www.estesschools.org/parentcommunications. We will continue to push out communications in multiple ways via email, text, and social media. 

    It is our goal to ensure all students are prepared for distance learning, and our families are supported in this journey. We understand that this is uncharted territory and we are all in this together. 

    We thank you in advance for following all protocols put in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community during these events.

     

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  • Larimer County Public Health Director Issues Stay-at-Home Order to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

    Posted by Heather Gooch on 3/25/2020

    Fort Collins, CO ---

    On March 25, 2020, the Larimer County Public Health Director issued a Larimer County Public Health Order to Stay-At-Home effective March 26, 2020 through April 17, 2020.

    Larimer County Officials estimate that transmission has already been reduced based on previous measures taken in Larimer County and Colorado, such as closing restaurants and bars for dine-in service, halting personal services in hair salons and spas, and bans on gatherings of ten or more individuals. However, if no further measures are taken, Larimer County officials believe it could take months to slow the spread of transmission in the community.
    With the addition of this Stay-at-Home order, which directs the community to only leave the house for food and essential services, officials believe they could achieve a substantial decrease
    in transmission. A Stay-at-Home order now can help dramatically decrease the length of restrictions in our community.
    “We are certain that the sooner we take these dramatic measures, the sooner we will be able to resume normal activity. But we need all residents of Larimer County to come together and do this for the sake of their friends, family and the community as a whole,” said
    Gonzales. “Your actions at this moment will save lives and reduce the economic impact of this crisis on our community.”
    Larimer County has identified and defined essential activities, businesses and infrastructure. These definitions and other information about the Stay-At-Home order are available at larimer.org/health/stay-at-home-order

    COVID-19 is spread like the flu. You can help slow the spread of viruses by:

    • increasing distance between people to six feet to help reduce spread,
    • washing hands frequently with soap and water,
    • covering coughs and sneezes
    • staying home when sick, and
    • avoiding close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms.

    Information about COVID-19 is constantly changing, and the public health response adjusts as more is learned about this virus. While there is plenty of news and media information available,
    LCDHE is encouraging Larimer County residents to view the latest credible information on COVID-19 at www.larimer.org/coronavirus or www.CDC.gov/coronavirus. Additionally, residents are encouraged to follow LCDHE’s Facebook and Twitter accounts at @LarimerHealth.

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  • WiFi Options for Families

    Posted by Heather Gooch on 3/24/2020

    Airbits has set up two drive-in WiFi hotspots for families to use if you don't have internet at home. This will allow students to continue to access the educational opportunities setup by the schools while still practicing social distancing. Both WiFi points are free of charge. 

    • The first location is accessible only in the parking lot directly in front of the Elizabeth Guild at the end of Elkhorn Avenue, just south of the Airbits Office. The network is called DriveIn-WiFi. 

    Airbits Hotspot 1

    • The second location is in the Upper Stanley Village by Estes Park Pet Supply. The network is called DriveIn-WiFi. 

    Airbits Hotspot 2


    TDS is offering free internet access for 60 days to low income families with children and college students.  

    https://blog.hellotds.com/tds-announces-free-broadband-access-for-low-income-student-households/
     
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS®) is offering new residential customers, who live in a TDS service area, broadband access to low-income individuals and/or families with children and college students for 60 days.

    “As a company, our first priority is the health and well-being of our employees, customers and the communities we serve,” says Drew Petersen, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at TDS. “During this difficult time, we want to ensure those who cannot afford broadband services have the essential access they need.”

    To verify eligibility for this offer, residents will be asked to provide documentation from qualifying programs. For more information, please call 1-888-287-8156.


    The Town of Estes Park has free outdoor wifi in the Bond Park parking lot in front of Town Hall.   
    The Estes Valley Library has outdoor wifi in the parking lot, behind Town Hall, next to the library.
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  • Extended Meal Services for Families

    Posted by Nutrition Services on 3/20/2020

    Estes Park School District will continue to provide meals for families this week even though it is our regularly scheduled Spring Break. During the week of March 23rd through the 27th, free meals will be available for any child from age 0-18 through the district’s food service program during the emergency closure. Students do not have to qualify for the Free & Reduced Meals Program for this service.

    There will be a drive through pick up in the lower parking lot behind the elementary school, located at 1505 Brodie Ave, on Monday March 23rd , Wednesday March 25th and THURSDAY March 26th from 8:30 am to 11 am. You will not need to exit your vehicle to receive meals. Meals provided will be breakfast and lunch and will be packaged in bags so they can be taken home.

    For those that can make it to the school to pick up food please continue to do so during these times.

    NEW SERVICE! We will have school district suburbans out into the community to handout food at specific locations around Estes and will be at each location for 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday:

    • 8:30-9:00 – South Court and 3rd Street
    • 8:30-9:00 – Acacia Drive and Avalon Drive
    • 9:30-10:00 – Redtail Hawk at the Talons Point apartment entrance
    • 9:30-10:00 – Carriage Drive at the Scott Ponds Playground
    • 10:30-11:00 – High Street and Columbine Avenue
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  • Colorado Takes Further Action to Address Public Health Threat of COVID-19

    Posted by Official Press Release on 3/18/2020

    DENVER - Today Governor Jared Polis provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and announced new executive actions to protect the health and safety of Coloradans. Earlier today at a news conference, Governor Polis announced the launch of the Help Colorado Now effort where Coloradans can donate or volunteer, as well as the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, which has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. 

    “We are acting boldly and swiftly together to protect the health and safety of all Coloradans. The science and data tells us this will get worse before it gets better,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We are in this together and the state is taking the necessary actions to slow the spread of this disease.”

    The Governor signed an executive order suspending in-person learning in public and private schools across the state from March 23 to April 17. The executive order directs Colorado school districts and the Charter School Institute to make every effort to provide alternative learning opportunities during this time while taking into account the needs of local communities. This order also directs the Commissioner of Education to issue guidance to support P-12 school systems in developing and implementing plans to assist families and students in accessing alternative learning, providing free and reduced lunch and breakfast, and offering waivers for instructional time as appropriate. Click here to read. 

    “Protecting the health of all Coloradoans is our top priority, and moving to online learning and other ways to support learning at home is absolutely the right thing to do,” said Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “We know school leaders, educators and families will have a lot of questions about how to support their students’ learning at home during this unprecedented time. The department is working on guidance and developing resources to support our schools and students, and it will be available very soon.”

    The Governor also announced that he would be extending the suspension of downhill ski area operations through April 6. COVID-19 has spread throughout many mountain communities where ski resorts are located and this is a necessary step to help slow the spread of the virus. Last week, the Governor issued an executive order suspending ski area operations until March 22. Click here to read the order. 

    In accordance with CDC guidelines, the Colorado Department of Public Health also issued a public health order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. Gatherings include community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, festivals or any similar event that brings more than 10 people together. Click here to read. 

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