• Important Information Regarding Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT)

    Posted by Brian Lund, Director of Business Services on 7/7/2020

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    You may have heard about a new program authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) called Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer or P-EBT for short. This program intends to provide financial assistance to families of children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals who have lost access to food due to the school closures caused by COVID-19. The financial assistance will be distributed to eligible families on new or existing Colorado EBT cards. The average P-EBT benefit is $5.70/child per day or up to $279 per eligible child, retroactive to when school initially closed. This benefit is in addition to the grab-n-go meals that the district is currently offering at select locations.

    If your family is already participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and possesses an EBT card, the P-EBT benefits will automatically be loaded onto your card within the month of June 2020. If your family is not currently enrolled in SNAP benefits, you must complete an application to receive P-EBT.

    Receiving these benefits will not affect your immigration or public charge status. All families who are eligible for P-EBT may receive it, regardless of immigration status. P-EBT is a pandemic emergency benefit based on free or reduced-price school meal eligibility, and similar to other benefits that the Department Homeland Security has stated that it is excluded from consideration in public charge. Household information that is used to determine eligibility is protected under both federal and state data privacy practices.

    To successfully complete the P-EBT application, you will need your child(ren)’s State Assigned Student ID (SASID) number.

    You can obtain your student’s SASID by logging into either Infinite Campus Parent Portal or the Blackboard Mobile app. For Infinite Campus once logged in click on “Today” on the left navigation pane and the Student Number will appear under your child’s name. If you have multiple students you will need to click on your student’s picture located in the upper right-hand side of the screen and select each child to obtain their student number. For Blackboard sign into the mobile app and the student number can be found under the student profile. You can access each student’s profile in the app icon listing. If you need help getting set up or logging into the student portion of your Blackboard mobile app, visit https://www.estesschools.org/EPSDMobileapp.

    Upon approval, an EBT card with the qualifying amount will be mailed to you. To access the P-EBT application visit: https://www.colorado.gov/cdhs/p-ebt.

    For more information about P-EBT, please visit Colorado Department of Human Services’ Frequently Asked Questions webpage. If you have further questions, please contact pebt2020@state.co.us and a representative will respond.

     

    If you have other questions or need help, contact Brian Lund, brian_lund@estesschools.org

    Sincerely,
    Brian Lund, Director of Business Services

    Non-discrimination Statement:

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

    To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

    (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

    (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

    (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

    This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

     

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  • 2020 Fall Opening Update

    Posted by Sheldon Rosenkrance, Superintendent on 6/25/2020

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  • 2019-2020 End of Year Information

    Posted by Estes Park School District on 5/1/2020

    Dear Estes Park School District Families, 

    It is hard to believe that we are starting the month of May, and just as quickly, our school year is almost over. We would never have imagined that things would end this way, and like so many of our families and students, we are missing our annual traditions and events. But, most of all, we miss seeing our students. The staff at Estes Park Schools chose to work in education for a reason: we love our students and we are honored to be a part of their experiences as they learn and grow. 

    We want to thank and congratulate you for the work you’ve done to support your children at home during this time of remote education and Cloud School. We know it’s been far from easy, and we have all certainly learned a lot. We also realize that Cloud School can never replace the rich relationships that are formed by in-person learning in the classroom. 

    A multitude of things need to happen in the last couple weeks of school to end the year, and we want to share what you can expect.

    Last day for instruction of new material is May 15
    Just as we always begin to wind down the school year with celebrations and activities through the first weeks of May, we will do the same with our Cloud School, even if we can’t have our traditional in-person celebrations. The last day of remote learning and introduction of new material for students is Friday, May 15. Schools will work from May 18 to May 22 to close out the school year.

    Ending earlier gives us the time we need to safely clean out buildings of student belongings, and provide time for families to return items such as iPads, textbooks, library materials, athletics equipment and finish other end-of-year activities.

    IMPORTANT: Each school building will be sending out a detailed schedule for families with information on when to return district property, pick up your belongings, and how to pay fees for outstanding items, etc.  If you have specific questions, please contact your principal. 

    Locker/desk clean-out
    Schools are actively preparing their individual clean-out plans, which require a great deal of coordination; they will communicate with families directly before the week of May 18.

    We implore everyone to take ownership of their school community’s collective health and safety. Staff, students, and family members will be required to wear cloth masks and practice physical distancing, without exception. As much as we would love to give hugs and catch up, this is not a time for personal connections; so, prepare yourself for a brief and efficient experience.

    EPSD iPad and textbook return
    EPSD annually collects student iPads so the devices may be repaired, updated and prepped over the summer for the coming school year. That will occur this year as well.

    Families can expect to return student iPads on the same day as their school’s scheduled locker/desk clean-out day. Each school will communicate directly with parents and guardians about what dates/times this will occur and the specific processes to be followed to collect iPads.

    Please be sure to return the iPad in its original protective case, include the iPad charging cable, and the original Apple charging brick. (This is NOT the same thing as a small iPhone charging brick that you may have at home for a personal device). 

    We also ask that students and families return textbooks and borrowed library materials during this time.

    We thank you in advance for following return guidelines and for your patience as we balance high-quality customer service and life-saving health-safety requirements.

    Deep cleaning of schools and facilities
    Following locker and desk clean-out and iPad collection days, EPSD’s Custodial Services team will deep clean all schools and facilities. Their work follows Larimer County Department of Health and Environment and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 cleaning requirements. Our Custodial and Facilities staff have continued to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and follow best practices and equipment recommendations for cleaning and sanitization. 

    High school graduation
    Congratulations to the Class of 2020! It is our deepest hope to celebrate the class of 2020 at in-person events, if that is at all possible. It is too early to know how the COVID-19 pandemic will manifest locally this summer. What graduation ultimately looks like depends upon what county, state, and national public health guidelines and orders are in place at the time. We are currently planning for many different options, and we will do everything we can to give our graduates the celebration they deserve.

    CHSAA
    The Colorado High School Activities Association has canceled all performances, festivals, competitions, regular spring season and culminating CHSAA-sanctioned spring activities and athletics for the remainder of the 2020 season. This moratorium is in effect through June 1, even if federal and state guidelines are relaxed. After June 1, local school districts will have the ability to make decisions regarding student and coach contact. EPSD will communicate with student athletes and their families as soon as information is available.

    Summer athletics and events 
    Estes Park School District indoor and outdoor athletic venues and facilities will not be available for any practices, skill development, weightlifting or conditioning through June, as district campuses and facilities will be closed. Facilities will be closed to all events during this time. Events and athletics programs will be reassessed on July 1st and communicated to students and families as information is available. 

    Summer programming
    We have canceled all EPSD-sponsored summer programming, including Camp Invention. If your student was registered for this workshop, the Elementary School will be in touch soon regarding refund information. We are exploring possible summer programming opportunities with community organizations that are considered essential, including the Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County.

    Summer meal distributions
    EPSD will offer meals to students through Friday, May 22, utilizing the current distribution sites and times for Estes Park, Allenspark, Glen Haven, Storm Mountain, Pinewood Springs and Drake. Discussions are underway regarding EPSD’s summer meal distribution and plans are not yet finalized. 

    The 2020-21 school year
    We are considering various scenarios for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, not knowing precisely what the public health situation will look like in August. As we have done throughout EPSD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, district leadership will work closely with and follow recommendations from local and state public health officials as well as Gov. Jared Polis’ office. We expect to share more this summer about our fall plan.

    Again, we miss you all deeply and wish this was not how the school year has to end. We are eagerly awaiting the days when we can reconnect with our students and families.

    With Gratitude, 
    The Estes Park School District Team 

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

    Posted by Press Release on 4/8/2020

    Larimer, CO --- The Larimer County Public Health Director has extended the Stay-At-Home order through April 26, 2020.

    Many people are following the social distancing recommendations and this effort needs to continue. More than half of the Larimer County population has significantly decreased the amount they are traveling within our community. In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, residents need to keep staying home and maintaining strict physical distance to reduce contact with others.

    Larimer County is using data to try to predict what will happen in the coming weeks and months. Following the stay-at-home orders and maintaining social distancing will minimize COVID-19 case count, hospitalizations and ventilator usage. Physical distancing is currently the most powerful tool available to reduce the burden on hospitals. Continued and increased physicaldistancing will save thousands of lives in Larimer County.
    “Now is the time to stay home. The more seriously our community follows these stay-at-home orders, the sooner we can loosen those restrictions,” said Tom Gonzales, Larimer County Public Health Director. “I appreciate the sacrifices we are all making. Your actions at this moment will save lives and reduce the economic impact of this pandemic 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.

    You can help slow the spread of viruses by:

    • Staying home,
    • maintaining distance between people of at least six feet to help reduce spread,
    • washing hands frequently with soap and water,
    • avoiding touching your face,
    • covering coughs and sneezes,
    • wear fabric masks when visiting essential businesses like a grocery store, and
    • staying home when sick

    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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  • Update on School Closures

    Posted by Sheldon Rosenkrance, Superintendent on 4/6/2020 8:00:00 AM

    Dear Estes Park School District Community:

     It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing that Estes Park Schools will suspend In-Person learning for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. I know many families have been expecting this news, but to finalize it has been a very hard decision and one that I do not take lightly. 

    I understand that this announcement is a loss of our hope to return to "normalcy" and we will all experience grief and sadness. Our students' connections, experiences and dreams have been placed on hold and their lives have been severely disrupted. It is just hard!

    The safety and health of our students, staff, and community depend on these difficult decisions to reduce the impact of the Coronavirus and will save lives and hopefully shorten the intensity and duration of the peak of the infection. We currently have 140 cases in Larimer County and the health department is no longer using cases as measurement, but by measuring hospital beds available. 

    Modeling suggests that the next 3-4 weeks are critical and I encourage everyone to keep practicing distancing, adhering to the stay-at-home orders, and now, please, wear a mask if you have to go out.  It is certainly not my intent to scare anyone, but suspending in-person school is not being done as an "abundance" of caution, it is the official recommendation of the Larimer County Health department.

    "Larimer County is recommending school districts close for in-person learning through the end of the year," said Larimer County Public Health Director Tom Gonzales in a communication. “All of us want our students to go back to school, including me, but we have to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and that means keeping students out of schools.”

     With that being said, school is not canceled, only in-person learning cannot resume as we move forward. We will continue with on-line and remote learning opportunities that are currently being provided at the school level. Information on our Cloud School program was recently distributed by our schools following Spring Break and we will continue to drive instruction and support learning from home in every way possible.

    I am asking for direction from the health department on procedures for getting our student’s supplies and books that they may need before the end of the year and what that may look like, if possible. I know there will be plenty of questions and many things to work through with this new extended closure. I will continue to work with administration, teachers and the Board of Education on doing what is best for our district moving forward. 

    I am thankful for the Estes Park School Board in supporting these tough decisions during this difficult time. This includes my recommendation to continue to pay all staff (Classified and Certified) throughout the remainder of the year so we can continue to support your families, our students and maintain our facilities in a safe and meaningful way. 

    I appreciate the support from our families, and the hard work our students are putting in. We will rise and meet the challenges of this pandemic and I am sure we will come out stronger and better connected at the end.

    With Gratitude and Appreciation,
    Sheldon Rosenkrance

     

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  • 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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