I know many of you look to the start of the upcoming school year with mixed feelings. We at CILA believe that while exercising prudent precautions, it is important for our students to get back to as normal an in-person school experience as possible. While the authorities are encouraging schools to open back up for in-person learning, some uncertainties and fears remain. I have heard from many of you regarding concerns and questions and I want you to know that I hear you and welcome your feedback.
We have been working relentlessly over the summer to prepare for a re-opening in August. While the last two weeks have brought up new questions and stricter regulations for the people of Colorado, I wanted to reach out and share some of the cornerstones of our plan with you. The plan is aligned with guidance released by CDE and the El Paso County Health Department. We are also looking to other school districts and their plans for re-opening.
Please keep in mind the situation around the pandemic is constantly changing which might lead us to make changes to our plan as we near the end of summer break. Once we get closer to the planned start of school, we will send out our plan to families to give you an opportunity to make an informed decision based on the needs of your family.
Health and Safety precautions: ● CILA will implement temperature checks and health questions at drop-off, before entering our buses, and before entering the building.
● We will emphasize appropriate hygiene with our students, such as frequent handwashing, etc. Each classroom will have a touchless hand sanitizer station.
● Students will not share any materials in their classroom to minimize exposure.
● Students will only transition to English/language immersion class, lunch and if their Specials is PE or music.
● Classrooms will be sanitized mid-day between class transitions.
● CILA encourages mask wearing for students 10 and younger. This guideline might be subject to change when new regulations are released.
● Teachers and staff will be required to wear masks/face shields when with students.
● In the classroom, the number of students will be limited to 3 students per table in grades K-2 and 2 students per table in 3-5. This will allow for some distance between students although CDE does not require distancing in classrooms at this point for grades K-5.
Lunch and cafeteria ● Our food services provider D11 will continue to provide breakfast and lunches. Breakfast and lunches will be pre-packaged grab and go to minimize the handling of food.
● The lunchroom area will be extended to allow spacing out of students. Number of students at any one table will be limited.
Online Learning option: ● To accommodate students who are at high risk or have family members at high risk, we will offer an online learning option for the upcoming school year.
● CILA will provide any resources families might need (Chromebooks, workbooks, access to learning software).
● More information, as well as online learning expectations and fundamentals will be shared at a later point.
While we can’t wait to welcome our students back to our classrooms and support their learning and growth in person, we always have to prepare for another state- or county-wide school closure. We are also working on online learning and teaching guidelines to ensure we will provide high-quality learning remotely and to make this transition seamless and smooth for our families. Many of you gave valuable feedback on our remote learning during the closure and we will implement your suggestions. While our teachers did a tremendous job adapting to on-line teaching this past school year, we always strive to improve!
We continue to face challenging times, please know that our students’ learning and health is our top priority and we are here to support you in any way we can!