Denver East Angels, Families and Community Members
I hope that you, your family, and your friends have been healthy and safe through this summertime and that you have been able to capture moments of relaxation and fun in every way that has been possible for you.
This message is coming as an early welcome to the 2020-21 school year! While we would prefer to be greeting every Angel at the door of our building the very first day of school, we are just as excited to meet them at our virtual door with remote classes beginning the week of August 24th. With so much that will be new, I want to provide you with some updates and information that will be helpful for your planning and understanding of how we will approach our entry into the year.
Annual Family Update: First and foremost, the primary contact for ALL students must confirm each student’s registration at Denver East High School! If you have not already done so, be sure to complete the Annual Family Update in the Parent Portal at https://portal.dpsk12.org/. The Annual Family Update will be available on the Parent Portal starting July 27th.
School Calendar Change: Last Friday, Superintendent Cordova communicated that the opening day of school has now changed. Her direction postponed the start date of the school year for one week with the first day of Remote Learning to now begin on Monday, August 24th. We are also planning toward a hopeful transition to hybrid learning, with 50% of our students on campus at any moment, on Monday, September 8th.
District Direction: The superintendent also provided a directive to Principals that is resulting in a shift from a traditional semester-based calendar to a “blocked” quarterly calendar (for at least the first semester of this school year). This means that students will take up to four classes per quarter (four classes at a time), and will gain credit for classes completed at the end of each quarter. We are still processing this and we will provide more specific information, including your student’s class schedule and the Denver East Remote Learning schedule (to be used starting August 24th), by the end of next week.
Fluidity in Schedules: Obviously, we will need a fluid set of schedules that will allow us to shift between remote, hybrid, and fully in-person learning experiences throughout the year. We have been working hard to develop a solid plan of action that will allow this to occur without disrupting relationships between teachers and students, or assignments and learning activities, as our Angels progress through the semester. We will provide you with more information related to these schedules in the next couple of weeks.
Remote Learning: THANK YOU for your patience with us as we learned a great deal about remote learning through our springtime experience of last year. This fall, we will be better at this work (but not perfect), I promise. Here are just a few points related to our learning and ways in which we are focused on improvement:
- We will have one primary on-line platform through which all classes will be structured and assignments provided. This platform is Schoology. Teachers may still use other on-line resources, but Schoology will be the main platform holding all of the information that you need to know about a class.
- We will decrease the number of courses students need to focus on at one time. Students will take no more than four courses per quarter
- We will increase the amount of “synchronous” (interactive), time that students spend with teachers on the computer when we are in the “fully-remote” context.
DPS Virtual School Option: If you are electing to participate in the 100% Virtual School Option, as offered by DPS, you are committing to participating in that program for the full first semester of the school year. Students in the Virtual School Option will not have the full complement of East course options available to them and may or may not have access to East teachers. Course options will include classes that will support the completion of core content credits toward graduation. Go to dpsk12.org to access the DPS Virtual School option.
Health and Safety Requirements for in-person learning: In partnership with CDHE, DPS has identified Health and Safety requirements, including the wearing of masks, handwashing, and other specific notes, that will be in place when we are in the hybrid and full-time in-person learning contexts. Information is available at dpsk12.org.
Accessing Technology: We are committed to ensuring that every student has the device and the internet access they need to successfully engage in remote learning. While many of our parents responded to the district technology survey several weeks ago, we will also soon be asking you to confirm whether or not you have the technology your student will need. Chromebooks and internet access will be provided at request.
Lockers: Our Deans are planning an opportunity for students who had lockers last year to be able to pick up items from those lockers- more information to come. Student lockers will not be available for use during the first semester of this school year.
Student Parking: We know that our Seniors and Juniors are excited about the opportunity to secure a parking spot at East! We have repainted the lot and are looking forward to providing a lottery in August for access to a parking space. Remember that there are many more drivers at East than there are places to park and sadly not everyone will have a spot. And yes, if you do win a parking place via the lottery, you will have the opportunity to show off your artistic skills by painting your assigned space!
Thank you for being a part of our very special Denver East community. I look forward to our partnership as we enter this school year and I am confident that the learning experiences that we will provide for our Angels through this unique school experience will be engaging, of high value, and will prepare them well for the futures that are in front of them.
As always, please, feel free to contact me by e-mail or phone with the thoughts, questions, and ideas you have that will help us be of service to you and your Angel. Your input and ideas continue to strengthen our school.
All the best,