Update from Principal McWright

Greetings Denver School of the Arts Community,

As you all may be aware, Governor Polis has suspended in-person learning in Colorado’s schools from March 23rd through April 17th. As a result, all Colorado schools are required to “make every effort to provide alternative learning opportunities during this time while taking into account the needs of local communities.”

To meet these expectations, we are working on plans to secure Chromebooks for students who may need them, decide which option, or combination of the three options presented to schools for remote learning, and provide you a timeline of action steps.

As stated, our first goal will be to ascertain how many devices are available and to distribute devices to students who need them. To help with this objective, Denver Public Schools has sent out a survey to families asking about these needs. The survey was sent out on March 20th and will stay live until noon on March 24th. After a final count has been conducted, our school technology specialist and I will prepare documents, distribution timelines, and devices to be distributed to students. Due to the severity of our current situation, families who need devices will be given specific times to pick up a Chromebook at DSA on March 25th, 26th, and 27th so that we may keep in line with social distancing recommendations by state and local government.

Listed below are the three options presented to schools for remote learning.

Three Options for Remote Learning

Option 1: District-Provided Instructional Materials with Teacher Support.

  • Instructional materials that are provided by the district for students to access independently, in hard copy or online
  • Students access instruction directly from district-provided materials (e.g., district lessons, Edgenuity)
  • Teachers offer online office hours and/or telephone feedback for students

 

Option 2: Teacher-Led Hybrid Instruction.

  • A model of instruction that can occur at any time-kids independently self-pace their learning once teachers share the resources
  • Teachers curate and provide materials digitally (e.g., videos, assignments from district materials or supplemental materials) which students work on independently and submit
  • Student communication through Google Classroom, other digital platforms, and/or phone

 

Option 3: Teacher-Led Full Digital Instruction.

  • Full digital instruction
  • Teachers design the sequence of learning based on where they left off and what their students are working on
  • Resources housed in Schoology and/or Google Classroom (e.g., videos, live instruction)
  • Student communication through Google Classroom, other digital platforms, and/or phone

 

As we navigate to select the best option(s), we are suggesting that teachers continue with the trajectory of student learning that is already being implemented in classrooms. Additionally, to assist with progress monitoring, teachers will be asked to establish systems to provide a timeline of when and how grading will take place, grade assignments, and provide timely feedback as it relates to grading.

I know this is a lot to take in, however we have taken measures that may help with this process. Again remember, students across Denver Public Schools are not required to begin remote learning until April 7, 2020.

The first step will be to complete the district’s technology survey if you feel your student needs one. This survey was sent to families on March 20th and to be completed by noon on March 24th.

The second step will be to retrieve Chromebooks for students if needed. Chromebook distribution will take place on March 25th, 26th, and 27th at Denver School of the Arts. We will contact you on March 24th as to when and how to pick up Chromebooks.

Please be reminded due to many of the nation’s educational venues moving to remote learning, at this moment there is a nationwide shortage of bandwidth options. The district is continuing to push out two Comcast options and are procuring hotspots as well as looking into other options.

The third step will be to look for communication from my office prior to April 7th, informing parents and students on protocols that will help navigate what students should expect on April 7th.

While we work to begin remote learning, there are supported measures for students through the district. I have included links to learning options for parents prior to remote learning on April 7. The first link is for grades 6 through 8. The second link is for grades 9 through 12.

https://www.dpsk12.org/wp-content/uploads/Supporting-Students-at-Home-Grades-6-8.pdf

https://www.dpsk12.org/wp-content/uploads/Supporting-Students-at-Home-Grades-9-12.pdf

We know that many of you may still have several questions. Please know that we are in continuous contact with district personnel to provide answers for you. As previously noted, we will provide you with updates as we receive them. We know this time is uncertain, nonetheless we appreciate your patience, understanding, and flexibility as we continue to work through this matter. I do hope you all are enjoying this time with family and friends. We will get through this together. Have the best day possible.

Regards,

Anthony McWright
Principal