2/18/21 – Secondary return to 100% in-person

Your thoughts on when and how we return to 100% in-person learning are important

We have heard from so many of you about the ever-changing dynamics of COVID and its impacts on our students, classrooms, and profession. The last two weeks have been especially fast and furious as Jeffco announced their intention to return to 100% in-person learning. There have been two very different recommendations made by our board of education and our collaborative monitoring committee (made up of Jeffco parents, students, administrators, educators, and support professionals).

The final decision will be made by Kristopher Schuh early next week. Between now and then all secondary administrators have been asked to make time and space for feedback from their school communities.

NOW is the time for you to make your voices heard on this issue.

It’s our responsibility to ensure this process is fair and educators’ voices are heard in the process. It’s important to make sure our students, parents, community members, educators, and ESP’s are represented as well.

We are asking you to have conversations with your colleagues and meet with your AR to prepare before your school’s meeting to discuss the options on when and how we return.

You and your colleagues should be asked for feedback on 3 items:

  1. Your recommendation on which date Jeffco should return to 100% in person
  2. Three reasons you chose the date you did
  3. What logistics and supports need to be in place to support you and your school community in being successful in this return.

Some questions we have gotten you might consider:

– How will schools determine how many students will switch to 100% in person?
– How will schedules be reconfigured when some hybrid class sizes are too large to maintain social distancing? (40+ students in classes)
– How many hybrid students will want to move to 100% remote?
– How will quarantines work (not of educators if they are fully vaccinated) with more students mixing in classrooms and hallways?
– Will lunch be eaten at school? Where?
– How will transportation be handled?
– What support will teachers be given who will still have to navigate teaching in person while streaming to students at home, but with double the numbers of students in front of them?

Jeffco board of education recommendation:

During the board study session last week your board members recommended that Jeffco push to be back 100% in-person within the first two weeks of March. Their conversation and considerations can be viewed on the recording of the board study session here: BOE Study session February 10th 2021 The discussion on returning to 100% in person begins around the 2 hour and 15-minute mark.

Collaborative monitoring committee recommendation:

The Collaborative Monitoring Committee looked at the science, data, and logistics, and overwhelmingly supported April 12th for our date of return.

Four criteria were discussed and recommended by the CMC

  1. General Support for waiting until we’re in level blue.
  2. Don’t let up on COVID mitigation plans.
  3. Have student-facing staff fully vaccinated (both doses plus incubation period of two weeks) before returning in person (no earlier than **April 12th).
  4. Opportunity for admin and staff to do scheduling.
    **Date is dependent on when all staff who choose to be vaccinated receive both doses.

Support Jeffco Kids, one of our community partners put together an excellent summary of the questions, concerns, and issues to be thought through when making your decision, CLICK HERE for that summary.

On Monday, February 22nd Kristopher Schuh will be meeting with principals, community superintendents, and our Chief of Schools to gather up all feedback provided in those building conversations and will then make his decision.

I want to acknowledge what a hard year this has been for all of us. COVID continues to be very divisive for our country, state, community, and even our membership. We have to stay united and strong for our students and remember that COVID is the real villain here. How we work together (or don’t) has a great impact on our collective success moving forward.

Please take every opportunity provided to you to provide feedback, as educators, parents, and community members in the next few days. It is critically important that stakeholders’ voices are heard. You can also share your thoughts directly with Kristopher Schuh by emailing him at Kristopher.Schuh@jeffco.k12.co.us.

No matter what date is ultimately chosen, as a community we will continue to have to work together to problem-solve until the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end.

If you need support or have questions please reach out to me or any of our JCEA staff,

Brooke Williams