Back to School Plan & Town Hall

July 7, 2020
 
Dear Global Village Academy- Douglas County Families,
 
I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful Colorado weather and taking advantage of the opening of local parks and pools!
 
For the past several weeks I have been working with a committee of GVA-DC staff, teachers, health care professionals and parents.  Our Re-entry Committee members represent every grade level, all three language villages and are ethnically and gender diverse. The purposes of our Re-Entry team include:
 
  • Gathering and organizing feedback from students, staff and community,
  • Analyzing data to find strengths and gaps,
  • Creating a Back-to-School Plan that is in line with the GVA Mission and Vision and
  • Developing a more consistent and comprehensive plan for remote learning.
 
Our Back-to-School Plan follows these guiding principles:
 
  • We will continue to put the safety of our students, staff, and families at the forefront
  • We will open in the fall for in-person learning, unless there is a mandated closure
  • We will follow the school-specific requirements established by the health departments
  • We will accommodate families who need a remote learning option due to the pandemic
  • We will not ask parents to commit to remote or in-person learning without providing all of the information needed to make that decision (late-July)
  • We will make academic plans that meet our students where they are and work to get them where they need to be
  • We will flex and adapt as needed
  • And above all else, we will apply common sense to our decision-making
 
Our next steps include getting feedback on our draft Back-to-School Plan GVA-DC Back-to-School Plan 2020- Revised.pptx . To gather feedback from our families, I am scheduling a Parent Feedback Town Hall next week. If you are interested in providing feedback, please plan to attend the parent meeting using the Zoom invitation below:
 
Wednesday, July 8th
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
 
 
We will spend the week following the town hall considering feedback and completing our plan. The recommended plan will then be sent to our GVA-DC Board of Directors for review by our legal counsel and for a final vote of approval. The Global Village Academy- Douglas County Back to School Plan will be communicated to GVA-DC families and published on our website on Monday, July 20th. Once families have had the opportunity to fully review the Back-to-School Plan, we will ask parents to commit to having their children participate in either in-person or remote learning in the fall.
We will continue to make adjustments throughout July as we learn more about recommendations and mandates related to the pandemic.
 
We are aware that Douglas County School District is surveying neighborhood school parents now and that they will come out with their own plan later this summer. While we are watching their process, we will be following our own plan that is specific to the needs of our school community.
 
Finally, I want to share the results of our parent survey – we received over 200 responses (thank you!) and your feedback informed many of our committee’s discussions. . Here are a few highlights:
  • 70% are completely comfortable sending their kids back to school
  • 23% are somewhat anxious and want social distancing measures in place
  • 6% are unsure or reluctant to send kids back
  • 44% of our families rank minimizing health risks as one of their top three concerns for next year however, comments showed that just as many parents are concerned about sending their kids to an overly restrictive environment (masks, etc.)
  • 61% of families were happy or neutral with remote learning, but the feedback was a mixed bag (which we fully expected)
 
We appreciate the feedback you gave us on our remote learning plan and look forward to hearing your opinions about our Back to School Plan at our upcoming Town Hall.
 
Thanks so much and I look forward to seeing you all soon!
 
Stacy Bush
Principal, GVA Douglas County

April 3, 2020

Dear Global Village Academy- Douglas County Families,

Today marks the completion of our second week of remote learning. I hope you and your family are finding a bit of a routine and normalcy during this time!

I want to share with you that Dr. Tucker, DCSD Superintendent, along with 13 other school district superintendents across the Front Range, have collectively made the difficult decision to keep our schools closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Click here to view the collective letter from Dr. Tucker and these 13 additional superintendents.

Global Village Academy- Douglas County will follow the decision of Dr. Tucker and other superintendents across the Front Range and keep our school closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  GVA-DC will continue with remote learning during that time.

This closure includes all in-person instruction, Innovation Learning, Encore classes, field trips (including the 5th and 6th-grade outdoor education trip), facility rentals and summer camps.  Refunds for field trips, Encore classes, and summer camps will be processed on Monday, April 6th. 

For the duration of the closure, GVA-DC’s building and facilities (including the school and playground) are also closed. We are unable to allow families or students access to our school to pick up any personal belongings at this time.

Please know this was not an easy decision and we recognize the impact this has on our families. However, I feel this is the best step for us to take as a school, a district and a community. 

Our end of year festivities are of utmost importance and we are looking into options for celebrating our students.   I will share more information on our plan as soon as it is available.

This is an unprecedented situation we find ourselves in and I encourage you and your loved ones to continue following the advice and guidance of healthcare professionals. COVID-19 is expected to peak in our area during the last week of April. Please remember to wear non-medical face coverings when leaving your homes and follow the Stay-At-Home executive order issued by Governor Polis. 

Most importantly, please remember to take care of one another during this time. We are in this together and we appreciate the strength of our GVA-DC family. For the latest information, resources, and more, visit https://douglascounty.gvaschools.org/.

Take good care and stay healthy,

Stacy Bush
Principal
Global Village Academy- Douglas County 

April 2, 2020

Dear Global Village Academy- Douglas County Families,

On Wednesday, April 1st, Governor Jared Polis announced that the suspension of in-person learning in public and private schools across the state has been extended through Thursday, April 30.

Global Village Academy- Douglas County will follow the Governor’s executive order and remain closed through Thursday, April 30, and we will continue with remote learning during that time.

Access to GVA-DC Building and Facilities
GVA-DC’s building and facilities (including the school and playground) are closed through April 30. We are unable to allow families or students access to our school to pick up any personal belongings at this time. In addition, in order to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community, we ask our families and students to avoid our playground.

GVA-DC Remote Learning Tool: ZOOM

Meetings

To help make the most of daily ZOOM meetings, ensure that students are in a quiet space with few distractions.  Check-in periodically to confirm that students are paying attention and engaging appropriately.  Teachers record ZOOM meetings each day and post them in their Google Classrooms for those students who cannot view them live as well as for students to use for review.

ZOOM Resources for Parents

ZOOM Privacy Policy: Protecting the Privacy of K-12 Students

“We are particularly committed to protecting the privacy of our K-12 users.  We have established guardrails to protect K-12 students using our services through their schools for their education. We have a special policy that describes how Zoom handles personal data of K-12 students using Zoom through their schools, who are signing up for Zoom services for their students. This special policy is designed to reflect our compliance with the requirements of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and other applicable laws.”

Technology Help

If parents or students need IT help, please contact the GVA Help Desk at helpdesk@gvaschools.org.

Special Education
According to Federal guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Education, if a district closes its schools to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19, and continues to provide educational opportunities to general education student populations, the schools must ensure that students with disabilities also have equal access to the same opportunities. Included in this requirement, schools must implement the IEP of a student with a disability to the greatest extent possible.

IEP services will look different during a school closure, and they will be made available to all students with disabilities. At GVA-DC, our Student Services team is collaborating with parents to schedule remote IEP services designed to support student learning and maintain skills.

School Counseling / Mental Health Resources
Our school social workers, Roxanne Lewis will provide resources and mental health services to students during the closure. For more information, please email sbush@gvaschools.org.

There are also many community resources to assist families with safety and mental health concerns.

Meals for Students During GVA-DC Closure
Our amazing Nutrition Services Department will continue providing grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches for free to anyone 18 years and younger. This will be available through the April 30 closure, with additional locations beginning next week. Please visit the COVID-19 Family Resources page on our website for more details.

We sincerely appreciate all that you are doing for your children and there is absolutely no expectation for perfection as it relates to remote learning. As a community, all we can give is our best and I thank you for your patience and perseverance as we navigate this together.

Thank you again for your partnership, and more importantly, please remember to care for yourself during these stressful times. We are in this together and we will prevail for our GVA-DC school community.

As always, we will continue to post up-to-date information, announcements, resources, etc. on our website at https://douglascounty.gvaschools.org/.

Take good care and stay healthy,

Stacy Bush
Principal
Global Village Academy- Douglas County

March 30, 2020
 
ONLINE LEARNING PLATFORM
All teachers are working to set up an online learning classroom (Google Classroom or See Saw). Online learning platforms are designed to give teachers the ability to go paperless and centralize their eLearning materials in one cloud-based location.
 
INSTRUCTIONAL WEEK
Beginning Monday, March 30th, GVA-DC is moving to a 4-day instructional week (Monday- Thursday).
 
Fridays will be Field Trip/Culture Gram Days.
  • Every Thursday at exactly 3:00 pm, students will receive a link for that Friday's virtual field trip, an interactive Culture Gram for the country, and activities to choose from.
  • No new work will be assigned by classroom teachers on Fridays. Instead students are encouraged to use this day as a “catch-up” day.
 
ZOOM
Why are we using ZOOM?? When used as an educational platform, ZOOM provides teachers with the opportunity to:
  • Connect face-to-face with their students.
  • Build community.
  • Teach core instruction.
 
DAILY ZOOM LESSONS
Teachers will be using ZOOM to meet with students daily. Teachers will use this time to facilitate community circle, introduce recorded lessons, teach concepts, practice speaking/listening with students (in their immersion language), etc…Teachers will record ZOOM meetings each day and post them in their Google Classrooms for students who are not available to view them live.
 
LESSON PLANNING
Teachers are working to simplify and prioritize lessons by identifying the CRITICAL pieces of instruction (Reading, Writing, Math, Social Studies, Immersion language) and focusing on them when designing remote learning experiences. In addition, teachers are prioritizing assignments (identifying those assignments that are required as well as those that are optional) to help parents know what needs to be completed each day.  Finally, teachers are going to REDUCE the number of worksheets assigned to students. In cases where worksheets are assigned, teachers are going to (try) to create “fillable” versions that can be completed online.
 
Thank you for your continued support as we navigate these new waters. We are hoping that these changes will have a positive impact on the remote learning experiences of all students, parents (and teachers!!!)
 
LAST CALL FOR COMPUTERS
We still have a large number of computers available for check out. If you need to check out a computer for your child(ren), please email Stacy Bush at sbush@gvaschools.org by Tuesday, March 31st. Computers will be available for pick-up on Wednesday, April 1st (no fooling!!) 
 
Thank you again for partnering with us in this journey. Please continue to grant our teachers (and yourselves) some patience and grace as we continue to refine our practice. Together, I know we can do this, and navigate these unfamiliar waters as one village; one family for the good of each of our GVA-DC students.
 
Take good care and stay healthy,
 
Stacy Bush
Principal, GVA Douglas County

March 20, 2020

Dear Global Village Academy- Douglas County Families,

On March 18, Gov. Jared Polis issued an Executive Order calling for the suspension of in-person instruction in all of the state's public and private schools from March 23 to April 17 to limit the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019. In addition to extending the window for remote learning, the Governor's March 18 Executive Order also paused both state assessments including CMAS and state accountability.  This order will enable schools and districts to focus on providing alternative learning opportunities for students during the outbreak of COVID-19. 

In preparation for the transition to remote learning, Monday, March 23, will be a teacher planning day and there will be no student assignments on that day. Following that, teachers will be in touch with students remotely, each day, with a blend of online and off-line assignments. We understand that having students at home can create additional stress, especially for working parents (whether you are working at home or in an office setting). Please know that our intent is to ensure that our students continue with learning during this closure. Remote learning is not meant to create additional hardships for our families. Students will be able to complete their assignments each day at a time that is convenient for your family. There is not an expectation that students will be online for a full school day.

Prior to Spring Break we surveyed families to ensure that all students had access to a computer and the internet at home.  Since that time, things may have changed. With many parents being asked to work from home families may not have enough computers to support the demands of both work and school.  If you are in need of additional computers and would like to check out a chrome book for your student, please email me at sbsuh@gvaschools.org.  I will make arrangements to distribute computers to families early next week. 

Moving to remote learning is unchartered territory for GVA-DC and our educators. But I know I can count on each of you to partner with us in this journey. We ask that you provide our teachers with some patience and grace as they make this transition. I’ve heard from many of our teachers who already miss their students terribly, and this abrupt shift to remote learning is hard on all of us. But together, I know we can do this, and navigate these unfamiliar waters as one village; one family for each of our GVA-DC students.

In addition, beginning Monday, March 23, DCSD’s Nutrition Services department will be providing grab and go lunches to anyone, under the age of 18. Lunches will be distributed to Parker residents from 11:30 am – 12:00 pm at Challenger Park, 17301 E. Lincoln Avenue (Recreation Drive near the Baseball Fields).  For more information about this program, as well as other programs in our amazing community please visit the COVID-19 Family Resources page of our website.

For the remainder of Spring Break, I hope you and your family can find time to relax and recharge. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Take good care and stay healthy,       

Stacy Bush

Principal, Global Village Academy-Douglas County

Good evening Global Village Academy- Douglas County families,

I hope you have been able to enjoy this Spring Break and spend some quality time with your families.

In an effort to take further action to address the public health threat of COVID-19, earlier today, Governor Polis signed an executive order suspending in-person learning in public and private schools across the state from March 23 to April 17.

The Global Village Academy- Douglas County will be following this executive order, meaning our building will remain closed through Friday, April 17. This includes Innovation Learning, ENCORE and Girls on the Run. As we announced last week, we will be transitioning to remote learning starting next week.

Monday, March 23, will be a teacher planning day and there will be no student assignments on that day. Following that, teachers will be in touch with students remotely, each day, with assignments. We understand that having students at home can create additional stress, especially for working parents (whether you are working at home or in an office setting). Please know that our intent is to ensure that our students continue with learning during this closure. Remote learning is not meant to create additional hardships for our families. Students will be able to complete their assignments each day at a time that is convenient for your family. There is not an expectation that students will be online for a full school day.

Beginning the week of March 23, DCSD’s Nutrition Services department will be providing grab and go lunches to anyone, under the age of 18. Lunches will be distributed to Parker residents from 11:30 am – 12:00 pm at Challenger Park, Recreation Drive, Near the Baseball Fields
17301 E. Lincoln Ave. For more information about this program, as well as other programs in our amazing community please visit the COVID-19 Family Resources page of our website.

Moving to remote learning is unchartered territory for GVA-DC and our educators. But I know I can count on each of you to partner with us in this journey. We ask that you provide our teachers with some patience and grace as they make this transition. I’ve heard from many of our teachers who already miss their students terribly, and this abrupt shift to remote learning is hard on all of us. But together, I know we can do this, and navigate these unfamiliar waters as one village; one family for each of our GVA-DC students.

For the remainder of this Spring Break week, I hope you and your family can find time to relax and recharge, stay healthy. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Take good care and stay healthy,       

Stacy Bush, Principal

 

March 13, 2020

Dear Global Village Academy- Douglas County Families,

As previously communicated, GVA-DC will have an extended Spring Break from Monday, March 16th - Friday, March 27. Before and After Care (Innovation Learning), ENCORE classes and Girls on the Run will not be open during this time. 

SPRING BREAK (March 16th – March 20th)

  • If you and your family have plans to travel over Spring Break, we encourage you to become familiar with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s Information for Travel. Should you travel to an area with widespread transmission of COVID-19, public health officials will guide you in quarantine requirements.
  • If you travel over the break, please be sure to wash your hands with soap and water often, and cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, coughing, and/or shortness of breath, please do not go to school or work, and call your healthcare provider.

EXTENDED SPRING BREAK (March 23rd – March 27th)

  • During our extended spring break, Global Village Academy-Douglas County teachers and special service providers will provide daily learning opportunities for students. 
  • Beginning Monday, March 23rd lessons will be emailed to parents and will be a combination of online (computer-based) and “off-line” (do not require a computer) activities.  All assignments will be formative in nature; major summative projects and/or assessments will not be assigned.  

STUDENT LUNCHES DURING CLOSURE

During its extended Spring Break, GVA-DC will be working with Douglas County School District to feed students and children in our community. Lunches will likely follow our summer meal plan and contain an entree, fruit/vegetable, and milk, and be made available to any child 18 years of age and under. Lunches will be free and reimbursed to DCSD Nutrition Services from USDA. Locations and times will be determined and communicated soon.

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

Many children do better with a regular routine, predictability, and activities to manage downtime built into their schedules. Extended breaks and cancelled plans can be stressful for some people, especially those who are prone to mental health and behavioral challenges.

Below is a list of resources for parents, should you have a concern that your child may be experiencing behavioral changes, mood swings, depression, or suicidal thoughts.

The state has an anonymous reporting system available at all times for the community to use. Anyone with a concern for someone’s well-being or safety can use Safe2Tell (1-877-542-7233) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

As it relates to COVID-19, we will remain in contact with our partners at DCSD, the Tri-County Health Department and the Colorado Department of Education, and we will keep you updated with new information as it becomes available.

In the words of DCSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Tucker, “Undoubtedly, this is an unprecedented challenge for everyone in our community. It is also an opportunity for us to come together as ONE Douglas County School District. In the days and weeks ahead, we must all show a level of grace and patience as we adapt to this extended, yet temporary change to our everyday lives. Let us all be an example of how to handle a crisis and prevail.”

Please continue to check your email, GVA-DC website (https://douglascounty.gvaschools.org), Flyer mobile app, social media, and text for updates. We thank you for your support and partnership in this effort.

Take good care and STAY HEALTHY,

Stacy Bush,

Principal, Global Village Academy- Douglas County

March 12, 2020
 

Dear Global Village Academy- Douglas County Families,

 

In an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), GVA-DC will have an extended Spring Break through Friday, March 27. 

 

Before and After Care (Innovation Learning), ENCORE classes and Girls on the Run will not be open during this time. 

 

We will reassess the situation as we get closer to that end date, and decide if students and staff should return on Monday, March 30. We are working closely with Douglas County School District; Dr. Tucker, Superintendent is calling on the Colorado Department of Education for flexibility on mandatory seat time and state testing requirements.

We are facing an unprecedented public health crisis in our community. The decision to extend Spring Break was extremely difficult, made in consultation with area Superintendents and out of an abundance of caution for our families. We know that this will have a significant impact on our families, but we also believe that strong, urgent action must be taken to prevent the spread of this disease and to protect lives.

 

During the break, GVA-DC will undergo additional deep cleanings with recommended disinfectants. We encourage the community to continue hand washing and follow other recommendations from the CDC about how to avoid the spread of illness.

Our goal is always to protect the safety, health, and wellness of our students, staff, and families. Our strength as a community is our greatest asset. We can work together to protect each other and slow the progression of COVID-19.

We will continue to remain in contact with our partners at DCSD, the  Tri-County Health Department and the Colorado Department of Education, and we will keep you updated with new information as it becomes available.

 

Please continue to check your email, GVA-DC website (https://douglascounty.gvaschools.org),  Flyer mobile app, social media, and text for updates. We thank you for your support and partnership in this effort.

 

Sincerely,

 

Stacy Bush, M.Ed.Principal 

To maximize community safety one of the actions organizations are being asked to consider is postponing or rescheduling large events.  As a result, GVA-DC has elected to move our parent-teacher conferences scheduled for Thursday, March 12th and Friday, March 13th, to phone conferences. Teachers will call parents at their scheduled conference time.  We recommend emailing teachers your preferred phone number for the conference as soon as possible.

 

Innovation Learning will continue as scheduled. 

In addition, today we surveyed families to verify that students have access to a computer and the internet just in case a major Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak forced GVA-DC to close. If the Tri-County Health Department does recommend a closure, communication will be sent to all families outlining what school will look like for the duration of the closure.  Teachers are prepared to provide daily learning opportunities for students via email. GVA-DC teachers are ready to provide daily learning opportunities to students via email. 

 

GVA-DC will continue to work with the Douglas County School District (DCSD) in coordinating with local public health agencies to monitor the Coronavirus Disease 2019.  For the most current information about COVID-19, check https://www.dcsdk12.org/cms/one.aspx?pageId=11702700.

 

We will continue to update families and staff as we learn more about the potential progression. As a community, we must work together for the safety and well-being of everyone in our Global Village Academy-Douglas County family.