APS Students Will Learn Remotely from Home to Start the 2020-21 School Year

Dear APS Community,

Thank you for your continued patience as we review updated public health guidance and plan for the upcoming school year. We want to continue to keep you updated with important information as quickly as possible. On Friday, the APS Board of Education provided direction during their meeting about the start of the school year. With the Board’s direction, APS will be starting in a fully remote learning model for the beginning of the school year. This decision was made considering the recent rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in both Adams and Arapahoe counties.

Students will be learning remotely from home through the first quarter, which ends on October 8. A decision about whether to begin in-person learning at that time will be made in the coming months taking into consideration health data on COVID-19 cases in our community. 

Fully Remote Learning at Home

After implementing remote learning access this spring, we will be shifting to provide more rigorous, engaging and standard-based learning for students this fall. Students will have opportunities to take part in live classes from home. This means students will sign on and learn in real-time from teachers through video on their laptops. For example, a student may be assigned to sign on from 8-9 a.m. for their English class and then 9:15-10:15 for their math class. 

In addition to live learning, students will also be asked to watch lessons and learn on their own time. Both of these remote learning modes will be used and teachers will be regularly checking in to support students. 

We may also be able to bring in small groups of students into schools for specialized instruction. Schools will work with families to accommodate this need. 

Please know that we have a strong plan in place for APS teachers to receive specialized training and coaching to provide rigorous remote learning that supports students academically and socially-emotionally. More than 1,000 teachers have already engaged in training opportunities over the summer and we are thankful to have such dedicated teachers in APS.

School staff will be working with families of children with special needs who are on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan to determine how services will be provided. Students who are English Language Learners will continue to receive additional language development support. 

All students will have access to mental health resources including APS psychologists, social workers, counselors and other school staff. The health and wellbeing of our students is our top priority. 

Even though we are starting the school year remotely, it is still important that all of our families check in their children using the APS Student Check-in System. Complete the online process to update or confirm your addresses, phone numbers, emergency contacts, health information, preferred language and more. Please contact your child’s school if you need support completing the check-in process. There is a question asking whether you plan to send your child to school in person or keep your child at home and learning remotely. We recognize this question no longer applies to the beginning of the school year. However, select your preference to the best of your ability as we may transition to in-person learning after the first quarter.

As we have shared previously, we remain grounded in the science provided by the Tri-County Health Department. We will continue to share additional information about the upcoming school year as quickly as possible. Thank you for your continued patience and support. We look forward to welcoming all APS students back remotely for the 2020-21 school year.

- Superintendent Rico Munn