7.24 Letter from the School Director

Greetings Montview Families!

 

As we reach the end of July, I hope that all of you have had an enjoyable, restful summer. Here at school, we continue to think about all of your families, your health, and what we plan to do for a strong school year amidst so much current uncertainty. We feel fortunate to be part of such a strong community and despite many changes and much uncertainty we continue to plan for a strong school year for our families and students. Please know that we are working hard to provide the best education possible for our community and much will be shared in the coming weeks about how we plan to accomplish this.

In the past week, you have received communication both from Denver Public Schools and DSST’s CEO Bill Kurtz. Both of these communications contained information about the coming school year. I will briefly summarize that information so as to not be overly repetitive:

  • Per DPS’s update last week all schools (including DSST) will start the year online at least until September 8th

  • The first day of the school year has also been pushed back until August 24th

  • DPS Annual Family Update now will open on July 27th (later than originally communicated). You will find more information below. As a note, we encourage you to complete this as soon as possible as the ability to receive a computer relies on families having completed this.

  • New Student Academy will still occur for our newest students. We know the importance of having time to build meaningful relationships and to understand the ins and outs of being a student at DSST. Currently, we are waiting on guidance to determine the dates for this and will share that with new families as soon as possible.

  • Through a DPS Family Survey, many of our families provided us with their preferences for in person or online learning for the coming school year. While we currently have to move remote for all students at least initially, we will use this information as we hopefully plan for some in person learning options this year.

I know there are still many uncertainties and answers to questions that you (and myself) still have. We are currently working on some of the following items and hope to have answers for you once they are completed or we receive more guidance:

  • Student Schedules: We are currently working with our network partners to build a flexible schedule that provides great learning for students whether online or in person. We will share details in the coming weeks on class schedules and how to access classes and materials.

  • Advisory Assignments and Structures: Relationships are at the heart of our work here at DSST. With that said, we are working diligently to create strong advisory structures so that your student has access to an adult who will help them navigate through the changes of this coming school year.

  • Computer Roll Out: We are working on plans to provide all students with computers and other items they will need to start the school year virtually.

  • Support Services: Whether your student is in Special Education, designated as Gifted and Talented, or as a Multi-Language Learner we will do work in the coming weeks to ensure they get access to the support they need. Our team will be reaching out to individual families who qualify for these services prior to the start of the year to share our plan.

  • Safety and Health Planning: We continue to plan for students to join us for in person learning this school year. Information for how we plan to ensure the health and safety of students who join us for in person learning will be shared as we learn more.

  • Athletics and Clubs: Our first priority for planning the start of this school year is ensuring that we have strong foundations to create a strong school culture and academics. With the move to virtual learning to start this year it’s likely we will put a hold on our plan for athletics and clubs. However, we recognize the importance of sports and clubs when it comes to supporting the whole child. As we develop plans to connect your students to these opportunities we will share them with you.

Below is important information for you to ensure you are prepared for the 2020-21 school year:

  • Annual Family Update (Registration): 

    • Registration is a requirement for all DSST families before the first day of school and is required for laptop distribution

    • Starting Monday, July 27, families can complete Annual Family Update online

      • Use your Parent Portal account to complete registration

      • If you are having difficulty logging into your Parent Portal account, please click HERE for login/password reset or call 720-423-3163 for assistance.

      • If you are new to DPS, please email leonardo.ruiz@scienceandtech.org for support.

  • Download School Flyer App: If you are new to DSST, please take a moment to download the Flyer App. Click HERE for directions. 

  • School Website: Please visit our school website often for up-to-date information about:

  • New School Hours: This year we will see a slight shift to the start and end times of our school days in order to accommodate changes to DPS bus schedules. Please note that this is specific to when students are physically in the building. Virtual learning times might look different. Adjustments will be communicated based on the need of students to be online or in person for learning purposes. Here are those adjusted times:

    • Start of School Day: Mon-Fri, 8:05a

    • End of School Day:

      • Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri: 4:05p (First Dismissal); 4:55p (Second Dismissal)

      • Weds: 2:20p 

  • School Facility Projects: We did want to share some exciting news about updates happening to our facilities. Work has begun on the field outside of entry to the Middle School. While we are only in Phase 1 of this project there is a much larger plan that will occur over the next several years to renovate the whole field. For now Phase 1 will include new concrete walks, boulder seating, new sod, and in ground planters. In the future we plan for outdoor classroom areas and added play structures for students. We are excited for some much needed improvements to our campus!

I hope that this note gives you some assurances about what we know for the coming school year and around the work we are doing to plan for a strong start even if it looks different than most years. We are committed to providing your students with a rich school experience that promises them the ability to form strong relationships with teachers and students while ensuring they receive a world class education.

Continue to anticipate weekly updates from our network as well as our campus. Stay safe and we look forward to starting the journey of this school year!

Go Knights!

John Clark, School Director

e: john.clark@scienceandtech.org