Category : Uncategorized
Dear Vilas Community,
Thank you for all your patience and understanding during this challenging time for our school district. As you are aware, Governor Polis on March 18 issued an Executive Order directing all schools to suspend in-person instruction through April 17, 2020, in order to limit the spread of Coronavirus. On April 2, 2020, the Governor extended the in-person instruction closure through April 30th. Additionally, you should be aware that the governor has indicated that there is a high possibility in-person instruction will not resume this school year.
As a result, changes will be necessary for some important educational functions, such as the number of teacher-pupil instructional hours, special education and graduation requirements.
Waivers for instructional hours
The Colorado Department of Education has waived the minimum number of school days and teacher-pupil instruction hours normally required under state law. Instead, districts must make every effort to provide alternative learning opportunities during this time. For Vilas, this means that we are not expected to extend the school year or start early next year to make up for lost in-person instructional time.
As a result of the possibility of an extended period of disruption on in-person instruction, we will continue with on-line and virtual learning. These processes will evolve and improve at each grade level and for our schools.
Services to students with special needs
Our schools will make every effort to provide appropriate special education and related services for students with disabilities. We have been given some flexibility on how to provide these services, so we are developing creative ways to meet the needs of individual students with disabilities based on the nature of each student’s disability.
To support students with identified IEP-related services, we will work with our schools to determine whether it is appropriate to provide alternative services or delay services in coordination with students’ parents and IEP teams. We may also determine whether we can make up for a gap in access to the curriculum or delay in services with additional services in the future.
Graduation requirements across Colorado are locally determined by school districts and charter schools. This means that we have flexibility to adjust requirements for the class of 2020 based on this unprecedented time of disruption to our schools. We are currently reviewing each senior’s progress towards meeting those requirements and will communicate individually (collectively if/when appropriate) with each student to ensure timely notification of completion or lack there of for graduation.
We are also looking into alternative options to the in-person graduation ceremony for the end of the school year. The governor has suggested that it will be unlikely that we will be able to conduct traditional graduation ceremonies and we want to ensure that our students and families still have a way to mark this important occasion.
Thanks again for your support during these difficult times.
Vilas School District