It is hard to believe the end of school is just around the corner. We couldn't have imagined things ending this way and, like you, are missing so many of our springtime traditions. Most of all, we miss you. We chose to work in education for a reason: we love kids and are honored to be a part of their experiences as they learn and grow beyond our wildest expectations.
We also want to thank and congratulate you for the work you’ve done to support your children during this time of remote education. We know it’s been far from easy.
A multitude of things need to happen in the last couple weeks of school, and we want to share what you can expect.
Last day for instruction of new material is May 15
The last day of remote learning for elementary and secondary students is Friday, May 22. Schools will work from May 18 to May 28 to close out the school year.
Ending earlier gives us the time we need to safely clean out buildings of student belongings, return laptops, and finish other end-of-year activities.
Elementary schools will continue with instruction of new topics and content until the end of the day on Thursday, May 14. Friday, May 15 is an elementary teacher workday, and teachers will use that day to complete their paperwork and grade-reporting obligations. Elementary students will not have classes on May 15. Elementary schools will use the following week to handle the return of materials and personal belongings to students and to collect laptops.
Secondary teachers will continue to introduce new topics and content through May 15. From May 18 through May 22, elementary and middle schools will continue to connect with students and support their needs. High schools will continue to be in contact May 18 through May 28. During this period, knowing that some students and families have experienced significant challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, students will also have opportunities to make up work. As a reminder, middle and high school students can continue to improve their fourth-quarter grade; students cannot earn a final grade lower than their third-quarter grade.
Desk clean-out in elementary schools: Elementary teachers will return to the buildings on Monday, May 18 to begin the process of cleaning out their rooms and to prepare for the materials return and laptop return on Tuesday, May 19. Teachers will, on May 18, put each student’s personal belongings from their desk into a clear, labeled bag. On Tuesday, May 19, families will be invited back to the school to pick up their personal belongings. Please look for information from your school regarding your assigned time and the expectations for this process.
Middle/high school clean-out: Starting May 18, middle and high school students will have an opportunity to return their laptops and pick up their belongings, including yearbooks and locker supplies. Schools will communicate their specific process details (date, time, expectations) directly to students/families. Teachers can expect to have access to their building the week prior to May 18, look for a specific schedule from your site.
Schools are actively preparing their individual clean-out and laptop return plans, which require a great deal of coordination; they will communicate with families directly before the week of May 18.
We implore everyone to take ownership of their school community’s collective health and safety. Staff, students, and family members will be required to wear cloth masks and practice physical distancing, without exception. As much as we would love to give hugs and catch up, this is not a time for personal connections; so, prepare yourself for a brief and efficient experience.
PSD laptop and textbook return
PSD annually collects student laptops so the devices may be repaired and prepped over the summer for the coming school year. That will occur this year as well.
Families can expect to return student laptops on the same day as their school’s scheduled locker/desk clean-out day. Schools will communicate directly with parents and guardians about what dates/times this work will occur and the specific processes to be followed to collect laptops.
It is critical that laptops are returned so they may be updated and repaired, as necessary, so they can be used the following school year. We also ask that students and families return textbooks during this time.
We thank you in advance for following return guidelines and for your patience as we balance high-quality customer service and life-saving health-safety requirements.
Deep cleaning of schools and facilities
Following locker and desk clean-out and laptop collection days, PSD’s Custodial Services team will deep clean PSD schools and facilities. Their work follows Larimer County Department of Health and Environment and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 cleaning requirements. Our Custodial and Facilities staff have continued to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and follow best practices and equipment recommendations for cleaning and sanitization. We will make a checklist of PSD’s COVID-19 cleaning procedures available on the PSD website.
High school graduation
As we’ve shared with our seniors and their parents, it is our deepest hope to celebrate the class of 2020 at in-person events, if that is at all possible. It is too early to know how the COVID-19 pandemic will manifest locally this summer. What graduation ultimately looks like depends upon what county, state, and national public health guidelines and orders are in place at the time. We are currently planning simultaneously for two options.
We plan to host in-person graduation ceremonies Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25 at French Field, located at Rocky Mountain High School, 1300 W. Swallow Road in Fort Collins. We will follow protocols for physical distancing and other critical health-safety recommendations should this option become a reality. Specific instructions for attendees will be shared ahead of time. If we determine we cannot host in-person ceremonies, PSD will notify seniors and their families and provide directions about how to watch the premiere of celebration videos for each high school. More information: https://psdschools.org/node/1516
End-of-year celebrations for fifth, eighth graders
Individual elementary and middle schools will decide whether celebrations occur. In all cases, celebrations will not take place in-person; they will be virtual only. Your school will communicate specific details (date, time, how to participate) if they decide to host a celebration.
The Colorado High School Activities Association cancelled all performances, festivals, competitions, regular spring season and culminating CHSAA-sanctioned spring activities and athletics for the remainder of the 2020 season. This moratorium is in effect through June 1, even if federal and state guidelines are relaxed. After June 1, local school districts will have the ability to make decisions regarding student and coach contact, virtual workout, virtual tryouts and eighth-grade contact. PSD will communicate with student athletes and their families as soon as information is available.
Poudre School District indoor and outdoor athletic venues will not be available for any practices, skill development, weightlifting or conditioning during June, as district campuses and facilities will be closed. Information regarding July and other important updates will be shared with student-athletes and their families as it becomes available.
We have canceled all PSD-sponsored summer programming, such as Camp SOL, STEM-X Institute and others. We are exploring possible summer programming opportunities with community organizations.
PSD summer school will happen 100 percent online.
Summer meal distributions
PSD will offer meals to students through Friday, May 29, at its current four school sites. Discussions are underway regarding PSD’s summer meal distribution and plans are not yet finalized. We know community organizations, including the Food Bank for Larimer County, will have food for families during the summer.
The 2020-21 school year
We are considering various scenarios for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, not knowing precisely what the public health situation will look like in August. As we have done throughout PSD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, PSD leadership will work closely with and follow recommendations from local and state public health officials as well as Gov. Jared Polis’ office. We expect to share more this summer about our fall plan.
Since our last update, we added a new PSD Remote Learning and COVID-19 Response web page, which connects you to critical information and resources.
Again, we miss you all deeply and wish this was not how the school year has to end. We are eagerly awaiting the day – though it may not look like life as we knew it – when we can re-connect with our students and families.
Poudre School District