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Safety at the forefront as district preps for kickoff of 2020-21 school year

Students and teachers in a CCSD classroom. The 2020-21 school year is set to kick off on Aug. 17, and the entire Cherry Creek School District community is prepping for a year of learning, inspiration and excellence.

This preparation comes during an unprecedented time for the district, the state and the globe, as the COVID pandemic continues to impact all of our daily lives in myriad ways. District leadership, teachers and staff have been hard at work all summer to ensure that the return to learning in Cherry Creek Schools is conducted as safely as possible, so that every student has the opportunity to reach their highest potential.

Earlier this month, the CCSD Board of Education adopted a restart plan that features data-based metrics to determine how to start school. The district has carefully followed all public health guidance when making the decision about returning safely to school, and we’ve aligned our efforts with this guidance. Following a sustained decrease in the number of COVID cases in Arapahoe County, the district will open with In-Person learning starting Aug. 17. 

“We can’t wait to welcome our students back in August for whichever learning option they’ve selected,” said CCSD Superintendent Scott Siegfried. “We are working hard to plan for a safe return to school amid changing conditions related to the COVID 19 pandemic.”

Siegfried added that the summer has seen a districtwide effort to ensure that every district building ready to welcome students and staff in the safest way possible.

 “One thing is certain: school WILL look different this year, but it WILL still be great. We have been working nonstop all summer to prepare for a successful return to school that builds off of all of the lessons that we have learned this spring,” Siegfried said. “We have mandated that everyone inside our buildings wears a mask. Frequent hand washing will remain critical. Our schools and buses will be disinfected on a regular basis, and anyone who feels sick should stay home.”

With all of these precautions in place, it’s important that both students and parents be prepared for any changes that may come as a result of shifting data from Arapahoe County, Siegfried added. Being flexible and remaining to ready to learn in different ways will be key to a successful 2020-21 school year.

“We will continue to monitor daily COVID rates. If we see a sustained change in the wrong direction and it becomes unsafe to maintain In-Person learning, I will not hesitate to make the call to switch to full Remote learning,” Siegfried said. “I urge you to think through this possibility and about child care and supervision needs in case the data determines a change is necessary.”

CCSD was the first district in Colorado to develop a data-based process to determine if it was safe to open schools for In-Person learning. The district will continue to post up-to-date COVID data and information on the COVID Tracker section of its website. By monitoring the latest news and taking an active role in ensuring our students’ safety, every member of the CCSD community can help make the coming school year successful.

“Our ability to maintain In-Person learning depends on our collective actions and decisions. I ask all members of the Cherry Creek community to do their part to help ensure that students can be in school. Please help your students avoid meeting with large groups of friends and maintain appropriate physical distancing. Have them wear a mask in accordance with the state mandate,” Siegfried said. “Let us rise to this challenge together. We can make this school year a successful one for ALL students.”

Posted 8/7/20 at 9:35 AM