D11 Insights

October 2021

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Superintendent's Mission Matters

During the month of October, I want to express my deep appreciation for our building principals. In a good year, they are continuously navigating their school environments to ensure students and staff are receiving what they need to be successful. This year, they are doing that work, plus delicately balancing the challenges that continue from COVID and other societal challenges. I invite all of you to reach out with a spirit of thanks during National Principals Month to let your principal know just how much they mean to you and your family.


October is also a month where we recognize the significant contributions of Native Americans. The Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho are three of the many tribes that first occupied much of the Southern Colorado region. Their contributions originally defined our region and many Indigenous customs, practices, and developments are evident today. Whether traversing Pikes Peak, strolling through Garden of The Gods, or visiting Manitou Springs, these places have a deep, rich history of Indigenous people in our area. In School District 11, we are proud to honor the history and present-day contributions of Native Americans. In District 11, we are proud to honor the history and present-day contributions of Native Americans. Examples include:


· Embedding the first-of-its kind state and tribal collaboration in the development of learning resources for the Colorado History elements in the 4th grade standards. By comparing traditional resources to one that tribal elders have approved as they way they prefer their stories told, our educators and students gain insights on multiple perspectives. Click here to see these units titled: Nuu-Chiu Strong


· Our Title VI department is developing a five-year student learning vision and plan in partnership with community members. The community members and students involved will be focused on how to emphasize the D11 Graduate Profile while investigating and networking with indigenous entrepreneurship opportunities. Click here for one example of these opportunities. Please contact Carolena Jackson at Carolina.Jackson@d11.org if you would like to participate.


For a list of Native American curricular resources, please click here.


Lastly, we just completed our universal academic screening process with many of our students. This is an important opportunity for D11 teachers to understand the foundational learning needs of our students. These assessments are given at three different intervals throughout the year. The fall administration establishes a baseline FOR learning. D11 teachers can use this information to establish learner-appropriate groups for core instruction, find ways to offer interventions, and even accelerate learning for students who need it. Please take the time to connect with your student’s teachers to best understand how we can partner with our parents and guardians to have the best learning experiences this year.


Yours in Partnership,


Michael J. Thomas

Inclement Weather: What to Know Before the Snow

As the air turns crisp and the fall season turns leaves gold, we know it's only a matter of time before the snowstorms hit. In preparation for inclement weather, we put together some frequently asked questions and the answers you need to know before the snow! Visit this link to be cold-weather-ready!

Flu or COVID? How to Tell

This information comes to us from Children's Hospital Colorado.


Respiratory season is upon us, and it's an unusually early one this year. 'Normal' winter respiratory illnesses like cold, croup and flu are up in kids across the board. Meanwhile, their symptoms can look a lot like COVID-19. How to tell one from the other? An infectious disease expert from Children’s Hospital Colorado says that although flu and common cold symptoms can be similar to COVID-19 in kids, there are some important differences. Learn more here.

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