The Hawk's Nest Special Edition

February 4, 2022

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Mask Mandate Lifted

APS Community,


Last week, our local public health agency, the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD), announced that we are seeing “light at the end of the tunnel”. On Monday, TCHD’s Board of Health held a meeting and voted to end mask requirements including at schools. They signaled that we are transitioning into a new phase of the pandemic that does not require mask mandates.


Throughout the pandemic, TCHD has served as our public health partner providing guidance to support us as we maintain safe learning environments. Thanks to this partnership, APS has been able to keep in-person learning and minimize transmission and outbreaks at our schools. As a reminder, although the lifting of mask mandates may seem new, we started the 2021-22 school year without a mask mandate. During the first few weeks of the school year, we continued to encourage safe and healthy practices in schools and we will continue to do so.


According to health officials, the number of COVID-19 cases and positivity rates have declined sharply over the past few weeks. In addition, health officials have shared that there is enough immunity within our community that they are less concerned about overwhelming our local healthcare system. Health officials also shared that vaccinations, testing, treatments for COVID-19 and availability of quality masks have all improved greatly.


In addition, schools were recognized for their strong mitigation efforts over the past 18 months that have prevented the spread of COVID-19.


This signals significant shifts for our health and safety protocols districtwide. Please read through the following changes below thoroughly. We will transition to the protocols below starting on Monday, February 7.


Please note that any unvaccinated staff will be required to follow the health requirements outlined in their accommodation plans.


Masks Strongly Encouraged in Schools
We will no longer require masking for all students and staff. However, we will continue to strongly encourage students and staff to wear masks at school.

Athletes and those participating in after-school activities will also no longer be required to wear masks. However, masks will continue to be strongly encouraged.


Masks Required on School Buses and at School Bus Stops
Please note that all students and staff will be required to wear masks on school buses regardless of vaccination status. This is in accordance with a federal mandate requiring face masks on public transportation and at transportation hubs.


5-Day Isolation Required for Individuals who Test Positive

All students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate at home and stay away from others for five days. Those individuals will be required to wear their masks at school for the following five days upon returning to school.


Quarantines Only Required When Outbreaks are Identified
Quarantines will no longer be required for those who are exposed to COVID-19 in higher-risk activities (sports, after-school activities, field trips, etc.) or due to inconsistent mask wearing. Quarantines will only be required if an outbreak is identified in a school. An outbreak is defined as five or more positive and/or probable cases tied to an original case.

Please be assured that we will continue to notify you via automated phone call, email and text message if your student needs to quarantine. This includes if there is a positive case in your household and your student has not been vaccinated or had COVID-19 within the past 90 days.


Get Tested Regularly

As we transition to a new phase in the pandemic, regular COVID-19 testing will continue to be important. As a reminder, free testing is available through COVIDCheck Colorado. Please click here to sign up for testing.


Stay Home if You Develop Symptoms
In addition, please continue to keep your child at home if they develop symptoms. We are asking all students and staff to continue daily self assessments. If your student develops any of the symptoms below, keep them home and get your student tested for COVID-19. APS staff should follow this same practice. Please notify your child’s school that your student is experiencing symptoms and do not send them to school. Staff should notify their supervisors and stay home.


Major symptoms include:

  • New or unexplained persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Loss of taste and smell


Minor symptoms include:

  • Feeling Feverish, having chills or a temperature of 100.0 or greater
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny nose or congestion
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue


This transition signals a big change from our current practices. Some of us will welcome the changes and some of us will disagree. However, as we have shared throughout the pandemic, the Tri-County Health Department is our source for science-based information and guidance.

Please be assured that we will continue to share any updated guidance with you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your continued support and partnership.


- Superintendent Rico Munn

Intent to Return

We would like to ensure our current families have secured their places in our school for the upcoming school year. Your assistance is needed to help us determine the demand of our current families.


Although siblings do have priority in the lottery, an Enrollment Application must be submitted for each student in order for them to be included in the lottery. This can be accomplished by completing the application on our enrollment link at http://www.vanguardclassical.org/Enroll.


Please complete the information below and return it to the school by Friday, February 11th, 2022.


If you have any questions regarding enrollment, please contact Vanguard Classical School West at 303-691*2384 or Email Itzhelt Cordero at icordero@vanguardclassical.org.

Parent Teacher Conferences are February 17th!

All conferences will be held virtually this semester. Click the button below to sign up with your child's teacher.

Student Spectators at Games

We love having students support their peers at sporting events! However, students are not being picked up on time after those events; therefore, all spectators must be accompanied by an adult.
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Dear Parents and Families:

We’re excited to invite you to our upcoming Scholastic Book Fair. Hosted by our staff, this event is an opportunity for students of all ages to build their home libraries and further their love of reading. As always, all purchases benefit our school.

After missing out on many beloved traditions, our spring Book Fair will be a familiar, welcome, and safe event for our students. Here’s what you need to know about the Fair, which will take place from February 14th – 16th at Vanguard West in the extra 3rd grade classroom.

Our Book Fair offers eWallet, a safe and secure alternative to cash. Simply create a free account to add funds and/or invite family and friends to contribute so your child can select their own books. Any unused funds can be spent at The Scholastic Store Online or to fund a future eWallet.

If you can’t make it to the Fair, then shop at our school’s Online Book Fair. All orders ship directly to your home, and shipping is free for book orders over $25. Your online orders will also benefit our school.

Visit our Book Fair homepage to learn more and get started with eWallet and online shopping:

https://www.scholastic.com/bf/vanguardcs

We’re excited to celebrate our love of books together at the Book Fair. We look forward to seeing your child there!

Happy reading,

Keria McCafferty, Principal


Vanguard Classical School West

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Earth Day Shirts

Earth Day Shirt Orders are due February 17th!

Earth Day is Thursday, April 22, and Vanguard would like to celebrate our love of and dedication for the Earth. Students/staff who wear an Earth Day shirt on Earth Day will also be able to wear JEANS to school that day!


Cost: $9.95-12.95 (depending on size)


Orders Due Online: Thursday, February 17th

Ships: After March 4th


The shirts are premium quality T-shirts made of 100% pre-shrunk cotton and are personalized in white on the left sleeve with the school’s name if more than 12 shirts are on our shared order. Choices include an Elephant shirt that says “Preserve and Protect” and is earth colored OR a dark heather shirt multicolored with “Live, Love, Protect” on it in short sleeves. Shirts will arrive at the school and will be distributed accordingly.

Jump Rope for Heart

Ask your student who their favorite heart hero is and why! Comment below with their answer! Our Goal is to raise life-saving funds and for all students to learn and raise awareness. Download the Kids Heart Challenge App or go to www.heart.org/khc and REGISTER TODAY!
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Girls on the Run

Calling all 3rd – 5th grade girls – Girls on the Run is COMING.
Girls on the Run is ready to help girls thrive and shine. Girls on the Run will start on March 8, 2022. We will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:45. Open to all 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade girls.
Registration opens on February 7th. For more information about the program go to
www.girlsontherunrockies.org.
Questions? Ask Ms. Teeter hteeter@vanguardclassical.org or Ms. Cron bcron@vanguardclassical.org
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Return of Friendship Grams!

Let your friend, family member, or VCS staff member know how much you appreciate them with a hand-delivered Friendship Gram and treat and support Vanguard at the same time.
Purchase them for $2 mornings at the table by the front door. Fill out the details, drop them in the box, and we will attach a treat and deliver to your home room by February 11.

Absences and Tardies

ABSENCES AND TARDIES

Tardies:

We have had an excessive amount of tardies. Please remember that students are to be in their seats and ready to learn by 7:50 am. The doors open at 7:30 am, so make sure to drop your children off on time, or sign up for FREE before/after care.


Absences:

Make sure to notify the front desk of absences. If we don't hear from you, our attendance system will automatically call you to verify the absence.

NAEP Testing

Dear Parent or Guardian:


Vanguard Classical School West will participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) on February 2nd for 10th grade and February 8th for 8th grade. NAEP is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what students know and can do in various subjects. NAEP is different from our state assessments because it is a common measure of achievement across the country. The assessment is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, within the U.S. Department of Education. The results are released as The Nation’s Report Card, which provides information about student achievement to educators, parents, policymakers, and the public.


Your child (will/may) take a mathematics or reading assessment. In addition to subject-area questions, students voluntarily complete NAEP survey questions. These questions provide valuable information about participating students’ educational experiences and opportunities to learn both in and outside of the classroom. More information about NAEP survey questions is available at https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/parents under the section “What Questions Are on the Test?”


The assessment takes approximately 2 hours for most students, which includes transition time, directions, and completion of survey questions.


The information collected is used for statistical purposes only.

  • Your child’s grades will not be affected.
  • Students may be excused for any reason, are not required to complete the assessment, and may skip any question.
  • While the assessment is voluntary, NAEP depends on student participation to help policymakers improve education. However, if you do not want your child to participate, please notify me in writing by February 2, 2022.


There is no need to study in preparation for NAEP, but please encourage your child to do their best. A brochure that explains what participation in NAEP means for you and your child is available at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/parents/2012469.pdf. Contact Mandie Sebastiani at msebastiani@vanguardclassical.org if you have any questions.


We are excited that our school is participating in NAEP. We know that (school name)’s students will show what our nation’s students know and can do.


Sincerely,


Keria McCafferty

COVID Testing at VCS

We are excited to announce that APS is participating in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s COVID-19 weekly surveillance testing program!


VCS West is participating in this program.


Testing began at our building on November 17th at 8 am for students who opted in. Students can still register and need to be pre-registered to participate. You can register your child(ren) using the following link:


STUDENTS: https://schools.coquihealth.com/registration/599ef778-e843-4209-8c2c-b294371fb51e/dependant


Students only need to be registered once. They will then be tested weekly.


Students who get tested will receive their money via a gift card. This gift card will be mailed to the address provided when you register.


Finally, this testing will count for athletes participating in school sports.


Please reach out to our school nurse, Alisha Porter (aporter@vanguardclassical.org) with any questions.

COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccines are available for individuals ages 12 and older. APS, in partnership with STRIDE Community Health Clinic and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) is hosting ongoing FREE vaccination clinics for families. To learn more about the clinics and to sign up, visit aurorak12.org/vaccine.

COVIDCheck Colorado

Individuals who are symptomatic should get tested for COVID-19. Please remember that COVID-19 testing is free and available through COVIDCheck Colorado.

CORE VIRTUE OF THE MONTH: Loyalty

Loyalty is being faithful and true to our duties, relations and ideals.

RESOURCES FROM THE SCHOOL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

Medication Reminder

Reminder that no medication of any kind should be sent with your child to school. All medications should be kept at school IF there is a physician's order for it, this includes, but not limited to Tylenol, Ibuprofen, cough medicines including cough drops and any other over the counter medicines. This is for the safety of all students, Thank you!

A note from Ms. Porter, R.N.

Dear parents,


As you may be aware, CDC recently changed their guidance for quarantine after exposure to

COVID-19. Currently, anyone who is not up to date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccines,

including third (booster) doses, must quarantine after exposure. The Colorado Department of

Public Health and Environment has adapted its quarantine guidance to follow CDC guidance,

including in school settings.


Beginning Feb. 1, 2022, all staff and students must be up to date with their COVID-19

vaccinations, including third doses if five months has passed since their second dose, in order to be exempt from quarantine after an exposure. Anyone age 12 or older is due for a third dose five months after they received their second dose. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a second dose (preferably of either Pfizer or Moderna, if possible) two months after they first got vaccinated.


For more information about third doses, please visit:

covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine-third-dose-booster


Children younger than 12 years of age are not yet eligible for third doses. They are considered

up to date after completion of their primary series. For most children, “primary series” means

two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Some immunocompromised children may require three doses in their primary series.


We understand that many students may not yet have received a third dose of the COVID-19

vaccine at this time. Colorado students and educators have until Feb. 1, 2022 to receive third

doses if they have not done so already. Until that date, students and staff who have completed their primary vaccine series, but have not yet received a third dose, may return to school following exposure if they obtain a negative test and wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days after exposure. They should get tested again on day five after exposure.

Additionally, students and staff will be considered up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations

immediately after they have received their third dose. They do not have to wait 14 days after

vaccination.


Other criteria outlined in Colorado’s Practical Guide for Operationalized CDC’s School Guidance that allow for reduced quarantine for schools, including routine testing or mask use, continue to apply.

VCS West Events

5th - 8th Grade Field Trip to the Colorado Ballet

Thursday, Feb. 3rd, 9am

1400 Curtis Street

Denver, CO

Students may dress up for the performance.

Girls Basketball @ Home

Thursday, Feb. 3rd, 5pm

VCS West

There are two games: one at 5 and one at 6.

8th Grade NAEP Test

Tuesday, Feb. 8th, 8am

VCS West

Boys Basketball @ GVA

Tuesday, Feb. 8th, 5pm

Global Village

There are two games: one at 5 and one at 6.

Girls Basketball @ GVA

Tuesday, Feb. 8th, 5pm

Global Village

There are two games: one at 5 and one at 6.

Freddy's Restaurant Night

Tuesday, Feb. 8th, 5pm

1103 South Iola Street

Aurora, CO

4th Grade NAEP Test

Thursday, Feb. 10th, 8am

VCS West

Skate City Night

Thursday, Feb. 10th, 6-8pm

15100 East Girard Avenue

Aurora, CO

Masks are required.

100th Day of Kindergarten

Friday, Feb. 11th, 8am-3:15pm

VCS West

Book Fair

Monday, Feb. 14th, 7:15am to Wednesday, Feb. 16th, 3:15pm

VCS West

Kindness Week

Monday, Feb. 14th, 7:45am to Wednesday, Feb. 16th, 3:15pm

VCS West

Boys Basketball @ Home

Tuesday, Feb. 15th, 4:30pm

VCS West

There are two games: one at 4:30 and one at 5:30.

Girls Basketball @ GVA

Wednesday, Feb. 16th, 4:30pm

Global Village

There are two games: one at 4:30 and one at 5:30.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Thursday, Feb. 17th, 8am-7pm

This is an online event.

All conferences will be virtual this semester.

No School ~ Conference Comp Day

Friday, Feb. 18th, 7:45pm

VCS West

No School ~ Presidents' Day

Monday, Feb. 21st, 7:45am

VCS West

4th Grade Field Trip to the Colorado History Museum

Friday, Feb. 25th, 8am

1200 North Broadway

Denver, CO

K-6 Mizel Museum Virtual Field Trip

Monday, Feb. 28th, 8am to Thursday, March 3rd, 3:15pm

VCS West

K-6 Students will be participating in a virtual field trip. This field trip is designed to last four days. Students will study one season per day.



Your students will:

  • Interact with themes and objects from around the world
  • Learn about cultural celebrations, special events and traditions
  • Explore the commonalities and differences across communities, fostering empathy and understanding

Quick Links

Breakfast/Lunch Menu

Click the button below to access the breakfast and lunch menus. If you do not see the most recent menu, click the button in the top left corner of the menu website and search for our school.

Infinite Campus Parent Portal

Log in to the Infinite Campus Parent Portal to access student course schedules and to check grades and attendance.


Contact Ms. Cordero or Ms. Prado for assistance at 303-691-2384.

Innovation Learning, Inc.

Click the link below to register for FREE Before and After School care.

Pay 2021-2022 School Fees Online

You can now pay your school fees through our online platform of RevTrak. You can go to our website or click here to pay any school fees your child may have. We will only be accepting online payments for school fees at this time.

Safe2Tell

Safe2Tell Colorado gives YOU a safe, anonymous way to help someone who is struggling or hurting. Learn what to look for, what to listen for, and what to report.