EPES Returns to In Person Learning

2020-2021

Thank you for your support and hard work during first quarter Cloud School! We are so proud of our students’ ongoing effort and family partnerships that have made Cloud School a success!


We have been working closely with and receiving continued guidance from Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) and Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), Colorado Department of Education (CDE), and our teachers to develop our plan for returning to in-person learning. Changes in guidelines can come at any time and recommendations for best health and safety precautions continue to be developed. Should anything in our plan change, we are committed to timely updates for all.


We continue to keep the priorities we have heard from families at the heart of our decisions:

  • Minimizing health risks

  • Consistency for student engagement in learning

  • Ensuring students are able to connect with peers in person

School Start and End Time

In order to make these adjustments that allow for smaller class sizes and keep our students with their cohort groups throughout the school day, we have to adjust our school start and end time because of the staffing adjustments that were necessary. The school day will be 8:10 to 2:00.

Phased Re-entry Schedule

We plan to slowly bring back students two grade levels at a time starting with our Kindergartners and 1st graders. This slow phased approach will allow for students to learn new health and safety procedures and for us to make any necessary adjustments along the way to ensure a safe return to school. Your teacher will contact you to let you know whether your child is in Group A or B.

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Classes and Class Sizes

Our goal is to maintain small class sizes. In an effort to minimize any viral transmission, ensure more efficient contact tracing, and minimize the number of students impacted if our school does need to shut down for a period of time in response to a COVID outbreak, students will remain in their classroom “cohort” at all times throughout the school day. The only exception to this is that each classroom cohort will have a partner cohort that they will be able to participate in recess with outdoors. This cohort grouping and their partner cohort will remain the same throughout the school year.

Face Coverings and Physical Distancing

Face coverings and physical distancing are the two primary ways to prevent and mitigate viral transmission. All students and staff are expected to wear tight fitting face coverings that cover the nose and mouth. When students are outside at recess or another break time and physically distanced by 6 ft., they will be allowed to remove their mask. Students who refuse to wear a mask and who do not have a valid and approved exception will not be able to attend in-person classes.


Staff and students will practice physical distancing by separating from each other 6 ft apart to the greatest extent possible. In the classroom students will have assigned seats spaced 3 to 6 ft. apart, and shared supplies will be minimized.

Student and Staff Health

In accordance with LCDHE, students and staff should not be at school with any symptoms of COVID-19, even mild ones. All parents must conduct daily health checks and home screenings for their students before they get on a bus or arrive at school. This includes a temperature check and answering a list of screening questions to ensure students don’t have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Any student who arrives at school with any symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home.


COVID-19 Symptoms:

  • Fever over 100.4

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Runny nose

  • Body/muscle aches

This is an essential virus mitigation effort we are taking to ensure we keep everyone healthy and safe at school. Any student or staff exhibiting symptoms will be moved to a medical safe room where they will be screened and while waiting for an immediate parent pick up. It is imperative that the school has up-to-date contact information for parents as well as local emergency contacts. If you have a change, please contact the school office and update your information.

Handwashing and Sanitizing

We will increase hand washing and sanitizing throughout the day for all students. A classroom handwashing schedule will be developed in every grade level, and handwashing will be required at regularly scheduled times during the school day. Hand sanitizer is placed throughout the school in the hallways. Bathrooms will be cleaned and sanitized a minimum of four times per day. School classrooms and common areas will be cleaned regularly.

Breakfast & Lunch

Free breakfast and Lunch will be available to all students daily. Breakfasts and lunches will be served grab-and-go style and eaten in the classrooms. Students may eat lunch in an outdoor area with their class, weather permitting. Please note that there will not be access to microwaves.

Recess

Each classroom will be assigned a partner cohort classroom to attend recess outdoors in a designated area. Playground equipment can be used. When recess is held outside and distancing can be achieved, students will not need to wear face coverings.

Arrival and Dismissal

School arrival procedures will look much different than in previous years to ensure safe physical distancing with a staggered arrival. All students will be warmly greeted curbside by staff and will walk to their classroom with staff support. All students will be expected to be dropped off curbside from their vehicle. No parents or siblings will be allowed to enter the building at this time. Specific and designated arrival/dismissal procedures will be provided to parents prior to the start of school.

Drinking Fountains

Students should bring a refillable water bottle to school. Drinking fountains will not be available for students, but sinks or water bottle refill stations may still be utilized throughout the day.

School Supplies

Please send school supplies with your student the first week of school. School supply lists are attached here in both English and Spanish.

Quarantining & Building Closures

All families should be prepared for possible rolling closures of in-person learning. Decisions relating to quarantining or building closures will be made in collaboration with LCDHE based on the facts gathered through contact tracing any positive cases, and the individual circumstances If there is an outbreak associated with the school or rates of transmission increase, the school building may be required to close and we will transition to Cloud School.

Can I visit or volunteer?

Visitors and volunteers will not be allowed in the building this year as one of our virus mitigation measures. We will miss the incredible impact of our volunteers and the frequent connections with visitors in person. There will be a drop off bin outside the doors for any materials or lunches that need to be dropped off and delivered to students. Parent/guardian meetings will be held via Zoom or in person by appointment only.

Thank You!

We are looking forward to a great transition to in person learning. Thank you again for your partnership as we work together to make this the best school year possible!


Erin Miller and John Bryant