Werner Weekly-Back to School
August 6, 2021
August 13: Meet the Teacher and Supply Drop-Off @ 3:30-4:30 (see details below)
August 16: First Day of School (Kindergarten on staggered start)
August 17: Kindergarten A-L at school
August 18: Kindergarten M-Z at school
August 18: New Family Orientation @ 9:00 am (Flex Room)
August 27: Tour de Cat Family Bike Ride @ 5:00 pm (Save the Date!)
Welcome back to the 2021-2022 school year! I'm excited that we will be back in person, and that we will be welcoming back so many students from PSDV and new students moving in. All together, almost a third of our school will be new to Werner or haven't been here in over a year. We are excited for all the new students that will be joining the Werner Family!
As you may have heard, PSD is planning to start the school year with masks for staff, students, and visitors. I know this was a difficult decision, especially with all the freedom we began to feel this summer. As the superintendent said in his messages Wednesday evening, things have changed in our community, the nation and world because of the more contagious and rapidly spreading Delta variant. It’s more contagious, it’s spreading and it’s impacting both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. When close contacts are masked, the health department will not, in most cases, require people exposed to quarantine. The only exception may be at lunch, where students don’t wear masks to eat. This is a BIG change from last year’s public health guidelines. If you have any questions on this, please let me know.
As we get ready to start the school year, please review the information below to prepare. We will share more detail next week about our specific protocols and routines to expect as we start the school year. In the meantime, please review PSD's 2021-22 FAQ's. This Back to School newsletter will give you updates on what you need to know to start the school year. I look forward to seeing you all soon!
NEWS FROM WERNER
Werner Protocols and Routines
Please use the PSD website for 2021-22 School Year FAQ’s for more updated detail and guidance.
PSD Protocols for COVID-19: Please use the PSD website for more guidance on what happens with a positive case for COVID 19.
Screening: Please screen your child for symptoms prior to sending them to school. If your child is sick, they will need to stay home. Call our attendance line (488-5551) to report absences. Communicate with office staff first if there is any information regarding the health of your child or someone in your family that the school needs to know, please do NOT reach out to the teacher first. There is a COVID Response Team (CRT) at each school which includes the front office staff and there are processes and procedures we need to follow. Once you communicate with the office, we can start determining next steps which include communicating the right message to the intended people. PSD will be following the Return to Learn guidance from CDPHE.
PSD works with the LCDHE to conduct contact tracing investigations when there is a COVID case
- PSD and LCDHE identifies whether anyone had close contact. LCDHE will ask close contacts to quarantine.
- In a routine classroom exposure (i.e. third graders sitting at desks), LCDHE will likely not quarantine individuals if the county’s vaccination rate is greater than 70% among those eligible to be vaccinated.
- PSD will notify families when there is a classroom/cohort exposure, even if no quarantines occur. The entire school community will not be notified.
- Case information is available on the COVID-19 data web page.
You should be exempt from quarantine if you are one of the following:
- Fully vaccinated
- You and others are masked
- Positive for COVID 90 days prior
- Participated in weekly testing
Face Coverings: Everyone (staff, students, and visitors) will be required to wear face coverings that covers their mouth and nose in PSD schools, buildings, and on buses (in accordance with federal law). Masks are not required outdoors. Parents/guardians are responsible for providing their students with face coverings, but we will have them available for students needing one. Please provide your child with a spare face covering to keep in their backpack or desk. Staff will be providing mask breaks throughout the day.
Handwashing: Hand washing and frequent cleaning practices will continue. Handwashing is preferred over hand sanitizer. Hand hygiene will happen upon arrival, after using the bathroom, before eating, after recess or completing activities that involved shared materials. Students may bring their own hand lotion from home.
Social Distancing/Interactions: Where possible, three feet of distance between students and desks will be followed. Small groups consisting of different cohorts are allowed, provided three feet of distance is maintained. Seating charts will be maintained for all classrooms and small groups. Cohort mixing during outside recess is acceptable.
Transportation: During the 2021-22 school year, PSD’s Transportation department is striving to maximize student ridership and ensure safety while following public health guidelines for bus transportation. The Transportation Department emailed families Aug. 9 to let them know if they will receive bussing services starting the first day of school. Masks are required on PSD buses: In accordance with federal law and CDPHE’s executive order, everyone must wear a mask on buses regardless of vaccination status. We appreciate your patience as PSD implements a new bus scan-card system to help with safety. They, also, are working through seating charts for contact tracing purposes. One tool that is helpful is the Here Comes the Bus app that will give you live updates on where your child's bus is. We encourage you to download and use for tracking your child's bus. For more information about transportation, go to the PSD website.
Student Absences: Absences and make up of work will be treated like previous years. If your child is out, please connect with their teacher to get the missed work. Laptops will not be sent home because there will not be synchronous remote teaching occurring unless the whole class is required to shift to remote by the health department. We will look at each case separately and make sure the student is getting the needed materials to make up the work missed.
Breakfast/Lunch: Meals will continue to be offered for free for students through the remainder of this school year. Students may also bring their own lunch. Breakfast will be available in the cafeteria and students will need to go through the office to access the cafeteria. Students will eat meals inside the cafeteria, or outside (weather dependent) and will be distanced by at least 3 ft. Students will need to enter their Student ID on a pin pad, so please work with your child on memorizing that (cards will be provided to students the first weeks to help support).
Recess: Students will look more normal this year with students being able to play together from other classrooms. Masks are not required outside. As students transition from the building to outside they can put their mask in their pocket or around their arm. Classrooms are provided with balls and equipment.
Technology: Students will be provided with technology to use if they need to isolate/quarantine because of a positive case or exposure.
Snack/Water Bottles: Students may bring a snack and filled water bottle. Your child’s teacher will communicate any other needs with this.
Birthdays: Students may have a pre-packaged (store bought) treat to celebrate birthdays. We encourage non-food rewards like an extra recess or special activity (work with teacher on this). If your child has a summer birthday, please let your teacher know when you plan to celebrate it.
Visitors/Volunteers: Nonessential visitors are not allowed at schools until further notice. Essential Visitors are:
Parents with scheduled meetings
Prospective families for school tours/visits
Child Protective Services/Law Enforcement
District approved contractors or District Staff from other buildings
Essential visitors must complete a symptom check upon arrival.
Before or after school, in-building enrichment clubs run may be run by volunteers, community partners, or staff as long as protocols are followed.
More details will come about volunteer opportunities.
AlphaBEST: Before and After School Child-Care is available on a space available basis. For more information, go to: https://www.alphabest.org/poudreco.
Each Friday, we will send out the Werner Weekly with important information you need. Our monthly newsletter will include information and spotlight different areas of our school. Both of these newsletters will come to emails that you have updated in ParentVue.
We utilize School Messenger and ParentVue for communication from PSD and Werner (email, phone, text). Please call the office (488-5550) if you have questions. It is important to keep your contact info updated in order to receive these. Our website provides the best source of information about Werner. You can also see communication on our Facebook, PTA Facebook and Twitter.
Our school day is 8:50 am-3:28 pm. Students should not arrive before 8:30 am. We will update you next week on arrival/dismissal procedures. If you need before/after school care, please check with AlphaBEST.
Parents will be able to access your student’s homeroom teacher after August 10 through ParentVue. Log in to your ParentVUE account, select your student if you have more than one in PSD, on the left-hand side click on class schedule. This will bring up your student’s homeroom teacher.
Our class placement process is a rigorous and our staff have worked very hard over the spring/summer to balance classrooms. We know that you may not get the teacher you want, but please know that all of our teachers are excellent and will provide a quality education for your child.
Meet the Teacher and Supply Drop-Off
Our annual Supply Drop-Off will be held on Friday, August 13 from 3:00-4:30 pm, with time afterwards for families to connect. Students in 2nd-5th will have the opportunity to drop off supplies and meet their teacher. Please enter through outer classroom doors (staff will be available to help guide on the playground). Due to current protocols, we will need to limit the number of people inside classrooms. Therefore, we are asking for families to drop off supplies during these time windows:
3:00-3:30 Last Name A-G
3:30-4:00 Last Name H-O
4:00-4:30 Last Name P-Z
Families can take time to connect on the Werner playground before/after supply drop-off. We will have a coffee truck for families to purchase drinks and PTA will provide some cool treats for the kids.
Kindergarten and 1st grade will schedule separate times for their Back-to-School events (teachers will communicate separately), but families are encouraged to bring their students so they can connect with other and enjoy a cool treat.
Masks are required for all students, staff, and visitors inside Werner, but are optional outside.
Werner Orientation and New Family Meet & Greet-August 18 @ 9:00 a.m.
Come meet other new families and learn more about Werner and our PTA. We will meet in the Flex Room after the start of school. Call the office (488-5550) if you have questions.
First Day of School
The first day for elementary students is Monday, August 16 for 1st-5th grade students. Kindergarten will be operating on a staggered start (teachers will communicate separately):
- August 16- Parent/Student Orientation Last Name A-L @ 9:00-9:45; M-Z @ 10:15-11:00
- August 17- Students with last name of A-L
- August 18- Students with last name of M-Z)
- August 19- All students
If your child has any medical needs, please contact our school office (488-5550) to set an appointment with our school nurse.
You can find more information on the PSD website under Student Health.
Menus & Meal Prices
Thanks to an extension of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s school district reimbursement program, PSD will once again offer free meals to any enrolled PSD student during the 2021-22 school year.
Learn about ingredients and other menu details
(Menus are subject to change based on availability of ingredients, supply or other factors.)
PSD's Menu Website lets you search for your school's menus and gives you access to information about allergens, carb counts, and nutrition details with each daily item. To download a free app for your phone, go to iTunes or Google Play and search for Nutrislice.
Ingredients in recipes are listed in the Ingredient Database.
For details about nutritional data, allergens, meal exemptions and substitutions, visit our Special Food Needs web page.
PSD is anticipating an increase in ridership in 2021-22, compared to the 2020-21 school year, with possible limitations because of a reduction in routes due to the ongoing bus driver shortage. Currently, there is not a specific number of riders that PSD will bus in 2021-22.
If you were receiving services at the end of the 2020-21 school year and have no changes, you do not need to submit a request for bussing in the 2021-22 school year.
Notification of bus services between Aug. 1 and first day of school
Requests will be reviewed, and the PSD Transportation Department will notify families about whether they will receive services sometime after Aug. 1 and before the first day of school. If they are confirmed for services, they will receive their bus route information. There is not a set, single date when families can expect a response back from Transportation, as that will depend on the request and routing process over the next few months.
For more information, go to the PSD website under Transportation.
Before/After School Childcare-AlphaBEST
AlphaBEST is our before/after school care. For more information about their services and enrolling for the upcoming school year, go to this site: https://www.alphabest.org/poudreco/.
Classroom Teachers will host Back-to-School nights on the following dates/times:
Sept. 7: Kindergarten @ 5:00 pm and 1st grade @ 6:00 pm
Sept. 8: 2nd grade @ 5:00 pm and 4th grade @ 6:00 pm
Sept. 9: 3rd grade @ 5:00 pm and 5th grade @ 6:00 pm
The purpose of these times is to orient parents to the grade level curricular program and expectations. We look forward to seeing you attend these important nights. We will update you later whether these will be in-person or virtual.
NEWS FROM WERNER PTA
Message from PTA
Follow us on Facebook! The Werner PTA is excited for the 2021/22 school year. We will have Otter Pops available for all children and we've invited a Coffee Cart to be available for purchase and welcome Werner Families back at the School Supply Drop off. New families will receive a FREE drink ticket for coffee upon attendance! Come find the PTA table before you leave because we’ll be gifting every Werner grown up, that joins as a PTA member, a Wildcat yard sign!!!! Membership is a $10 donation to the PTA and does not obligate you to any meetings or volunteer hours.
Join the PTA! We have a couple of positions open this year on the PTA Board. Check them out below and send an email to Anjani, the PTA President, if you might be interested.
VP of Community will assist with organization of community events like, Mugs with Mentors & Donuts for Grown-Ups.
VP of Fundraising will assist with organization of fundraising events.
Community Service Chair will partner with the VP of Community for our Werner Cares & Shares outreach programs like the Fall Food Drive and Holiday Giving Tree.
Volunteers Needed for FALL FUN FEST. We are super excited to be planning the return of Fall Fun Fest! We have some major fun in store for Werner Families and are in need of 5 – 10 grown-ups to volunteer so we can make it a success. >>> Sign up HERE <<<
Thank you for supporting the Werner Elementary PTA!
PTA President – Anjani
PTA Vice President – Nicole Kidd
PTA Treasurer – Patti Haswell
PTA Secretary – Chelsea Padgett
PTA Board member – Juliana Schump
NEWS FROM PSD
Meet our New Superintendent-Brian Kingsley
PSD 21-22 School Year Updates
PSD Newsletter-Great Happens Here
One of many ways information is shared is through the Great Happens Here community newsletter, which features timely information about the latest happenings in the district. GHH is emailed to families and interested community members about every two weeks.
Here is the most recent newsletter from PSD with Great Happens Here. For archived newsletters and information about how to sign up, go to: https://www.psdschools.org/department/communications.
Child Nutrition and Meals
Student wellness and achievement starts with excellent nutrition. Well-nourished students perform better in the classroom. That is why Poudre School District is dedicated to providing healthy, nutritious meals in all school cafeterias. Check out our Child Nutrition Newsletter and our website https://www.psdschools.org/programs-services/school-meals for menu links, meal prices and department information.
Free Meals During the 2021-22 School Year
Thanks to an extension of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s school district reimbursement program, PSD will once again offer free meals to any enrolled PSD student during the 2021-22 school year. Ala carte items will be sold at the secondary level. Cash will be accepted but no change will be given, all change will go on the student’s meal account. Please email refund requests to email@example.com and include your student’s name and ID number.
Families are encouraged to apply for Free and Reduced meals for the coming school year. Those who qualify for benefits are eligible for school fee/charge waivers, possible P-EBT payments, and their school will also receive additional student funding. Many community programs and businesses (City of Fort Collins Parks and Rec, Comcast, Fort Collins Soccer Club) also waive or reduce fees with proof of free or reduced meal eligibility.
Families can also apply for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (FCC BB information) that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying households. A qualification is a household that is approved under the free and reduced school lunch or breakfast program.
Qualifying Students may Apply for Fees/Charges Waivers
Did you know? If your child is eligible for free or reduced-price meals in Poudre School District, you may also be able to take advantage of another fantastic benefit: waivers for some school fees and charges. To be eligible for these benefits, you must be approved to receive free or reduced-price meals and complete an additional form each school year.
- Free and Reduced-Priced Meal Application: Families can apply on-line at https://www.myschoolapps.com/Application or pick up a paper application at your child's school. Applications must be completed annually to stay registered for the program. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here - Letter to Parents. Your child's free or reduced-price meal eligibility status is confidential.
- Once approved for free and reduced-priced meals, complete PSD’s Permission to Share Information for Fee Waivers and Programs to Receive Goods and Services Form. This form is available on-line through the PSD ParentVUE portal. Completing this form gives PSD's Child Nutrition Department permission to share your child's eligibility status with other district officials. These officials must also maintain confidentiality of your child's eligibility status. You must fill out the Permission to Share form each year.
Waivers are available for some but not ALL school fees and charges, including summer school tuition, extra-curricular activities and supplies, curricular supply costs and more.
After you submit the form and your child is approved, SchoolPay will automatically update fees/charges that are eligible for a waiver, displaying a $0.00 balance due once you proceed to checkout in SchoolPay.
SchoolPay is Poudre School District's online payment partner. SchoolPay allows convenient online payment to all Poudre School District fees. To set up an account, view meal activity, view balances or make payments visit https://psdschools.schoolpay.com. Purchase activity and balances are updated each evening.
Special Food Needs
For those families with students who require meal modifications, please read this Meal Modification Letter and follow the instructions included.
- Medical Statement for Meal Modification
- Dietary Preference Form for Meal Modification
- Discontinuation of Meal Modifications
Need Some Additional Food Assistance?
Reach out to see if you are eligible at https://snapcolorado.benefitslaunch.org/
Have a question and you’re not sure who to contact? Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get it forwarded to just the right person.
Have a great school year! We look forward to seeing you In the Café!
Resources for those facing housing and food hardship
The COVID-19 pandemic has created financial hardships for many in our community, leading to housing instability and food insecurity. There are financial resources available to help families and landlords and protections in place to help people stay housed. The PSD Department of Language, Culture, & Equity has worked with community partners to put together resources to support families.
Please see the LCE Family Resources Information (English and Spanish) for information on support with housing, food, and utilities.