Welcome Back Explore Crew!

August 2020

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Welcome Back Explore Students & Families!

Dear Explore Students & Families,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! It has felt like an eternity since I have seen you all, but not a day goes by that you aren’t on my mind! I sure have missed all of you and I cannot wait to see all of your faces when we are back for in-person learning later on this month. I hope everyone has had a fruitful summer filled with lots of family fun and connection! Hopefully you have also found some time to read a book that is interesting to you! Keep reading!

I am beyond excited to continue serving as Explore’s School Director! This is my third year as Explore's School Director. The past two years were filled with incredible learning opportunities and reflection. Explore has been “home” for me throughout my career and I am honored to support the Explore students, families, community, and staff. I am eager to jump into our work with the staff and students to continue the deep learning and character development Explore is known for.

Even though things will look quite different this school year, we are so excited to see you all back and to get the 2020-2021 school year going! In collaboration with Mapleton Public Schools, Colorado Department of Education (CDE), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and Tri-County Health, Explore staff have been in the building hard at work creating plans that are in accordance with all guidelines. I want to assure you that the district has put together a very comprehensive plan. Safety is, and will continue to be, at the forefront of all of Explore’s plans.

Although bell times will remain the same, pick up and drop off procedures will look different. As we draw closer to the start of the school year, please be on the lookout for communication from myself and your child’s teacher regarding specific plans and procedures for your child’s classroom. It will be imperative that students and families follow these procedures to ensure the health and safety of our Explore community. I will post updates and Explore’s specific plans as they become available.

If you ever have questions about your child’s classroom or Explore, don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher, the front office, Ms. Molinaro (molinarol@mapleton.us) or 303-853-1172), or me – Ms. Van Decar (vandecara@mapleton.us or 303-853-1171). Please continue to check the Mapleton website for all of the most up to date information! Enjoy the rest of your summer break!

See you next week!

Angie Van Decar

Explore Director


The Mapleton Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution in support of reopening Mapleton's schools on Thursday, Aug. 27, with in-person five-day a week instruction while also offering students the option to enroll in Mapleton Online, a new K-12 online school that will focus on standards-based, project-based, and individualized learning.

To assure that all schools are prepared for in-person learning, Mapleton will use the latest guidance and precautions to protect the health and wellbeing of students and staff.

For more information on Mapleton's plan to reopen, please read our Roadmap to Reopening. Watch the video below about our Roadmap to Reopening to learn how Mapleton is preparing to keep students and staff safe at school.

Mapleton Reopens Web Page

Click the button above to learn more about Mapleton's plan for reopening our schools.

Roadmap to Reopening
Mapleton Back to School Frequently Asked Questions

Click the button above to access Mapleton's Back to School FAQ


We are welcoming you back with the goal of making our school building feel as safe, welcoming, and comfortable as possible, while introducing important modifications to provide for the health and wellness of every student and every staff member. Our robust reopening plan includes actionable, proactive measures. Be on the look out for detailed information regarding Explore's plan for reopening.


When we return, you will notice some new faces! We have added some new members to our Explore crew and I’m sure you will welcome them with open arms. As we say goodbye to some old friends, we say hello to:

Lindzy Molinaro - Assistant Director

Kammie Carrillo - Kindergarten

Nicky Walsh - 1st grade

TBD - 4th grade

Cory Klimper - 7th grade math/science

Sarah Tanksavala - 7th grade ELA/social studies

Liz Schmidt -.5 special education

Veronica Madrigal Leon - Custodian

Hannah Skalbeck - Cohort Support from Performing Arts

We are so happy to have them, and we are confident that they will be great additions to our Explore Crew! We are beyond excited about our upcoming year and look forward to working with everyone.


Virtual Back to School Night

In light of our current circumstances, we are unable to meet in person for Back to School Night. This year we will be offering a Virtual Back to School Night via a Microsoft Teams invitation (live) and our website. This means you will be able to view each grade level's Virtual Back to School Night at a time that works best for you and your student(s). See below for more information.

Explore PK-8 Virtual Back to School Night

Wednesday, Sep. 2nd, 5:30pm

This is an online event.

On September 2nd, every grade level team will host two Microsoft Teams meetings for families to attend - one at 5:30 p.m. and the next at 6:30 p.m. This is an opportunity to celebrate the start of our first weeks of school, as well as learn the expectations and routines of your child’s classroom. The presentation will be the same for each scheduled time. This way parents with more than one student can attend two different grade level presentations. Each presentation will be planned for 20 minutes, with 20 minutes for questions from parents. The presentations will be recorded and posted on the Explore website.

Please make sure the office has your most recent and accurate email address. Teachers will be sending Microsoft Teams invites on Tuesday, September 1st.


All whole school communication to students and families is sent via email, text messages, and robo calls. Please make sure the main office has your most current email and phone number contact information. In addition, the Explore website is updated on a regular basis. When you are looking for information, please visit our website at www.mapleton.us/explore


Throughout Mapleton all enrollment, registration, and updates happen via Infinite Campus Parent Portal. If you have not logged into Parent Portal and completed the “Annual Update”, please contact Explore’s main office at 303-853-1170 to get your login information.

ALL updates must be completed in Infinite Campus Parent Portal. Existing Explore families – please make sure you complete the update BEFORE school begins. When all students in your child’s crew have completed the update, the whole class will celebrate with a treat from Ms. Van Decar & Ms. Molinaro.


All Mapleton schools are pausing uniform policies for the upcoming school year as we focus on safely reopening schools and getting back to learning. It is our hope that this decision will help our families get ready to go back to school as we all focus on keeping our community and classrooms healthy.

For the upcoming school year, we ask that all families follow the District standards for dress code outlined in our student behavior handbook, https://www.mapleton.us/Page/1734. Students are welcome and encouraged to show their school pride by wearing school colors, logos tees, and clothing that follows uniform guidelines that they may already have. If you are interested in Explore logo shirts, please contact the Explore main office at 303-853-1170. We will assist you in getting these items.

As a reminder, all students at Explore will be wearing masks, especially when in close proximity to other students/staff. Masks should also follow the District standard for dress codes.


For those of you interested in purchasing Explore gear, click the button above.


As we focus on keeping our community, school buildings, and classrooms safe and healthy, we are rethinking many of our back-to-school traditions, including our school supply list.

This year, to minimize the sharing of supplies and make sure all students have the materials they need to be successful in the classroom, we are not asking parents to send their students to school with school supplies. The district will provide students with all necessary supplies. This was made possible by generous donations and the Mapleton Education Foundation.

The only item students will be asked to bring to school is a backpack to safely transport iPads and Chromebooks to and from school.


If you have bus questions, please contact Explore's main office at 303-853-1170. Our office staff can support you.

Paw Pass - All families who live within the Mapleton School district and are looking to register a new student to ride a Mapleton bus must complete and sign the registration form. Please visit the Paw Pass page and click on the 'How to obtain a Paw Pass' tab.


Breakfast is free for students in kindergarten through 7th grade.

Lunch prices for K-6 students is $1.90, 7th grade is $2.40, and milk is $.50.

Please visit the Mapleton Nutrition Services website for lunch menus and to add money to your child's lunch account www.mapleton.us/Domain/1055.

Online free and reduced lunch application is located at www.myschoolapps.com/Home/PickDistrict.


Class lists are available within Infinite Campus Parent Portal. Due to safety and health regulations, we will not be posting class lists outside of the school. If you would like to know who your child's crew teacher is, please login to Infinite Campus Parent Portal: https://icampus.mapleton.us/campus/portal/mapleton.jsp



Explore newsletters will be posted on our website for future reference