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Hey team, Hope everyone is off to great start today! Just wanted to pass along some CRT tips and tricks from Zaretta Hammond. If you would like access to her video, click this link and register, then it will be sent to you. Otherwise, you can find my summary of the video in this Google Doc. As always, please reach out with any questions or if I can support with anything. Be well, Nikki
As we were having our morning conversation around grading yesterday, I began thinking about filling out the annual Alternative Education Campus Application. To be an AEC school, for which we receive additional funding, you have to prove that 95% of the student body have suffered one or multiple barriers to their education, such as homelessness, addiction, domestic abuse, incarceration, pregnancy, you get the idea. In that document one must literally go student by student, mark a barrier or barriers and provide documentation to substantiate that barrier. Every year it is a cold reality check on what our students have been through. Ultimately, you end with a strikingly efficient yet cold document which lays bare the absolute hell most of our kids have endured. Then comes Covid-19. The most severe crisis to strike us since perhaps World War II. And we know this crisis, like most, disproportionately effect those that are most vulnerable, precisely our students. In short a grave situation just got a lot worse. Over the past two years we have focused on equity as a powerful lever which we could use to break through barriers and reach students who have been disenfranchised in their education. It is now more important than ever to use that lever in our course design and grading system. Course Design: As a starting point please consider our students current circumstances and what can be accomplished. When designing your courses and determining which competencies will be demonstrated, I would consider depth over breadth, dialing back the number of times a competency must be demonstrated and creating as many opportunities and modalities to show competency as possible. Also I believe that it is essential that each student is provided with a roadmap that clearly details how the course can be successfully completed. Grading System: It is imperative, the grading system causes no harm and seeks to encourage rather than deter students. Therefore we will follow these guidelines:
Ultimately, I believe we must honor the work that students have done, not cause further harm by penalizing students for circumstances for which they had no control and most importantly provide and deploy every resource at our disposal for the students benefit. If you have any questions, comments or concerns please reach out to me. Appreciatively, David Daves
Secondary School Leaders,
Thank you for all your work this week as we began remote learning. The feedback received this week around the positive experience it has been for so many students is truly a reflection of your leadership. As we move into our second week, we will provide the details regarding grading for the remainder of the school year. This information will be shared during the Grading Guidance Webinar scheduled for Wednesday morning. The guidance communicated this week is listed again below and will be implemented across all district schools.
Rationale for Plan:
As the Schools and Academics Division considered a grading model for spring 2020 that has equity at the center, we identified the following strengths of a credit/no credit grading model that was supportive of all students and teachers:
· Alleviates equity issues across teachers (e.g., capacity to deliver online instruction, capacity to support students while working from home, sickness)
· Alleviates equity issues across students (e.g., conditions for learning, capacity to be self taught/home schooled, ability to submit assignments) · Maintains student engagement and learning while acknowledging new learning conditions
District Grading Plan for Spring 2020 Semester (All 9-12 Schools):
All spring 2020 marking periods for grades 9-12 that were in progress as of March 13 will convert to a credit/no credit model. This model will focus on the essential understandings/big ideas/competencies of a course and will rely on a body of evidence (e.g., essay, presentation, project) for determining credit for the course. All marking periods that were in progress, or yet to begin, will be converted to a credit/no credit model. The 2020 spring semester will be removed from all cumulative GPA calculations for students in grades 9-12. Class ranking for seniors will be based on GPA through the fall of 2019.
Grading Guidance Webinar – 9:00 am., Wednesday, April 15, 2020:
The webinar will support implementing the new grading model and address the following areas:
|Rationale for moving to this grading model district-wide|
|Guidance for granting credit and body of evidence examples|
|Additional grading guidance for specific courses (e.g., CE, CTE, internship)|
|Implications for Advanced Placement|
|Graduation Requirements 2021|
If you have additional questions in areas not listed above please reach out to Cathy_Martin@dpsk12.organd we will make sure information is addressed.
We are monitoring the shifts from our college partners around grading, attendance, and registration policies and will continue to communicate those. The latest information can be found here.
NCAA Guidance to date:
We are reaching out to NCAA to determine what changes could be made given the unprecedented time that we are in and the challenge for students with no SAT score for spring 2020. We will continue to advocate for adjustments to GPA calculations for a “credit” grade so that our students are not at a disadvantage.
DPS expects that students enrolled in AP courses will take all related exams and submit portfolios for each AP course they are enrolled. Despite no GPA calculation this spring, students will have the incentive of earning potential college credit and / or advanced course placement upon college matriculation. Students will maintain the weighted grade for AP course work completed at the end of the Fall semester.
2021 Graduation Requirements:
We will be providing future communication and updates the week of April 20 for consideration for the class of 2021 graduation requirements in conjunction with information provided from CDE and connected to our current remote environment.
Thank you for your continued work and support. We appreciate your collaboration in this new environment and look forward to our continued work together next week.
Mike and Tamara
Thursday, April 09, 2020 7:52 PM Hi! I hope this finds you doing well! Going back to old times with a recipe exchange! As the world is social distancing right now, many of us are experimenting in our kitchens to help pass the time. So you have been invited to be a part of a #QuarantineCooking recipe exchange! Yay! Please send a recipe to the person whose name is in position #1 (even if you don’t know them) and it should be something quick, easy and without rare ingredients. Actually, the best one is the one you know in your head and can type right now. Don’t agonize over it… It is the recipe you make when you are short on time. After you’ve sent your recipe to the person in position #1 below (and only to that person), copy this email into a new email, move my name to the top and put your name in position #2. Only my and your name should show when you send your email. Send to 20 friends via BCC. If you cannot do this within 5 days, let me know so it will be fair to those participating. You should receive 36 recipes. It’s fun to see where they come from! Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas. The turnaround is fast, as there are only 2 names on the list and you only have to do this once. In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and STAY HOME. Happy #QuarantineCooking
#1 Amy Gonzalez email@example.com
#2 Iris Alarcon firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Special Education Team Members and Supervisors of Special Education,
Now that we are in the thick of remote learning, there are a few topics that are coming up that I felt needed some communication and clarification.
Many folks have raised concerns regarding confidentiality issues. This is a nationwide issue. In working with our legal team, fellow special education directors in the metro area, and various federal agencies, we are offering the following guidance.
As DPS staff members, you have access to Google’s G Suite platform tools (charters may have other options) to set up remote video learning with students through Google Hangouts Meet. (For district managed schools, DPS has a data privacy agreement with Google). This platform should be utilized for individual or group services. Video sessions or streaming with students during special education classes or the provision of related services should never be recorded. You can record lessons without students to disseminate. During group video sessions, where other students may be present, providers shouldn’t be disclosing information from a student’s educational record (e.g. talking about student’s grades, discipline, etc.) Before engaging in virtual groups, it is recommended that the provider contact guardian(s) to set expectations and discuss whether the guardian(s) can offer privacy during these group sessions for the related service times. Remind them that we cannot guarantee other families won’t be present in the other student’s homes while their children are receiving group intervention. Questions or disagreements about whether a particular service can be effectively or appropriately provided under the circumstances should be resolved using the Contingency Plan process. We do not need additional consent to conduct service virtually or provide teleservices.
As long as you are following these guidelines, you are meeting confidentiality requirements. In addition, if you are using digital products from the Academic Technology Menu, then you are meeting FERPA and other privacy requirements. If you are not sure if your digital product is protected by a data protection agreement, please contact your school leader. For questions on Assistive Technology, contact Jackie_Bott@dpsk12.org.
Paul Foster, the Colorado Director of Special Education, sent out this memo to district Special Education Directors and it is located on their website. There has been some misunderstanding of the purpose of this document, and this misinformation has spread around the DPS community. Each year, the CDE requires all school districts to do an audit of IEPs/Evaluations as a measure of various indicators of success. These audits are called standard record reviews. This memo indicates that CDE will not require these standard record reviews for this year (with the exception of Indicator 13). This DOES NOT imply that we are not to follow our IDEA obligations. This simply means that we do not need to centrally conduct these audits. This has NO impact on your work. Please refer to the Special Education Remote Learning Guidance found in the DPS Remote Learning website for a better understanding of the Special Education requirements based on Federal Guidance. Please visit often and make sure you check out the updates and new information.
Some individuals are questioning what “in-person learning” means. This comes directly from Governor Polis’ Executive Order. This means NO in-person interaction. CDE provides further guidance that indicates that this includes normal in-person homebound instruction. DPS cannot provide any face-to-face tutoring by executive order at this time. This includes one-on-one paraprofessionals in the home, hiring a teacher to work in the home or requesting tutoring occur in a separate location. Again, we can provide remote learning to the greatest extent possible, as indicated in the Federal guidance, and then once we return to face-to-face instruction, we can determine if compensatory services are needed.
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY DEADLINE
As shared in the March 27 edition of Teacher Weekly, Identifying students with disabilities’ need for and distributing appropriate Assistive Technology (AT) for each student is part of DPS Special Education’s Remote Learning contingency plan process.
In collaboration with general education colleagues, all Special Educators and SSPs must submit one AT request by April 10 per student with a disability (IEP and 504) IF additional AT is identified in their contingency plan. Please do not include devices students may still need to access instruction in general, only specialty devices that may be needed for access because of the barriers of a student’s disability. DoTS is working directly with schools to make sure general devices are distributed and students with disabilities are included in the population that they are serving. While contingency plans are not due on April 10th, contingency plan technology requests must be aligned with delivery windows and DoTS’ technology distribution plan.
Read & Write, Equat10 and WriQ software programs have been pushed out to the entire district, staff and students, for the remainder of remote learning. AT does not need a request for these software programs. Students should log into a chromebook or the chrome browser on other devices with their DPS credentials (Username: Student ID Number, Password: 8-digit Birthdate) to access these tools. They have been pushed out to each student and will not require students to download the extensions.
The AT Team will prepare requested devices the week of April 13th and distribute ready devices ASAP. AT Questions? Contact email@example.com.
I hope this is helpful in your planning and I do hope your first day of remote learning was successful. Please have a safe and healthy week.
Director of Special Education