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Return to Learn Update from Principal Neiman - Aug. 3

Dear Riverview Community,

Families in our community are facing a heavy decision about how to send their children back to school. When making this decision I ask two things from you. The first is to be kind and respectful of each other’s decisions. I spoke to many families this last week who are feeling the need to justify their decisions for fear of being judged. We as educators are not here to judge. We are here to serve our students in the best way possible. I believe the “right” decision is the one you are making for your student and your family. Please be kind to each other. 

My second ask is that we have grace with each other. The challenge of reopening school is daunting and we are working intentionally and as quickly as we can to build out a learning experience that is safe and can meet a wide range of learning and emotional needs. The requirements to group students and teachers and to keep cohorts separated during the school day is challenging and important work. As always we welcome communication and feedback. Thank you for your patience and grace. 

I want to emphasize that any in-person learning this year will be unlike what we have considered normal in the past. Riverview’s goal is to engage all students in learning with a strong emphasis on supporting students academically and social-emotionally. Given the current situation with COVID-19 here in LaPlata County, our local public health agencies feel that it is possible to open schools, as long as students are kept in consistent, socially-distanced cohorts.  For those that feel comfortable, RVE  is committed to adhering to safety recommendations per the Colorado Department of Education and our teachers are so excited to meet their new students. 

Below are the three different models that you could choose from.  Choices will be made for Semester 1 (school starting date through winter break). However, if a family is struggling with their current learning model and Riverview has the space and staff to safely support the family’s needs, we can make the change.  

1) Remote Learning Model: Students will participate in Home Learning.  Home Learning will be taught by a RVE teacher, using the It’s Learning platform. Durango 9R will support students with access to technology tools where needed. We are striving to provide students with an opportunity to continue to interact with their school community – while meeting their need to stay home. Every effort will be made to ensure an engaging and rigorous experience that meets the needs of our students. We feel confident that we will be able to meet the needs of your child during remote instruction. 

2) Blended Learning Model:  Students will attend school two days a week in a classroom.  Students will receive core instruction during this in person time and be provided structured learning activities and projects to engage with while at home on the other days of the week to continue their learning and solidify skills and knowledge. Students will not have access to teachers on a regular basis when not at school.  The blended model cohorts will run on a Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday model, meaning one group of students will meet on Mondays/Tuesdays (with the exception of Labor Day which will make the cohort meet Tuesday/Wednesday) and the other cohort will meet on Thursdays/Fridays. RVE will work with other schools to ensure alignment with families. 

3) In-person learning Model- five days a week: Students will be served in a classroom five days a week as long as permitted by public health orders. Students who choose to participate in in-person learning will be required to go through passive health screenings on the days they go to school and take health precautions throughout the day. 

In the classroom, students will be spaced with as much personal space as the class size allows. Students will only have limited access to areas in the buildings, including designated bathrooms. There will be a strong emphasis on washing hands, watching distance, and wearing face coverings. 

Recess: Students will have an opportunity to play outside and on the playground, and will be kept in their groups (cohorts).  They will not be required to wear masks outside as long as they can maintain 6’ of distance from each other. Recess times will be spread out over the day to ensure each group remains separated from each other.

Outdoor Learning:We will be working to take full advantage of outdoor learning spaces, our beautiful school campus, parks and other outdoor facilities, whenever the weather permits. Our team is working to identify outdoor learning spaces.

Lunch:Students will eat lunch together in cohorts in the classroom or in designated outdoor spaces.  Meals will be provided, at a cost for families.  If you will need a free or reduced lunch, please fill out the free and reduced application:Click Here

School Funding: School funding is allocated on a per pupil basis in Durango 9R. Each student enrolled in ANY of our 3 models will bring with him/her approximately $8,000 to our school budget. The number of dollars a school receives is based on how many students are enrolled on October 1st. Schools do not receive additional funding for students who enroll after this point in the school year. If you are considering having your child engage in a remote model, we hope that you will give RVE the opportunity to provide this programming.  This will ensure that our school can weather the pandemic while still providing the necessary resources for our students.

For more information about the models, please  read through the entire Return to Learn plan found HERE.  

Family Engagement Sessions

The district is hosting two family engagement sessions regarding the plan on August 6th and 7th, at 7:30 am, 12:00pm and 6:00 pm on both dates. These zoom sessions will also be available in Spanish. Please visit the districts webpage to access the meetings and participate in the engagement sessions. You may also provide feedback to the district through our online feedback form HERE

Parents will receive a digital selection form to choose the model most appropriate for them.   Please fill this out as soon as you have made your decision. RVE administration will need this information to create a master schedule and assign staff to one of the three models. The last day to fill out the survey is August 10th as a deadline for families to make their choice. 

I know that the decision of which model to choose is a challenging one. As a parent, I have grappled with what is best for my own children and family. Once again,  the decision you make is the “right” one.  Feel confident that you made the right decision with the information you had at that time.Remember to be kind and respectful of each other's “right decisions.” If you have questions, feel free to reach out to me. lneiman@durangoschools.org


Thanks for your continued support.  

In partnership, 

Lindsay Neiman