April 30 Weekly Community Update

Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 3:00pm

Information on graduation, family engagement survey data, budget update and more

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As a reminder, we are now sending a regular update each Thursday afternoon to the Five Star community for the remainder of the school year. This communication is designed to consolidate important updates for you into one weekly email. 

UPDATES

Class of 2020 Graduation & Celebrations
We have planned multiple opportunities to celebrate the graduating class including virtual ceremonies in late May/early June, a drive-in ceremony for Vantage Point in late June and in-person ceremonies for all high schools tentatively scheduled for late July. Visit the district website for more information on the ceremonies, including dates, time and location.

High schools will send additional communication to their families regarding other upcoming senior events, including cap & gown and yearbook pick up, school materials drop off, graduation pictures, payment of fees, locker clean out, etc. 

Remote Learning Engagement Stats
Since April 1, over 92% of our students have engaged in remote learning. Teachers look at work completion on a weekly basis, allowing students to complete assignments throughout the day and week at times that work best for them. Instead of on a daily basis, teachers track attendance based on weekly student participation and work completion.    

No Teacher Office Hours on Friday, May 8
On the district calendar, Friday, May 8 is currently identified as an Elementary Planning Day. In an effort to provide all teachers with an end-of-year opportunity for planning and adjustment based on their learning, this planning day will be extended to include all elementary, K-8, middle and high school teachers. Teachers will be unavailable for office hours on Friday, May 8. Teachers will use this day to plan for the remaining instructional time available with students and begin development of their culminating, end-of-year activities. 

Family-School Relationships Survey Data Released
Results from the annual Family-School Relationships Survey are now live. These results provide school leaders with valuable insights to measure year-over-year trends and ensure we are best serving you and your child. Before the end of the school year, you will hear from your school on how the data is helping inform areas of strength and opportunities for growth. In the meantime, families are encouraged to view the results for your particular school or the district. 

You can view the 2019-20 survey results, guides for reviewing the data and a district overview at http://www.adams12.org/familysurvey. (Charter schools did not participate in this survey.)

Did you know May 1-3 is Census Awareness Weekend?
As of Monday, April 27, Adams County only has a 58.9% self-response rate for the 2020 Census. The census provides data that is used to determine how the more than $675 billion in federal dollars are spent in local communities. In this unpredictable economy, the census helps ensure our community gets necessary funding for the next 10 years. You can respond to the 2020 Census on your own - online, by phone or by mail - without having to meet a census taker.

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BUDGET

State indicates cut to education funding likely for 2020-21 school year
Recent economic hardships of “Stay at Home” orders due to COVID-19 will affect the State of Colorado and the mechanisms that drive school funding. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is currently advising school districts to expect reductions between 1-10% below current year funding levels. For Adams 12 Five Star Schools, this range would mean a cut of between $3 million and $30 million. Presently (and based on the best information available), we are modeling a reduction in the middle of that range at 5%, or around $15 million. 

It is important to note that no budget decisions related to this latest news from the state, including any potential reductions, have been made to date. A priority value will be to cover any budget cut through means other than staff reductions. If the state budget cut is closer to 10% this becomes more difficult. Education is a people-intensive endeavor as salaries and benefits make up 91.4% of the district’s General Fund, and as such, when there is a significant reduction in revenue, districts must look at either adjusting compensation, staffing levels or a combination of both. 

We are at the beginning of this process and there remain several unknowns. The exact impact of state funding cuts to education won’t be known until late May when the Legislature is scheduled to determine the budget for 2020-2021 (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021). Lawmakers will receive an updated revenue forecast on May 12 and will use this information to finalize the budget. This economic downturn has both immediate and long-term impacts that will be felt over the next several years. Even before COVID-19, education funding was still recovering from the Great Recession of 2009. For more information on how school districts receive funding, visit www.adams12.org/funding101.

We will provide ongoing budget updates to staff and the community throughout May.  

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RESOURCES & SUPPORT

Resources

  • Remote Learning: Information about the district’s Remote Learning and FAQs

  • Family Technical Assistance: Technical assistance in support of remote learning. Families can also request technical assistance by sending an email to familytechsupport@adams12.org or calling (720) 972-4118. Please include student name, student ID number and the best way to contact you in your message. 

  • Grab and Go Meals: Information about the district's grab and go food distribution

  • Mental Health Resources: Talking points and resources for families when talking to children about COVID-19

  • Student Family Outreach Program: Resources for families including meals, housing, mental health, internet access, unemployment and more 

  • Community letters: An archive of COVID-related district communications and resources

Supporting Our Community

The Five Star Education Foundation is organizing monetary donations that go directly to providing food for meal distribution and technology support for learning at home. Read more and donate today online.

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RECOGNITION & GOOD NEWS

Celebrating Our Graduates

  • May 1, 2020 is National College Decision Day. We celebrate the important decisions students are making as they move forward with college, military or career. Share your decision by tagging the district on social media and we’ll do our best to share! See how our high schools are already celebrating the Class of 2020; view the posts shared on the district’s facebook page

Five Star Awards
Though we are not together this spring, we still have incredible employees to celebrate! We continue to ELEVATE student success, in school or at home, by recognizing the great work all our employees do each day for our students.

  • This week we're showcasing our "Classified" employees who play an integral role for our schools. Classified employees include office staff, custodians, nutrition staff, etc. View the nominees and finalists online - on Friday, May 1 we announce the winner! Next week is Certified employees! 

Serving Our Community
Transportation Services has been hard at work, partnering with Information Technology (IT) and Student Support Services, to help deliver Chromebook devices to students who were unable to obtain them during the mass distribution. Transportation has delivered more than 900 devices to families (new or replacement devices) over the past few weeks putting our total device count for students at more than 11,500! Hear from Igor Petrovic, Director of Transportation, on how they are serving our community. (Additionally, the video is available with sign language or you can read the transcript).