Supports for Reopening

Instructional Program

  •  

    • Desks will be spaced further apart in classrooms
    • Students will be socially distanced during lunch
    • Students will be seated by teams in the cafeteria
    • Social distancing will be practiced at the start and end of school by using multiple entry points

    High School learning environments:

    • Hallways will be one directional to prevent congregating

      Upon reopening, of on-site learning, a unique opportunity exists to create a new and better “normal” to meet the learning needs of all students in the district while implementing new health and safety protocols. In addition to new protocols around health screening, face coverings, hand washing, social distancing and sanitizing and disinfecting, learning environments in all schools have been adjusted to respond to health safety concerns.

       

      Preschool learning environments:

      • Students will be grouped together and stay together throughout the day (known as a “cohort”)
      • Library will rotate into classrooms
      • Cohorts will engage in outside recess at specific times of the day

      Elementary learning environments:

      • Students will be grouped together and stay together throughout the day (known as a “cohort”)
      • Elective and specials teachers will rotate into classrooms
      • Desks will be spaced further apart in classrooms
      • Cohorts will eat lunch in classrooms with adult supervision
      • Cohorts will engage in outside recess at specific times of the day

      Middle School learning environments:

    • Desks will be spaced further apart in classrooms
    • Students will be socially distanced inside during lunch
    • Additional lunch periods have been added to reduce numbers of students in common areas
    • Social distancing will be practiced at the start and end of school by using multiple entry points

     

    The district has also planned for potential shifts that may occur between on-site and remote learning for some or all students during the school year:

    • Additional student devices have been purchased so, if necessary, all K-12 students will have a technology device to take home.
    • Internet connectivity can be supported by the district through the checkout of a hot-spot device.
    • The district learning management platform, Schoology, will be utilized by all K-12 teachers.Teachers can create consistent blended learning environments for all students so, whether in-person or remote learning occurs, there will be no disruption to instruction.
    • Preschool curriculum will be used that includes distance learning options.

    If remote learning is needed, students and their families can expect the following:

    • Notification from the school and/or district
    • Classroom instructions and assignments communicated and administered through Schoology
    • Regular, daily attendance and engagement in all classes is expected
    • Grading practices, assignment completion and student engagement expectations will mirror expectations of in-person learning as much as possible and where appropriate
    • Modifications to daily student schedule will be communicated by school staff

Fountain-Fort Carson Virtual Academy

  • The Fountain-Fort Carson Virtual Academy (FFCVA) will provide K-12 students with alternative and expanded online learning opportunities while at home. FFCVA defines virtual education as instruction during which students and teachers are separated by time and/or location and interact via Internet connected computers or other electronic devices. Students who enroll in the FFCVA will not attend an on-site physical location on a regular schedule or required basis. FFCVA is not available for preschool.

    All K-12 virtual learning resources will align to the Colorado Academic Standards appropriate for each subject area. Instruction is facilitated strictly online by content-certified teachers through the district learning management system, Schoology, and curriculum resources are supplied from an outside vendor. This type of instructional environment is appropriate for students in secondary grade levels who can be more self-directed. In the elementary grades, teachers will help facilitate instruction using a weekly guided approach. In this format, students are still self-paced in the virtual content but will have scheduled opportunities for guided instruction and to ask questions of their virtual teacher. Due to the developmental abilities of elementary students to self-pace, parents/guardians will have a considerable, consistent commitment to ensure student learning is achieved daily.

    Students enrolled in virtual learning will have access to similar education services and requirements as a physical school, such as English Language Development services, if appropriate, will participate in state administered assessments, and will be provided counseling or other social emotional supports, if needed, through their home school. While students are enrolled in the virtual learning option, either for a semester or for the year, they will not participate in remote learning that may happen at the school of residence. They remain connected only to the instruction of the FFCVA.

    Determining the optimal learning environment that is best suited to each student in the coming school year may be difficult. Families are encouraged to carefully consider the commitments, benefits and challenges of both learning options. FFC8 believes the quality of an in-person learning experience far exceeds any virtual learning option; however, the needs and concerns of individual students must be considered.

Special Education

  • FFC8 remains committed to serving students who receive special education services. Teachers and staff members look forward to collaborating with families on an on-going basis to ensure their child’s educational success. Therefore, families may participate in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, conferences virtually or in-person.

     

    In order to meet student needs, FFC8 special education staff will:

    • Work to maintain existing student cohorts where possible.
    • Maintain social distancing when students from different cohorts are brought together for small groups.
    • Wear a face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained, in accordance with FFC8 health and safety protocols.

     

    Special education providers will create student schedules that prioritize service delivery, grade-level content and student health and safety. Service hours outlined on a student’s IEP will continue to be met for students returning to in-person learning. This will include students who attend center-based programs in schools other than their home school.

    If appropriate to meet a student’s special education needs, families of children with IEPs can enroll in the Fountain-Fort Carson Virtual Academy (FFCVA). Through this program, some special education supports will be available to students. If interested, families should work with IEP teams to determine whether the available special education supports are appropriate for their student(s).

    FFC8 also recognizes that COVID-19 poses a unique threat to students who are medically fragile. Students whose medical fragility do not allow for a safe return to in-person learning, and who are unable to access curricular resources of the FFCVA may be best supported through homebound services. Family members and school staff will determine whether a student requires homebound services through an IEP meeting, taking into consideration previous IEP services as well as relevant medical information.

    Please call 719-382-1314 with questions about special education.

Activities and Athletics

  • Elementary School

    After school events, including tutoring and extra-curricular activities, will not be offered during the first quarter at elementary schools due to the expectation that elementary students remain in a cohort group as much as possible and the need to sanitize and disinfect nightly. However, schools may choose to offer some virtual options based on individual school needs. FFC8 wants to provide as many opportunities to students in elementary school as possible; therefore, the ability to offer after-school activities will be reevaluated at the end of the first quarter based on the guidance from state and county health departments.

    Middle School

    FFC8 wants to provide after school activities and athletics for students in middle school as soon as it is safe to do so utilizing the guidance from El Paso County Health Department. Due to the requirement for social distancing and cohort grouping as well as for the need to sanitize and disinfect nightly, all before and after school activities will be assessed to determine the health and safety impacts before they are allowed to begin. Limited activities will be allowed during the first quarter of school; however, more opportunities will be evaluated as information becomes available and state and county health guidelines are adjusted. Virtual options may be considered to engage students in after school activities based on specific school preferences and community needs. Additionally, the district will partner with other schools in the middle school league to determine start dates for middle school athletics.

    High School

    FFC8 believes activities and athletics play an integral role in student health and well-being; therefore, the district will support these programs to the extent the El Paso County Health Department and Colorado Department of Public Health will allow. FFC8 remains in constant communication with the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) to determine appropriate programming, including conditioning, practices, meetings and competitions. FFC8 started activities and athletics in June. The following procedures and protocols have been and will continue to be in place:

    • Daily health screening,
    • Daily equipment disinfecting,
    • Hydration,
    • Increased hand washing,
    • Face coverings, as appropriate, and
    • Cohort organization.

    FFC8 will continue to communicate with families and the community as more information becomes available from CHSAA regarding activity and athletic contests and games. Currently, CHSAA has a Resocialization Task Force examining when, and how, to resume sports and activities on a broader level. Some of the topics the Task Force is examining are:

    • Safety measures needed to resume specific activities.
    • Adjustment of some schedules for activities and athletics.
    • Crowd guidelines.