Return to School 2020-2021

Mountain Song is Currently in Remote Learning ~ K-4 Return In-Person January 25

In-Person Safety Procedures

Each morning between 6:00 and 7:30 a.m., parents or guardians must send in health pre-screen information for each student at this link: https://tinyurl.com/mscshealth.

Children without such information must have parent accompany them to in-person screening at school.

See video below for instructions.

Face coverings are required of all students and staff indoors. 

Face coverings are not required outdoors of students, and are not required of adults if social distance (6 feet) is maintained. 

Please send your child with an appropriate face covering.  Repeat-use coverings should be laundered between uses each day.

Frequent handwashing will be conducted throughout each day. Multiple handwashing stations to provide greater access to handwashing have been placed around the school.

Class cohorts will remain separate from other classes throughout each day.

Enhanced cleaning will occur throughout the day and at night.  High-touch surfaces, classroom surfaces, bathrooms, and hallways will all receive increased cleaning.

Visitors and parents will only be allowed into the building with administration approval.

Updated COVID Guidelines

Please find the most up-to-date information on how we deal with cases and outbreaks at this Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment site.  This includes the documents also found below. 

At Home Symptom Screening Information from CDPHE – this is what our morning health screenings are based on.

Click here to find the protocols we follow if a child or staff member begins to feel or appear unwell after arriving at school.

Click here to see the guidance on returning to school after having a COVID-19 symptom.

Click here for the guidance we follow on what happens to the contacts of anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or shows symptoms.

Return to School Plan - Revised January 22, 2021

K-4 In-Person Details

Complete the Daily Pre-Screening

Link to Online Pre-Screening Form: https://tinyurl.com/mscshealth

Child Care During Remote Learning

Innovation Learning

Our partner, Innovation Learning, will continue to offer day-care services at the school during Remote Learning days.  Please contact Dan Kurschner, dkurschner@mountainsongschool.com for more information. 

Parent Council

The Mountain Song Parent Council has offered to help families buddy up to assist and support one another during this time.  If you would like more information about this, please contact Cambria Devoy at pcchair@mountainsongschool.com.  

Return to School Updates

PDF of Letter

January 21, 2021

Dear Mountain Song Families,

We are delighted to be welcoming grades K-4 back in-person next Monday, January 25.  We are also developing plans to bring grades 5-8 soon, likely in later February.  

By now your K-4 teachers will have asked you your choice about either having your student(s) in-person or continuing in full remote-learning.  You may change your decision in the first week through the end of January.  If you would like to switch after that, please contact the Executive Leadership Team, as it may impact staffing and we can work together for the best solution.  

Innovation Learning will be available on Fridays for those families who need the program.

Below are details about the upcoming Return to School plan for K-4.  

See the webpage to the left for Weekly Schedule and Arrival/ Dismissal Information.

Health Pre-Screening

Please fill out the Online Health Pre-Screening form before 7:30 a.m. on the days your child will be coming to school. This form is the best option for a quick drop off. (This form is not an attendance form.)

  • Each morning between 6:00 and 7:30 a.m., parents or guardians must send in health pre-screen information for each student at this link: https://tinyurl.com/mscshealth.  
  • Parents or guardians will be sent this link each morning by automated email. 
  • Children without pre-screening by 7:30 a.m. must have a parent or guardian accompany them to the school entry, and they will be screened by a staff member.  
  • Parents must wait with children not pre-screened until they get a green pass from a staff screener.
  • To see an instructional video about the Health Pre-Screening, click here.

Other Safety Measures at School 

    • Face-coverings:  All students, staff, and visitors are required to wear masks that fully cover both the mouth and nose while indoors.  
  • Frequent handwashing:  Extra handwashing stations have been set up around the school, and teachers will instruct students in frequent handwashing.  
  • Maintaining cohorts:  Classes will remain within their own class cohorts and not mix with other cohorts.  
  • Enhanced cleaning:  Our custodial staff as well as teachers will provide frequent surface cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Parents and visitors:  Allowed into the building by appointment only.

Please see Mountain Song’s Return to School webpage for more information and continued updates.  

Thank you for your support,

The Executive Leadership Team

PDF of letter

Dear Mountain Song Families,

We are writing to share our Return to School plans starting January 25 for grades K-4.  Thank you to all who completed the parent survey as it has informed our staffing plans.  

We will offer Kindergarten students in-person learning 3 days a week, Monday through Wednesday, with remote learning on Thursday and Friday.  Kindergarten teachers will be teaching both the in-person and remote students in their classes.

We will offer grades 1-4 students in-person learning 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday, with remote learning on Friday.  This will allow teachers to plan and collaborate together on Fridays, and also to check in with individual students they might not see during the rest of the week.  In general, grades 1-4 teachers are assigned either in-person or remote learning responsibilities.

  • Grade 1:  Shannon Lang and Molly Gunty will be in-person with their own classes.  Sara Feldman will teach the remote-learning first grade students.
  • Grade 2:  Amy Siebert will be in-person with her class, and Deserea Morse, long-term substitute, will be in person leading the Lodgepole Pine class.  Sara Feldman will teach the remote-learning second grade students.
  • Grade 3:  Ellie Arzate and Ieeda Banach will rotate and share the in-person and remote-learning responsibilities.  The in-person third grade classes will be combined together.
  • Grade 4:  Katie White will be in-person with her class, and Terri Oderman, former Mountain Song class teacher and current long-term substitute, will teach the remote-learning fourth grade students.

Your K-4 class teachers will be reaching out to you to ask for your final decision about whether your children will be in-person or continue in remote learning, now that our specific plans are finalized for these grades.  

We will continue to offer grades 5-8 students remote learning 5 days a week.  Plans are underway, however, to offer in-person learning for grades 5-8 soon.  Please watch for further announcements.  

Safety measures at school will continue to be in place, and include the following:

  • Face-coverings:  All students, staff, and visitors are required to wear masks that fully cover both the mouth and nose while indoors.  
  • Daily health pre-screenings:  All students and staff are required to be screened for symptoms of illness before entering the school.
  • Frequent handwashing:  Extra handwashing stations have been set up around the school, and teachers will instruct students in frequent handwashing.  
  • Maintaining cohorts:  Classes will remain within their own class cohorts and not mix with other cohorts.  
  • Enhanced cleaning:  Our custodial staff as well as teachers will provide frequent surface cleaning and sanitizing.

Please see Mountain Song’s Return to School webpage for more information and continued updates.  

Thank you again for your continued support in this most challenging of school years!

The Executive Leadership Team

PDF of Letter

December 10, 2020

Dear Families,

We’re writing to let you know that Mountain Song Community School will start the second semester in full Remote Learning for 2½ weeks, from January 6 through January 22.  We will also continue to offer limited in-person services for students in academic interventions and special education as necessary.  

We are actively exploring with our staff how we can bring back more students to in-person learning after that.  Our decision to remain in full Remote Learning after the Winter Break until January 22 follows recent El Paso County Public Health guidance to consider a post-holiday period of remote learning to monitor school community spread from holiday travel and gatherings prior to returning for in-person learning. 

As you likely know, the El Paso County COVID-19 metrics continue to show very high levels of community spread, hospitalizations, and mortality.  Today’s 14-day incidence rate is 1,229 per 100,000 people, which is extremely high.  The current status of El Paso County is at Level Red – Severe Risk on the state’s dial framework.  

This high level of COVID-19 spread in the county is also reflected within the Mountain Song community, making it challenging and disruptive to have students in-person.  We implore our community to stay vigilant and keep practicing and modeling the hygiene, distancing, and masking practices that yield lower virus transmission.  Please consider the holiday guidance linked here to lower the community spread and under control.  Lowering the spread will help us bring back students to in-person learning as soon as possible.  

We want you to know that we are very aware of the incredible stress being in remote learning places on families.  Our partner, Innovation Learning, will continue to offer day-care services at the school.  Please contact Dan Kurschner, dkurschner@mountainsongschool.com for more information.  In addition, our Parent Council has offered to help families buddy up to assist and support one another during this time.  If you would like more information about this, please contact Cambria DeVoy at pcchair@mountainsongschool.com.  

Thank you for your partnership during this incredibly challenging time.

Be safe and well,

The Executive Leadership Team

PDF of Letter, November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020

Dear Families,

We’re writing to let you know that Mountain Song Community School will continue in full Remote Learning through the first semester, which ends on December 18th.  We will also continue to offer limited in-person services for students in academic interventions and special education as necessary.  

This decision has been made in light of the ongoing spike in COVID-19 spread and related metrics in El Paso County this month, as well as input from staff members and the school’s Safety Committee.  

The El Paso County metrics currently show that the 14-day incidence rate is hovering around 1,000 per 100,000 people, which is extremely high.  Other metrics related to the virus spread are also very elevated.  The current status of El Paso County is at Level Orange—High Risk on the state’s dial framework.  Although the incidence and hospitalization rates far exceed that level, we do not expect the county to be moved into a more restrictive level soon, based on our understanding from political leaders.  Therefore, districts and schools, including Mountain Song, are in a position to be making decisions based on our tracking of data and the implications in schools.  

While we managed the disruptions due to COVID-19 well in October and early November, it was clear that we could not sustain managing increased disruptions due to required quarantines and isolations.  As the incidence of COVID-19 rises in our community, it also rises at Mountain Song.  Therefore, we implore our community to stay vigilant and keep practicing and modeling the hygiene, distancing, and masking practices that yield lower virus transmission.  These will help us achieve our goal to bring back students to in-person learning as soon as possible.  

We want you to know that we are very aware of the incredible stress being in remote learning places on families.  Our partner, Innovation Learning, will continue to offer day-care services at the school.  Please contact Dan Kurschner, dkurschner@mountainsongschool.com for more information.  In addition, our Parent Council has offered to help families buddy up to assist and support one another during this time.  If you would like more information about this, please contact Cambria DeVoy at pcchair@mountainsongschool.com.  

Thank you for your partnership during this incredibly challenging time.

Be safe and well,

The Executive Leadership Team

PDF of Letter

October 30, 2020

Dear Families,

We’re writing to let you know that Mountain Song Community School will be returning to full Remote Learning starting Monday, November 9th.

During the upcoming week, November 2 – 6, we will remain in Hybrid to provide a transition week before returning to full Remote Learning.  This means that next week:

  • Grades K-4 will still be in-person Monday – Wednesday, and remote Thursday – Friday; and 
  • Grades 5-8 will be remote Monday – Wednesday, and in-person Thursday – Friday.  

When we return to full Remote Learning on November 9th, we will maintain our current school schedule.  Your teacher(s) will communicate more specific details to you.

This decision has been made in light of the ongoing spike in COVID-19 spread and related metrics in El Paso County this month, as well as input from staff members and the school’s Safety Committee.  

According to state guidelines, the El Paso County metrics should place the county at the Safer at Home Level 3 High Risk in the state’s dial framework.  We received the announcement today, however, that the state only moved the county to the Safer at Home Level 2 Concern effective Wednesday, November 4.  Mountain Song’s decision is based on the county metrics.

We are sad to be making this decision, but we believe it is the right one to keep everyone safe during this wave of COVID-19 spread.  Our goal is to bring back students to in-person learning as soon as possible.  

From Susan Wheelan, El Paso County Public Health Director: “We urge our community to step up prevention efforts once again to impact El Paso County’s disease transmission and help reduce exponential growth of COVID-19 to protect public health and to support our economy and schools in the safest and most sustainable way possible. We need your help to get us to where we want to be as a county.”

Be safe and well,

The Executive Leadership Team

Dear Mountain Song Families,

We are writing with updates on how recent changes in the public health situation impact Mountain Song’s phased Return to School plan.

You may know that our county and state health departments now use a helpful dial system to indicate the status of COVID-19 spread conditions.  Public health experts track, monitor, and evaluate specific metrics in order to determine our ranking based on this framework:

  • Protect Our Neighbors
  • Safer-at-Home
    • Level 1: Cautious
    • Level 2: Concern
    • Level 3: High Risk
  • Stay-at-Home

For many weeks, El Paso County has been in the Safer-at-Home Level 1: Cautious status.  However, based on the recent rapid increase in COVID-19 spread in El Paso County, we expect that our county status will be reclassified soon.  

If El Paso County is moved to the Safer-at-Home Level 2: Concern category, Mountain Song plans to continue operating in our Hybrid Model.

If El Paso County is moved to the Safer-at-Home Level 3: High Risk category, Mountain Song will return to operating in full Remote Learning.

At the beginning of the school year, we committed to informing families on a month-to-month basis of possible changes in our learning model.  The next potential change would start November 2.  

We currently plan on maintaining our Hybrid model into November.  If, however, El Paso County is designated in the Level 3: High Risk, we will return to full Remote Learning.  

Please note also that if we have a positive case or an outbreak, we will need to have certain cohorts or possibly the school return to full Remote Learning for a specified time.  Please see these CDPHE guidelines that we follow.  As the public health situation remains in flux, we will continue to update families.

We ask everyone to please help prevent COVID spread by observing safe practices: wear a face covering in public, wash hands frequently, monitor health symptoms, and social distance.  These will help in our goal to keep school open to in-person learning.  

Thank you,

The Executive Leadership Team

October 1, 2020

Dear Mountain Song Families,

We move into Phase 2 of our Return to School plan next week!  We are overjoyed at welcoming so many students back to school in the next 2 weeks, and are dedicated to maintaining our relationships through the full Remote Learning for our students unable to come in-person.   This note is to inform you of the changes and procedures accompanying Phase 2.

New Phase 2 Schedules start for all students next week, October 5.  Your Kindergarten or Class Teacher will be sending you their specific updated schedules.  Below are class start (tardy) and dismissal times, for both In-Person Learning and Remote Learning:

  • Half-Day Kindergarten:  8:15 am – 12:00 pm
  • Grades K-5:  8:15 am – 2:55 pm
  • Grades 6-8:  8:15 am – 3:10 pm
  • Homeschool:  8:30 am – 3:00 pm

 Drop-Off Times for In-Person Learning (time to allow health screening)

  • Grades K – 4, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (starting October 5)
    • Kindergarten:  drop-off 8:15 am
    • Grades 1-4:  drop-off 7:55 am
    • Homeschool:  drop-off 8:20 am
  • Grades 5-8, Thursday and Friday (starting October 15)
    • Grade 5-8:  drop-off 7:55 am

Separate Entrance/Exit Doors for ClassesYour teachers will let you know which door each class will enter and exit the building.

Morning Health Screening and Pre-Screening.  We are required to screen all staff and students entering the building for COVID symptoms each day.   See the video on this page for instructions.

Thank you for all your efforts to support Mountain Song Community School as a safe place for learning.

The Executive Leadership Team

Monitoring El Paso County Health Status

At Mountain Song, we are actively monitoring the status of El Paso County Public Health in relation to community spread of COVID-19.  We do this in two ways. 

To see the raw data, we monitor the El Paso County Public Health data dashboard that is continuously updated. 

We also monitor CDPHE’s COVID-dial system that is a visual indicator of the current status of our county.

Current status of El Paso County: 

Public Health Guidance for Schools

El Paso County Public Health In-Person School Guidance (12/22/20)  PDF

 

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