Written by: Josh Griffin, Principal
As noted in communication with current D’Evelyn families on Thursday, February 25th, and incoming D’Evelyn families on Friday, February 26th, given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the D’Evelyn administration and staff are working to collaboratively develop a plan to offer D’Evelyn students options for 100% in-person and 100% remote learning in the 2021-2022 school year. Additionally, we are working with our partners in Jeffco Schools administration to seek and acquire a variance to operate our own 100% remote learning model. In order to proceed with this plan, we will need to acquire a waiver from Jeffco Schools leadership.
As we have worked on this remote learning option in the past few weeks, we have encountered a number of challenges and complications. However, at this time, it is important for me to share the following updates about our plans. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this information.
Benefit & Value of In-Person Learning
The D’Evelyn program was designed to provide students a content-rich, liberal arts education in an in-person learning environment, where students attend classes daily for a fixed period of time on a consistent schedule. The Covid-19 pandemic necessitated substantial shifts in our typical operations in order that we could continue to educate our students in spite of the myriad of limitations and regulations implemented in the interest of promoting public health.
The 2021-2022 school year offers our school community a fresh start and the opportunity to return to the 100% in-person learning model. Given the recent improvements in Covid-19 data in our county, state, and nation, as well as the increased pace of Covid-19 vaccine distribution, we are optimistic about the viability of a return to normal school operations at D’Evelyn in August 2021.
Without question, we believe that in-person learning is the most effective method of providing D’Evelyn students the academic, personal, and social opportunities that they need during their years of secondary schooling. Students learn, grow, and mature with the benefit of face-to-face interactions with their teachers, peers, coaches, and support staff members. I am grateful to our students, teachers, staff, and families for making the best of the challenging conditions of the remote and hybrid learning models since March 2020; however, it is time for us to prepare to return to normal, 100% in-person learning for our students in the 2021-2022 school year.
We are planning for the new school year with the idea that all D’Evelyn students will return to the 100% in-person model. This approach will allow us to provide the best possible learning and growth opportunities to all D’Evelyn students in our unique, liberal arts curriculum.
Continued Need for 100% Remote Learning Model in the 2021-2022 School Year
As announced by Jeffco Schools leadership this past week, the school district will be offering students 100% remote learning options through a central district online learning program. Because of our unique liberal arts curriculum at D’Evelyn, this program is not a fit for D’Evelyn students next year. As a result, we are working to develop our own remote-only learning program for D’Evelyn students in the 2021-2022 school year. While we understand and acknowledge the great importance of in-person learning, we understand that there are students and families with unique health conditions that necessitate the possibility of remote learning in the event that the pandemic does not fully subside by August. In order to support those students and their families next year, D’Evelyn will offer a very limited remote-only option for students in the 2021-2022 school year. We do not plan to continue remote-only learning options after the 2021-2022 school year.
Current Plans for the 2021-2022 Remote-Only Learning Model
Our resources are limited as we prepare for operating two models of learning for students. As a result, the options available for remote-only students will be significantly limited. Because we will be providing remote-only learning for D’Evelyn students exclusively with the efforts of D’Evelyn faculty & staff, please note the following important points regarding what we will and will not be able to offer students that select remote-only learning for next year due to their personal or familial health circumstances:
We understand that these plans are limited and restrictive for remote-only students. However, with our limited resources and desire to provide a one-year option that allows students with personal or familial health concerns to continue in the D’Evelyn program to the greatest extent possible, it is important that we share our current thinking regarding our plans. At the core of this plan, we are working to support on-time graduation for D’Evelyn students seeking remote learning in 2021-2022. As we make more formal plans, we will communicate them via School Messenger and Jaguar Tracks.
Year Long Commitment
Because we will build the master schedule for specifically designated in-person and remote-only classes, students will not be able to move back-and-forth between in-person and remote learning next year. Students will need to sign up for either 100% in-person or 100% remote learning for the duration of the 2021-2022 school year.
EnrollJeffco sign-up for remote-only option
At this time, we ask D’Evelyn families to refrain from making a selection in the EnrollJeffco system regarding learning model preference for the 2021-2022 school year. Assuming that we receive the variance from Jeffco Schools, at that time, we plan to organize an internal communication for 2021-2022 D’Evelyn families to share your plans directly with us.
In the event that your student and/or family would like to seek participation in the new Jeffco online school, I would encourage you to seek enrollment opportunities via EnrollJeffco outside of D’Evelyn. Please know that by enrolling in another school next year, your student would not be able to return to D’Evelyn in the 2022-2023 school year.
We will continue to update D’Evelyn families regarding our plans for next year. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact your student’s counselor or assigned administrator, or contact our Main Office at 303-982-2600.
Written by: Josh Griffin, Principal
I hope that your family had a nice Presidents Day weekend, and that this week has gone well for your student and family. As we conclude our fourth week in the hybrid learning model this semester, I remain grateful to our students, teachers, staff, and families for your continued engagement and support. As you have likely heard, there are ongoing discussions within the school district leadership team and among community members throughout Jefferson County about a plan for a 100% return to in-person learning during this school year. I am hopeful that by the end of this upcoming week (February 22-February 26), we will have more clarity around how the remainder of the school year will unfold. I appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we navigate frequent change, but am encouraged that we are beginning to thoughtfully consider the possibility of returning to increasingly normal school operations this year.
As we approach March, we are preparing to administer our annual standardized assessments of student learning. As I am sure you can imagine, planning for standardized testing under the health and safety guidelines of the Covid-19 pandemic presents unique challenges for all of our community members. Standardized testing is an important component of our state’s public education system, and we are grateful to our students for their sincere efforts to succeed on these upcoming tests. We also recognize that standardized testing expectations do not dictate our curricular and instructional decisions at D’Evelyn. We believe in the value of a content-rich, liberal arts education, as integral in the development of the knowledge, skills, and character of our students.
I encourage all D’Evelyn families to thoroughly review and consider the standardized testing article that Mr. Dan Wille has contributed to this week’s Jaguar Tracks. While CMAS testing in particular is largely impactful to our junior high students, the logistical planning required to account for current health and safety guidelines necessitates that our 2020-2021 school year standardized testing plan will impact the schedule of all students, grades 6-12.
I appreciate Mr. Wille’s efforts to organize a safe, timely, and efficient assessment schedule, substantially limiting the impact that the testing schedule will have on the learning of all D’Evelyn students. We always seek to minimize the loss of instructional time for state-mandated standardized testing, and in this environment, we owe Mr. Wille a particular debt of gratitude for his efforts to streamline and minimize the system-wide impact of our testing schedule this spring.
Thank you for your consideration and review of our standardized testing plans for the year, yet another example of the immense positive impact the support and engagement of D’Evelyn families has in our school community. I hope that you all have enjoyed a nice weekend!
Written by: Josh Griffin, Principal
This week, D’Evelyn students participated in Course Selection presentations with members of our counseling team. These presentations were designed to address course options and planning for students specific to their respective grades. I am grateful to our counselors for designing informative course selection presentations for our students. The deadline for student submissions of their schedule requests for 2021-2022 is February 25, 2021.
Course selection is an important process for students each year. The process is important to our individual students, and it is important to our overall school master schedule planning. We are increasingly optimistic that the 2021-2022 school year will be much closer to a typical school year than the current 2020-2021 school year. Nonetheless, students should make thoughtful, informed choices in their course selection process. It is important for students to collaborate with their parents and families, as well as with their current teachers as needed, in order to make good choices in the course selection process. I encourage students to seek balance in their respective course requests, and to align their requests with their specific goals at D’Evelyn and beyond.
As a small school, with students in grades 6 - 12, our master schedule is thoughtfully constructed, but does have some inherent limitations. In our administrative planning process, it is crucial that student course selections are accurate and reflective of each student’s true interests. We encourage students to be particularly thoughtful about their elective choices and back-up classes, as we frequently need to consider student’s alternative electives in the development of individual schedules. The information submitted by students is crucial to our success in planning for the 2021-2022 school year. We particularly emphasize the importance of thoughtfully selecting courses in the spring as the master schedule is increasingly difficult to modify in the fall. Students and families are not guaranteed the ability to change schedules and/or classes at the beginning of next school year.
As students and families prepare to determine course selections, I offer the following recommendations to support thoughtful decision-making in the process.
I encourage students to choose classes in their areas of interest
Given the limited opportunities for electives within the D’Evelyn program, it is particularly important for all students to pursue their passions and interests in available elective courses. Whether the elective falls in one of the traditional academic areas, foreign language, or art, music, PE, or computers, please encourage your child(ren) to pursue their interests with their electives. This is particularly important when selecting AP classes, as students tend to find more success and satisfaction in advanced level courses that align with their interests. For those students that have begun college and career planning, it is also wise to align their courses with those goals.
I encourage students to seek balance
The D’Evelyn Program was designed to be rigorous and challenge students with high expectations for all students. This design was established prior to the inclusion of Advanced Placement (AP) courses in the D’Evelyn curriculum. AP coursework has many benefits for students, including the opportunity to enhance their college resume and earn college credit. However, it is important for students to request these advanced courses thoughtfully. The workload in an AP course is notably higher than in D’Evelyn standard courses, and the expectations and intensity of the AP courses are generally heightened. Students should seek to find balance in their academic course load in a manner that allows them to thrive in all areas of their lives for the next school year.
I encourage students to partner with their counselors for additional support in the selection process
The D’Evelyn counseling team is knowledgeable about the courses offered at D’Evelyn. They offered students thoughtful, informative presentations in a whole-group setting this week, but are also available to meet with students to brainstorm individually. Students that would like to discuss their course selection process can set up an appointment with their counselor to gain additional insight and support in the process.
I encourage all D’Evelyn families to work with their child(ren) to ensure a thoughtful, logical course request process
While elective offerings and elective sections are limited due to the nature and structure of the D’Evelyn program, the individual choices for those elective classes carry great significance. On a basic level, it is essential that D’Evelyn students consider the junior high and senior high course requirements needed for either continuation or graduation. However, I encourage all students in collaboration with their families to thoughtfully consider additional elements throughout the course selection process.
An important resource during the course selection process is the 2021-2022 D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School Course Planning Guide. This document provides course overviews, prerequisites, course numbers, and additional relevant course-dependent information that should support students in their selection of courses for next school year.
The D’Evelyn academic program is well-designed to prepare students for a successful life. With thoughtful consideration given to course selection, students have the ability to adjust their academic experience to better suit their personal needs, interests, and passions. An additional consideration - as a small school, we generally do not have a lot of wiggle room in the schedule once it is built. From a school-level perspective, it is important that students submit a schedule request with thoughtful choices for next year as we prepare to build the master schedule. I hope that families will have an opportunity to work with their children in the process of developing a good plan for course selection for the 2020-2021 school year.
Written by: Josh Griffin, Principal
On Thursday, February 4, all Jeffco Schools families received an email from district leadership providing an overview of plans for the 2021-2022 school year. I am encouraged by the plan, especially that there will be two distinct options for students in 2021-2022 - 100% in-person and 100% remote learning plans. We will continue communication with D’Evelyn families as plans evolve and finalize, including the timeline for families to make their choice for next school year. I encourage families to begin considering whether they would like their child(ren) to engage in remote or in-person learning next year.
As a liberal arts, option school, our curriculum is one unique element of the D’Evelyn program. As a result, our program offerings within the school district model outlined for the 2021-2022 school year will be different from other schools in Jeffco. With this recent announcement from the district, I want to assure D’Evelyn students and families that we are working to determine the best course going forward to honor the 100% remote and 100% in-person models in the 2021-2022 school year in a manner that honors the philosophy and operations of our school.
Jeffco Schools plans to offer a variance for individual schools with unique needs. As a result of our liberal arts curriculum, I will seek a variance from the district so that we can continue to provide our students the D’Evelyn education, whether they attend school in-person or remotely. As a school community, we will be working to develop an operational model for next school year that will provide students continued opportunities to extend their learning in our liberal arts program.
At this time, it is important to me that our community members know and understand that we are committed to educating all D’Evelyn students next year and beyond, and that we will build a program that supports students regardless of whether they seek in-person or remote learning in 2021-2022. If you have questions or concerns regarding our plans going forward, please feel free to reach out to your student’s counselor, administrator, or to me directly. We will do our best to provide as much information as we can in a timely manner. Please stay tuned for updates in Jaguar Tracks and School Messenger regarding plans for next year.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to supporting your child(ren) and our school during this difficult time. I am encouraged and hopeful that we can see a return to much more typical school operations on the horizon. In the meantime, thank you for your vigilance in continuing to honor health and safety guidelines so that we can get through this pandemic as soon as possible.
Accountability Committee Surveys
For those parents/families that have not done so already, please take the opportunity to complete the D’Evelyn Accountability School Satisfaction Survey. If you have more than one child currently attending D’Evelyn, you have the opportunity to complete the survey on behalf of the experience of each of your children. The survey will be available until Friday, February 12, 2021.
You can complete the Parent survey here:
D’Evelyn Parent School Satisfaction Survey
We look forward to reviewing the feedback provided by our families in this survey process.
Josh Griffin, Principal