Written by: Josh Griffin, Principal
US News & World Report Top High Schools - 2021
D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School was recognized this week as the #1 public high school in Colorado and #67 in the United States by US News & World Report. Congratulations are in order for D’Evelyn students, faculty, staff, and families - you all play an important role in the success of our school in these rankings.
In addition to the rich liberal arts curriculum and school philosophy outlined in the D’Evelyn Founding Document, the hard work and dedication of our students, faculty, and staff, and support and engagement of D’Evelyn parents and families are all integral in the success of our school. These rankings are based upon college readiness, math and reading performance, underserved student performance, AP test participation and performance, and graduation rates. To view the national rankings and learn more about the selection methodology, please visit the US News & World Report website.
National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 3 - May 7, 2021
This upcoming week, we recognize our teachers at D’Evelyn, and around the county, state, and nation, in the 2021 National Teacher Appreciation Week. Please join me in thanking and recognizing our outstanding teachers this upcoming week. We will honor our teachers throughout the week in school, but encourage students and families to reach out to thank teachers throughout the course of the week as well.
We are fortunate to have a knowledgeable, dedicated, and passionate group of teachers, committed to providing a rich liberal arts education to all D’Evelyn students. I am grateful to our teachers particularly this year, as they have navigated the challenges associated with the Covid-19 with determination and perseverance during this difficult season in our lives.
Good luck to D’Evelyn students completing AP exams between Monday, May 3 and Tuesday, May 18. We know that you have worked hard all year and prepared diligently for these exams. Best wishes on a successful performance on these important year-end assessments.
This is a republished version of a letter sent via School Messenger to all families on Friday, April 30th.
In the past four weeks since we returned to the 100% in-person learning model, we have seen an increase in the number of students testing positive for Covid-19, and as a result, a significant increase in the number of students placed in quarantine due to exposure to individuals that test positive for Covid-19. The end of the school year is an exciting, important, and busy time in all ways for our students, teachers, and community members. We have important final weeks of school, spring sports, end-of-year musical performances, AP examinations, and important events for our seniors, the most important being Graduation.
We know that missed time in school, athletics, extracurricular activities, and important rites of passage have a negative impact on our students. Nonetheless, we are still working within the quarantine model as established by the school district. With the health and interests of our students, staff, and community members in mind, we want to be able to provide full access to all important events in our school in the month of May.
Based upon my observations of the Covid-19 pandemic, its impact on our schools, and the quarantine process, one of the most important, impactful ways our students, staff, and families can help us in this endeavor is to stay home when exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19. We understand the challenge of missing school days or important events, but by doing so when exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, I expect that in the long run, students will miss fewer events. This school year, we have the benefit of a remote learning option available for students to utilize on days when they are sick or not feeling well. This is an important support available for students that makes it easier to miss school for one or more days.
Thank you for your partnership and support as we seek to end this challenging school year on a positive note for all of our students. Throughout the course of this pandemic, our students, teachers, and families have been engaged, supportive, and flexible - I appreciate you all greatly. Further, I am grateful for your continued vigilance in ensuring students are staying home when they feel or show signs of any of Covid-19.
Written by: Josh Griffin, Principal
I hope that the past week went well for your student and family, and that our juniors and seniors had a great time at Prom on Saturday. I am thrilled that we were able to offer this opportunity to our students and grateful to the parent volunteers, students, and school staff responsible for making this event a great success.
As has been custom of late, I have a number of updates for our community in today’s Principally Speaking. Thank you for your thoughtful review of these updates.
2021-2022 Remote Learning
Due to the lack of interest, we will not be able to offer and sustain a remote-only option for D’Evelyn students in the 2021-2022 school year. We appreciate the feedback provided by our families. Next week, we will reach out to the families that expressed interest in a remote-only option for the 2021-2022 school year to formally notify them of the decision. Most importantly, we will work with families to determine the best next steps on a case-by-case basis. We appreciate your support and engagement in our process with remote learning this year, but we are unable to sustain the remote option for our students going forward. On a positive note, we now understand that there is robust and substantial interest in 100% in-person learning from nearly all of our families for next year. We are thrilled to have that level of support, trust, and commitment from our families.
Honors Course Review
As prescribed by Jeffco Schools administration during the 2019-2020 school year, we are wrapping up the Honors Course Review process for those courses recommended for the Honors designation. In the May 3rd Steering Committee meeting, I will provide a presentation of the recommendation for the Honors Course Review Committee, and on May 4th, I plan to present to the Jeffco Schools leadership team, as outlined in the process established by Chief of Schools, Kristopher Schuh, in the 2019-2020 school year.
The Honors Course Review process has been lengthy and at times divisive. I am optimistic that we will reach a solid conclusion that will best support the educational outcomes and interests of all D’Evelyn students. I am grateful for the engagement and patience that has been demonstrated by our students, families, and faculty/staff during this lengthy process, and I look forward to a final determination for our school community entering the 2021-2022 school year. For those interested in the updates regarding Honors coursework at D’Evelyn, I encourage you to virtually attend the May 3rd Steering Committee meeting, which begins at 4:30 pm. Links for streaming the meeting can be accessed via the D’Evelyn Steering Committee website.
DEF Annual Campaign
The D’Evelyn Education Foundation is currently engaged in the second round of the annual campaign for this school year. DEF annually invests substantial funds to support the learning, athletic, and extracurricular endeavors of our students, as well as scholarships for D’Evelyn students and teachers. In just over three weeks, the DEF will honor the members of the Class of 2021 with over $20,000 in scholarships/awards to support them in their postgraduate studies.
DEF is a crucial organization in support of the interests and wellbeing of D’Evelyn students. I ask current and former D’Evelyn families to consider supporting the campaign this year, which specifically supports the building improvements, athletic & extracurricular programs, and scholarship funds that directly support D’Evelyn students, teachers, and staff. It is easy to donate online at this link, and no donation is too small! Please consider this opportunity to support D’Evelyn students!
Final Exams for 6 - 11 for the 2nd semester 2020-2021
We have adjusted our 2020-2021 second semester final exams schedule to account for the unique needs of this school year. This year, D’Evelyn students (excluding the Class of 2021 who will have already graduated) will complete final exams on Wednesday, May 26th (periods 6, 5, and 4) and Thursday, May 27th (periods 3, 2, and 1). Thursday, May 27th will be the last day of school for all students in grades 6 - 11. For 6th grade students, please note that the 6th grade team is designing a unique finals week schedule for those students. The 6th grade teacher team will communicate directly with students and families about plans for final exams.
Written by: Josh Griffin, Principal
SAT & PSAT
Thank you and congratulations to the D’Evelyn juniors, sophomores, and freshmen for the successful completion of the SAT and PSAT exams this week. We appreciate your commitment to success on these exams and look forward to receiving results in the next few weeks!
2021-2022 remote learning
As shared via School Messenger on Tuesday, April 13th with our community, and in an email correspondence with all incoming families, we are offering D’Evelyn families considering remote only learning for their child(ren) in the 2021-2022 school year one last opportunity to share that interest with D’Evelyn administration. If you are interested in remote-only learning next year, please complete the following survey. Please note that at this time, due to very limited interest, it is unlikely that we will be able to offer remote-only classes next school year. If you are NOT interested in remote-only classes for your student next year, please do not complete this survey.
Link to the 2021-2022 remote learning survey
Please submit your response by Monday morning, April 19th. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your student’s assigned administrator or counselor
Building Addition Update
On April 8th, the Jeffco Schools Board of Education approved the funding for the D’Evelyn 6th grade building addition. We are thrilled with this news, and grateful to the Jeffco Schools administration and Board of Education for their support with the addition of the new D’Evelyn 6th grade program and supporting facilities.
Construction will likely begin in early May 2021, with the intention that the new facility is open and ready to support student learning in August 2022. Please note that the east parking lot at D’Evelyn will be impacted with higher traffic and more vehicles at the outset of the construction. I will update the community as I am able regarding this; however, I expect that the construction firm will begin setting up around the first full week of May.
I hope that the past weekend and upcoming week are great for you and your families. Best wishes to the juniors and seniors on a great Prom this upcoming weekend!
Written by: Josh Griffin, Principal
The first week back in the 100% in-person learning model was a great success. It was both refreshing and energizing to see so many students back in school together, enjoying learning and social opportunities on campus. Thank you to the students, teachers, staff, and families for all of your efforts to make the first full week of 100% in-person learning go so well. I am excited that the last several weeks of the 2020-2021 school year will include these greater in-person learning, athletic, extracurricular, and social opportunities for our students.
In this upcoming week, D’Evelyn 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students have an important opportunity to demonstrate their learning by way of the scheduled PSAT and SAT tests. The SAT is an important assessment for the college application process, and I am glad we are able to offer our 9th and 10th grade students the opportunity to prepare for the SAT in the future by completing the PSAT.
Good luck to the D’Evelyn juniors on the SAT on Tuesday, April 13th. All students in grades 6 - 10 and 12 will participate in synchronous, remote classes on that day. For details on the test administration for SAT, juniors should review this information as provided by Mr. Wille, our D’Evelyn School Assessment Coordinator.
Good luck to the D’Evelyn freshmen and sophomores on the PSAT 9 and 10 on Friday, April 16th. All students in grades 6 - 8 and 11 - 12 will have a typical Friday, with asynchronous, remote learning opportunities as provided by their teachers on that day. Details on the test administration for 9th and 10th grade students can be found here.
At D’Evelyn, we are fortunate to have enjoyed a rich tradition of outstanding performance on many standardized tests, including the SAT and PSAT. For the past 19 years of statewide administration, D’Evelyn juniors have earned the highest average ACT or SAT scores in the state among all public, non charter schools in Colorado. We recognize that this level of sustained achievement is a great reflection of the hard work and dedication of D’Evelyn students and teachers over many years. The D’Evelyn liberal arts curriculum supports the development of the knowledge and skills necessary to support student success on these nationally-normed standardized tests. While we do not teach specifically to these tests, we are confident that the broad-based, content-rich curriculum our students experience over their years at D’Evelyn is a great foundation for them as they complete their assessments. We wish all students in grades 9, 10, and 11 the very best as they complete the SAT and PSAT next week.
Written by: Josh Griffin, Principal
We are excited to welcome back our students for 100% in-person learning on Monday, April 5th. This is an important opportunity for us to restore normalcy and improved learning and social opportunities for our students throughout the duration of this school year. With the excitement associated with the return to in-person learning, we also need to maintain our adherence to important health and safety guidelines to discourage the spread of Covid-19. By doing so, we provide our school the best possible chance of maximizing in-person learning opportunities and increasingly typical operations going forward.
Please note that we will continue to follow the same bell schedule, with three class periods and 7th hour each day. Students will continue to either attend lunch/7th hour in the building or from lunch, based upon their choice as we have documented in our Infinite Campus system.
Several important reminders/updates for students and families as we prepare to return to greater in-person learning on April 5th:
Health Screening starts at home - Students and staff members that are feeling sick or show signs of Covid-19 symptoms should stay home from school. As they are able, students at home can participate in class virtually, a valuable support for students that are not feeling well.
Health Screening will continue at D’Evelyn as students/staff arrive - Upon arrival, all students and staff will have their temperatures taken, and be asked health screening questions regarding Covid-19 symptoms. Students with fevers or symptoms of Covid-19 will need to return home.
Health Screening throughout the day - If students or staff become ill during the course of the school day, they should report the illness to our Health Aid in the Main Office so that we can make arrangements for ill students and staff to return home for the day until the illness has subsided.
Students & staff will continue to wear masks throughout the school day.
Students & staff should continue to place an emphasis on frequent hand washing
Classrooms will be sanitized between classes - teachers will continue to clean/sanitize desks and surfaces in their classrooms between class periods.
Assigned Lunch Areas - for students staying at school for lunch, we will have assigned areas based upon grade level. We will encourage and support outdoor lunch as the weather permits. We ask that students leaving school after the third block do so promptly each day.
Staggered arrival and designated pick-up/drop-off locations - To support our process for welcoming students to school, we ask families/students to adhere to the established drop-off schedule and designated pick-up locations outlined in my Jaguar Tracks article last week (linked here for your reference). Additionally, we ask that parents/families pick up students promptly at the conclusion of the 3rd block or 7th hour each day, depending on the student’s chosen schedule.
We look forward to the opportunity to welcome back our students for 100% in-person learning. I know that we will have an exciting conclusion to the school year, with many opportunities for continued academic, extracurricular, and social experiences for our students.
Josh Griffin, Principal