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Planning for the 2020/21 School Year

With all of these questions, here’s what we do know...we know that as we come back into session next school year, Durango 9-R is committed to bringing you models of learning that will be comfortable for your family and that will foster healthy student growth and success.  We will provide models that meet the needs of our community and the variety of circumstances experienced by our families.  While we have worked hard to implement a home-based program this semester, we recognize that this model was only a beginning and are excited to plan for our best service to your children next year.  

Moving forward, we are developing three models for your consideration.  We know that it is too early to ask for a commitment to one, however, we want to share our work so far and give you the assurances you need to plan for your child's 2020-2021 school year in Durango 9-R.  We have amazing staff in Durango and we will work to match the skills of the teacher to the unique learning models.  No teacher will be asked to do more than a single model next year so they will not be stretched thin and can be fully available to your kids. 

Our first model, “In-Person Learning” will most closely look like what existed prior to COVID-19.   Ideally, this will occur when we can return to school without major social distancing.  Some health and safety factors could be implemented, and we recognize the planning of those depends heavily on the age and developmental level of our students.

Our second model, called “Blended Learning,” could be used long term, or if we face major social distancing requirements at the start of the year.  It would be a combination of some in-person instruction at school with some home-based work.  Students would attend school two days per week and then engage in connected, teacher-provided experiences while at home the rest of the week.  Some parents have noted that their home based learning has allowed greater flexibility for their family and they may be interested in Blended Learning for the long term - even beyond the COVID-19 crisis.  For others, this may be a happy medium to have your children home part of the time, and allow greater support from teachers during the time they have with a smaller number of students while in school.

Our third model would be a remote learning program with regular teacher guidance and interaction.  We know many parents may be uncomfortable with the thought of having their children at school for a variety of reasons.   This year, as we went remote, implementing a variety of different learning platforms made our current home-based model challenging for all of us.  Over the summer, we will improve our remote learning offering by streamlining our tools and practices. In this model, we will ensure that remote learning is delivered through a common platform, has common engagement expectations across the district, and will be robust enough to mirror the learning and rigor of a classroom without placing more responsibility on parents alone.  

In the coming week, we will provide more details as our staff is working to refine and design these models.  We will ask you to rank your preferences for your child's learning model for next year.  We understand that this will not be a firm commitment, but your first thinking will help our principals and school leadership teams better plan for supporting their students next year.  We would also like to hear if you don’t plan to have your child return to any 9-R program.  This will help us ensure that we plan effectively for our students next year.  Please watch for this survey link early next week, and we will appreciate your response as quickly as possible.

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