Read along below, or follow along here: (pt 1: https://otter.ai/u/UfwO3kCpd8Po-hRUflK_uqT2Rgs pt 2: https://otter.ai/u/l2KbDSPbR85C6DK-sif6BNWoXN0)
Unknown Speaker 0:01
Good evening and welcome to the St. vrain Valley School District. special meeting if you could please stand and join us in saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
Unknown Speaker 0:11
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Unknown Speaker 0:28
Do we say the roll call the roll? Barb, are you there? evening? Hi, Barb. I for a minute there. I couldn’t remember whether or not we called the roll at a special meeting. Could you could you please call the roll for us? Mr. Arens? Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 0:47
Unknown Speaker 0:48
President, Mr. Garcia,
Unknown Speaker 0:51
here, Dr. martyr, present.
Unknown Speaker 0:54
Miss Pierce here, Mrs. Ragland
Unknown Speaker 0:58
Unknown Speaker 0:58
and Missy grist. Here. Thank you, Barbara. Appreciate it. I’m going to do a brief introduction for our meeting this evening. And then we’ll we’ll jump right into our first our only visitor actually, which is Jeff Zach. I do want to welcome everyone and thank you for attending the special meeting of the Board of Education. Our meeting this evening, is certainly one that I never in all my years on the board of education anticipated, would take place. This board of education and Dr. Haddad, along with previous boards. We’ve had discussions about resources and sustainability for many years. And a global pandemic was never part of those discussions until nine months ago. Now we find ourselves immersed in all things COVID-19 it is certainly touched every corner of our school district, our community, our state, our nation and our world. During this global pandemic, the Board of Education and Dr. Haddad remain committed to the district’s mission, and we continue to be guided by our strategic priorities. We take our role very seriously and understand we’ve made a commitment to educating students employing staff and partnering with our community into perpetuity. Even during a global pandemic were responsible for educating children preschool through graduation, and in some cases, seeing them through grade 14 and P tech graduation. We not only must ensure the district has the resources necessary to navigate the pandemic. But we must also ensure the district will have sufficient resources when we’re on the other side of the pandemic. Our main purpose for this meeting this evening is twofold. One we want to make. Make sure that we have a strategic review of where we’ve been over the past nine months. And with the gift of hindsight, consider how best to sustain our education delivery as COVID continues. Our second purpose is to hear an update from Boulder County Public Health and Jeff Zak and also for the district to announce a plan for school and how school will look after the Thanksgiving break. While look back is helpful to assess what’s best, what best practices have emerged, our conversations can’t be static. And we always want to make sure that we consider where we are in real time with the COVID virus in our community. To that end, I do want to welcome Jeff dayak, the executive director of Boulder County Public Health to our discussion, Jeff’s going to provide the district with an update on COVID-19 its impact on our community in our schools. And and then board members certainly will have questions and I’m sure Don will have something to add to that as well. Jeff, are you with us?
Unknown Speaker 3:59
I am with you. Great to see you very much. Are you ready for me to start?
Unknown Speaker 4:03
I’m not ready for you to start. Because Before you begin, I want to express my gratitude. And I want to thank you for partnering so closely with Don, and Jackie, the district nurses administration, the staff in order for us to be able to educate children as safely as possible. Thank you really appreciate it. And I think my Thank you feels it doesn’t feel adequate, given the circumstances. So the best I can do is say thank you
Unknown Speaker 4:36
goes both ways. A partnership goes both ways. So I’ve certainly appreciated all of your support, and most most, most incredibly the districts support through this whole process.
Unknown Speaker 4:50
Great. Thank you. Don before Jeff dives into his his report. Did you have anything you wanted to add?
Unknown Speaker 4:58
Just thank you for being here, Jeff. appreciate all of the support and all of the expertise. So thank you.
Unknown Speaker 5:06
We’d like to thank everyone for being patient, while the district sent out a new link, a new Vimeo link to livestream the meeting. I do want to mention that the only thing the public Miss at this point was opening comments, and the board saying the Pledge of Allegiance and taking roll call. If anyone has an interest in in watching those public opening comments, then please know that you can go to the district website tomorrow, and the recording will be available. We did ask our guest, Jeff Zack, the executive director of Boulder County Public Health, and his guests, if they could please pause and wait for us while we got the link up and running. So please know we did not discuss anything yet of substance in our meeting. And at this point, we will thank Jeff and everyone else for their patience in waiting while we got the link going. And Jeff, I believe now you can start your report. And once again, thank you.
Unknown Speaker 6:13
Well, thank you, again, just want to, again, say thank you to the partnership with the district. That’s been wonderful. And what I am going to do tonight is walk through some slides and give you an update on where we are with data at this point. And we’ve received a fair amount of emails from folks about having an in person school, and I’m going to talk about that and focus more on that conversation and clip through some of the data a little quicker, just that we can make sure that we’re spending the time and where I know most people’s interest is. So I’ll go ahead and get started. This first slide just shows us and demonstrates where we are on the overall dial at this point. We are currently categorized in orange. And as I think most of you know, I’m going to show you in the next slide that we have a new dial starting on Friday at 5pm. But we are currently categorized in orange we will move to red on the new dial. Starting on Friday at 5pm. The state has announced to us that we will move as you can see here, the highest issue for us in terms of the three indicators that they looked at is the is the incidence rate which we are significantly in the red, and in the seven hundreds per 100,000 which means that we have rapid spread of the virus on our community. This is going to be the new dial that you see here. And as you can see from from this dial, there is now a new purple. That is considered extreme risk. And the red that used to be stay at home, but now has some new requirements under that you can get all this information at Friday after 5pm on the state’s if you just say search on the COVID dial. And you will get this information. It’ll be updated Friday after 5pm which is when I believe the public health orders that have been written go into place. In the new area, as I said, we will move to this red level. This is a graph of the metro area. And this is the seven day moving average of new cases. And I think this graph really tells the story about the challenge that we all face right now. So currently, you can see that we have very steep increasing seven day new case average rate. This was the highest point of the University of Colorado outbreak in Boulder. And you can see that in Boulder County, we are already well above that, you can see the significant challenge of what others are dealing with in the surrounding counties around with extremely high risk. This next slide just shows the latest trend in it sounds like I’d have an echo. hearing it on your end. Everyone on the
Unknown Speaker 9:17
WebEx feed staff could mute
Unknown Speaker 9:24
you. This slide just demonstrates in dark blue, what our current case, new cases are per day. You can see this starting in October. I’ll show you a graph in a minute of what it’s looked like across the entire the entire disease progression in the light blue or University of Colorado or students or affiliated folks with the EU and what we what we have been able to do effectively and this is a key point. When we were looking at the outbreak was the EU we were looking at a very specific age group I’m going to talk about Little bit more in a second, we were able to effectively control the spread within that age group. Because we knew where this spread was coming from, we were able to do really scripted targeted orders. And we were able to reach students who made a difference in changing the behaviors that stopped the spread of that disease. But right now we currently have spread in the majority of our population, as I’ll show you here and a couple other graphs, this just illustrates that 18 to 22 year old spike that we were able to effectively control. And we’re gonna break this graph out a little bit more in the next one. So you can see what that looks like across all of our age groups at this point, and this is this, again, illustrates our challenge, though, this is this is graphs showing the two week incidence rate of cases in Boulder County across all age groups. And unfortunately, what you can see here with exception of one age group, and 75, plus, we have had pretty steady increasing rate. And the difference between where we are now and where we were with the University of Colorado outbreak is we don’t we can’t just go after a specific age group this, this is now representing community wide spread. I think we all know that we’ve seen it. I’m in the news. You’ve if you follow the dial on this on the state of Colorado, you can see that, that we have the majority of counties now across the entire state with exception of I believe 12 counties that are all in red at this point. So we have a sustained increase in the sustained increase is across the majority of age groups, which makes it really difficult to control unless you’re at unless you’re at community wide strategies. This is a hospitalization rate and Boulder County, you can see that it’s currently at 91, our highest hospitalizations in the early part of the outbreak over here or it’s 68. So we already have more hospitalizations now than we had in the entire earlier part of this disease. This is the challenge that we face here in Boulder County. And it’s not just Boulder County, but this is organic data. With an average case rate of this type of number of cases, we are far beyond our ability to contact trace in case investigate these. And this isn’t only representative of Boulder County, the majority of states in the entire state of Colorado are in the same place in terms of not being able to effectively control this disease. Now, with contact tracing and case investigation. The state also has allocated all of their resources. And at a statewide level, we’re getting to less than half the cases with that that we’re seeing and outbreaks because we’re far again beyond case investigation and contact tracing ability in the state, which is why there’s been so much focused on trying to think about where are we going to go with this? How is this going to get controlled, the concern about moving towards another stay at home, it’s because there’s such a broad spread across all of our communities in Colorado at this point. And this is not just the Colorado trend, I’m sure you’re all aware that we have many states around us that are in similar places or worse. So this trend is occurring across the United States and across the country and around the globe in many cases. I’ll talk more about why that is, as we get a little further forward here. One of the things that I wanted to really emphasize is the importance of to local public, not just local public health directors and school districts. But to so many people across the state of Colorado and across the nation. There’s a strong focus on wanting and needing to keep kids in school and do it as safely as we possibly can. There is there is no need to convince any public health director about the importance of why kids need to be in school, we know and we can see the negative impacts that our children are having, that our families are having associated with not having kids at school. We worked early on with our school districts and across the metro Denver partnership for health, which again, is those those seven counties across the metro that I showed you the graph on before, and we actually developed draft guidance to help keep kids in school early on prior to the car Department of Public Health and Environment and prior to the Colorado Department of Education having any guidance in place because we knew how important it was to keep kids in school and to do it. Again reducing the risk of spread of COVID as much as possible. What we do know still to this day, is that we don’t be super spreader events. How happening within our schools, we know that the majority of what we’re seeing happen is coming from community spread is being brought into the schools. But our schools are not super spreader event, it doesn’t mean that a child who is positive can’t read this to another child or to a staff member. But that is not where we’re seeing the majority of the spread, the spread is actually happening out in the community. And we believe our schools are absolute are actually providing, providing a stable environment where the kids have control throughout the day masking is required cleaning as required. But you’re gonna hear in a minute why at this point, it’s so difficult to keep kids in school.
Unknown Speaker 15:46
The other thing that I wanted to mention specifically is that we have been we worked really closely with not just the St. vrain Valley School District in Boulder Valley School District, but we work with schools across the entire region, and even some outside the region, to really try to focus on doing the best we could to look research to think about what’s happening across the nation. What are we seeing in terms of spread at schools, what are we seeing and spread among different age groups. And that has been continued throughout this entire progression up until just the last couple of days. But the challenge that we have in front of us, in terms of keeping kids in school is around quarantine requirements. And the reason that the majority of the districts have closed across the state as you’re going to perform dawn in a minute, is because the quarantine requirements that cdphp has put in place. But then when I say cdphp that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment,
Unknown Speaker 16:50
the quarantine requirements, especially in the higher level. So when we’re talking about in the orange level that I mentioned that we’re on right now in the district, on the red level that we’re moving to on Friday, the requirements for quarantine at that point are no longer targeted towards the public health order at this state requires that district follow the more strict quarantine protocol, which means that we have to, instead of looking at targeted quarantine, we have to quarantine entire classrooms, when someone is positive in that classroom. That means more teachers, more students, and a lot more people out that then need to have follow up contact from the school staff as well as public health staff. And with those quarantine requirements in place. It just puts us at significant odds with what you’ve heard the governor say, and what you’ve seen in the language that’s in the dial, which is let’s keep kids in school, especially K through five where we know there’s less spread. But when we have quarantine requirements that work against that it makes it almost impossible for school districts to be able to maintain kids teaching to be able to support having teachers in in schools when teachers are getting quarantined out. And and we know that that’s the reason that the majority of the district that have so there’s work to do. At the state level, we have been working with the wisdom brambilla School District directly, as well as boulder Valley School District directly to advocate for really evaluating these quarantine requirements. We have his local public health directors been pushing to look at the quarantine requirements as well. So I want everybody that’s on the call to know that that’s the work that we have been doing and are continuing to do as we move forward. I mean, I think as you’ve heard me talk about before, and you’ve heard Heather talk about before Chris, and Dawn, we’ve obviously worked from the very beginning, with the district around, making sure that we are connected at the hip, around any kind of quarantine that’s occurring, any kind of isolation that’s occurring in the district, we have worked really closely together on full plans. The partnership that we’ve had has made this so successful. And again, as I stated earlier, not every single school district works closely with their local public health agency. So I just want people to understand that and know that. We’ve also had a lot of questions around quarantine itself. Chris is going to talk about this a little bit more when I’m done with the presentation here. Because we know that that’s a confusion point for people. And it’s not a straightforward answer. We often get questions about how come we see quarantines on the State’s website that that there’s what we see quarantines on the district’s website that does that. And we’re going to talk about that a little bit more. And the last thing that I really want to talk about here and I’m going to flip to my last slide is this one in bold, which I’m going to I’m going to just flip to this next slide and really Want to emphasize? Because what we know, from the progression of this disease and from looking at the data over time, is that when people relax their their social distancing, the wearing of masks, when they get into large gatherings, and they’re not doing those things. That’s where we see spread occurring. We can see it happen around July 4, we can see happen around Labor Day. And we certainly have seen it happen around Halloween. And what you’re seeing on on this slide is that it’s really important that we all if we want kids to be in school, we have to make decisions that support kids being in school. And that doesn’t mean that 90% of us can do that. But 10%, can, we really need everybody to do this, we can spread the disease with a very small percentage of people, especially if it gets into high risk populations, or super spreader events, where it can get hard to control really quickly. And I think the best, the one of the best and earliest examples of that was the University of Colorado spread, that quickly got out of control. And that can happen more so in our older populations than in our younger populations that are in K through five as an example, as I know most of you have been paying attention to and looking at. The other thing that I wanted to say that I think is one of the most important points on this slide is that if you if we were three months ago, and you looked at that number, where it says estimated number of people in Boulder County who are infectious, we were around one in 800, it was much higher than it is now in Boulder County this week, we are estimated at one in 93 people in Boulder County that are perfectionist. So we have so much more virus in our community now than we did earlier in the year. And it’s much, much more difficult to control when that much virus exists in our community. And again, it really comes down to those specific individual behaviors are what drive our outcomes. Even when we when we talk about putting in orders. If we don’t have individual behaviors that follow those orders, then it becomes that much longer. That much harder. And I just want to illustrate a couple of the things and then I’m going to stop and let Chris talk about because I know this has been a question. For so many of you on the phone, again, the questions around quarantine. But what I want to talk about first is just some of the things that happened in our community. So we know that when people make decisions that are not in alignment with the with the orders, and with what’s necessary to control this disease, that it results. And number one, our kids, as I’ve talked about, who are penalised in terms of their education, they don’t get the kind of education that they need. And that’s not because of the district not making every effort possible to make that possible, because they certainly have. But it results in our kids having a poor education that results in working mothers, who were who were losing from the workforce right now, because they can’t have their kids in school. It results in impacts to our businesses, I get calls from businesses, who are literally in tears saying we can’t make it through another stay at home, we’re not going to survive. We’ve barely made it this far. We know that we’ve had multiple businesses close people have lost their economic base. We know that we have social, emotional, physical and mental health impact every single time we enter one of these spaces. And these challenges are real, and they’re significant. And we can see it in our data. And we can see it across our communities and we can see it across our state and across our nation. So we really need people to take it seriously to change individual behaviors that we know will drive outcomes that can make a difference. And we know we can do this together. But we have to work together in order to predict critical. We can do it. But it’s up to all of us to keep our kids in school by making those right decisions. I’m going to stop there and turn it over to Chris because I know this next piece again is on a lot of folks minds.
Unknown Speaker 24:30
Hi, Chris Rubina here, can you see or hear me?
Unknown Speaker 24:33
Yeah, Dr. Veena, we can hear you.
Unknown Speaker 24:35
Okay, great. But you can’t see me.
Unknown Speaker 24:38
I believe that we’ll be able to hear shortly.
Unknown Speaker 24:41
Okay, great. I, I just wanted to emphasize a couple things that Jeff said, and thank you, Jeff. It’s Oh, he’s always a tough act to follow because he’s very clear in his message. And the data speaks very strongly about what we’re about to talk about. I wanted to emphasize a couple things. Jeff talked about it. And I know this sounds a little bit like a broken record to the audience. But we’ve gone through now three kinds of waves. And this is the third wave. And probably the most significant now, where we have been talking about all the prevention strategies is there, Jeff talked about, and our partnership with the schools Actually, I thought we were doing an excellent job, because the schools were the safest place to be, because of all the the implementation of the standards that you put into place, the masking these physical distancing, the mechanical ventilation, which did a great job on the core hoarding, and the partnership about contact tracing, and quarantine in isolation, I thought we were actually on a great road. What derailed us was that was the challenge that our communities face. They were basically tired of the regulations, and tired of implementing physical distancing, masquerading of gathering in groups. And so we’re now in a place where we’re really in a crisis. And we see pushback from a lot of our local folks. And Jeff Harvey talked about this, and emphasize this, is now we’re getting pushed back. What if I feel fine? Why do I need to be isolated? And if I feel fine, if I’ve come in contact with some of my family members? And why do they need to be quarantined, and so let’s talk about that for a second. Because of our excellent job we did in the springtime, and in the summer, at big physical distancing, when it was warmer, we could all eat outside, we could all exercise. And within just a couple other people, we were actually free as they started to move inside, that we’ve seen the virus really take over, because people aren’t at home. And we hear this a lot from our epidemiologists, they’re not exercising, physical distancing, wearing a mask, cause they don’t have the same kind of excellent mechanical ventilation that they do. And the schools. So what they’re doing, what we’re seeing is a significant spread primarily, and small groups, at social gatherings at home, and sporting events and physical activity outside of groups where people feel like they’re safe. And so we’re seeing this significant spread. So the things that I’d like to tell you is that isolation, and quarantine are critically important right now, now that we’re continuing to, to get new cases. That means that that infection is highly infectious within you. And hopefully you don’t have strong symptoms. But what we’re seeing, as deft alluded to earlier, an increase in hospitalizations to me, that tells me that the virus is still is very violent. And now not only in the elderly, old people over the age of 65, and that includes me, people with chronic medical conditions. But it’s also starting to impact slightly younger people that we thought were less risk. So so we’re seeing an increase in hospitalizations, although shorter hospital stay, but still people needing hospitalization and, and oxygen, they still need to be in the ICU. So that to me, that means that the virus isn’t going away. And so that isolation is critical. So we tell you and you have a positive test, you need to stay at home.
Unknown Speaker 28:54
That means stay at home, have no contact, including with your family members, for at least 10 days, even wear a mask at home physical distancing, washing your hands, don’t do any social gatherings and don’t come to school. So that isolation is critical to stop the spread of disease. And we know people because of their fatigue, or just I’m just I just had the sniffles or I’m really not that infectious. We still see a significant number of asymptomatic people, even though we’re still we’re getting a strong positivity rate. And a large number of people testing, we still know that the virus is there. So what happens when after that, so if you come exposed either at work, or at school, or out in the community, you’re spreading this virus through respiratory droplets, and now some sometimes aerosolization those of the virus so if you’re breathing in that is or touching your hands or touching services, you could potentially contaminate yourself because of your contact with somebody who’s positive. So we Want you to quarantine, that means we want you to stay at home again, with a mask, washing your hands physical distancing, because you could be incubating the virus. And that quarantine period is anywhere between two and 14 days, the average expression of the disease is around five to seven days. But that shouldn’t, that shouldn’t stop you from being quarantined. We’re hearing a lot of people again, go back to school, go back to work, because they don’t have symptoms. And they really, they’re so essential. And so this is part of the challenge is that if you’re jumping out of quarantine, you could potentially be spreading this infection, because you come in contact with somebody who’s positive testing will not get you out of quarantine. Let me repeat that testing will not get you out of quarantine. So you need to stay at home for 14 days. After that 14 days, you’re essentially free to do whatever you want about free to also wear a mask, physical distancing. Washing your hands, not social gathering. So it’s the same principles. I know it feels like we are beating a dead horse here. But frankly, we’re not doing enough that we can. So I’m going to stop there. And I know Don has a few things to share with your group. I’ll be around for questioning throughout the meeting. So thanks for letting me share those those thoughts.
Unknown Speaker 31:28
Thank you, Dr. Urbina. We appreciate it. And we appreciate your partnership. Dan, anything you would like to add? And then I’ll open it up to the board for for questions.
Unknown Speaker 31:41
You know, I think if you if you would like to do the questions now, that’d be great. And then I’ll close or a few things as part of the the next session or the next part of this.
Unknown Speaker 31:51
Great. Okay. Then Jeff and Dr. Urbina will go ahead and create an opportunity now for Board of Education members to ask questions. Any board member questions this evening for Dr. Urbina. And,
Unknown Speaker 32:05
Paula, I thank
Unknown Speaker 32:08
you, thank you both for sharing your your thoughts with us. We really appreciate the the the guidance as we maneuver through this, honestly, you answered a lot of my questions. One of which was, is this right now a Halloween bump that we’re seeing? I think you’ve already answered that and said yes. But given that we’re heading into Thanksgiving, and then subsequent holidays, we could be in for sort of a prolonged bump, I guess my interest as a board member is with your crystal ball, how do you? How do you predict that we would look in early January when we need to? We need to start our second semester. And given our past trends, is there any way to take a guess at where we might be standing? Then?
Unknown Speaker 32:59
proceed to take that or would you like to?
Unknown Speaker 33:02
Boy, let’s both those both tackle it? Why don’t you go first.
Unknown Speaker 33:07
So I think all of that depends on exactly what I said earlier. And again, we know people are fatigued. We know that this is really hard, right? It’s hard for me, it’s hard for everybody listening in. We’re going into Thanksgiving, thanksgiving and the end, the winter holidays are times when we’ve culturally gathered together gathering together is incredibly important. socializing, staying connected to each other is incredibly important. And what I would ask you to do is considered that somebody could die because of that we need to do everything we can for this one year. We don’t want people to give up hope. Because we are going to get to a point where we have a vaccine, it’s going to be more available. But we need to get through this holiday season by really spending time with our own family. And I know not everybody has a family. And that’s really, really difficult and hard. So I understand that when I say that, but but for the sake of saving people’s lives, for the sake of being able to get kids back to school in January. We need people to spend the holidays, under the roof with the people that are under that roof and knock gather with others. The more we gather with others, the more likely we are to see exactly what we saw around Halloween exactly what we saw around July 4, exactly what we saw around Labor Day the difference out is that we have so much virus in the community that the likely spread will be magnified. So now is more important than ever, that we really buckle down and and celebrate with our immediate family, but keep it under the people who are under your roof. And let’s protect others.
Unknown Speaker 34:49
Just to add to that, thank you Jeff. I just wanted to share a personal story with you and I shared this with a local media outlet. You know we family is very important to us and We decided to not bring our extended family into into Colorado, my mother in law, my sister in law, my dad is staying, who’s 93 is staying, put in Pueblo, my children, we’re going to have a small event of probably four or five people at our house, we’re all going to be physical distance, we’re all going to be wearing masks. We’re all because this is a serious, serious situation that we’re in. And I think the crystal ball says if you follow those, those tips that Jeff said, Follow what we’re trying to do, from from my family. And from everybody’s personal standpoint, trying to make a difference in the spread of the disease, we can make a difference in my crystal ball is that if we do that, we will flatten the curve, again, like we did last spring, flatten the curve of hospitalizations, flatten the curve of death of deaths, hopefully, and then flatten the curve of the spread of the virus. If we remove ourselves in contact from the virus, by the things that we’ve talked about, I’m very hopeful that we’ll be able to open up in January. And the second piece of this is, as Jeff alluded to, the violence is just on the horizon, we will likely have excuse me, the vaccine i did i say virus, I bet the vaccine is just on the horizon. And we will probably have the vaccine at least for health care workers, first responders, probably by the end of December, and hopefully the vaccine will be for the for regular folks. That’s the rest of us. And springtime summer, so we can get to this period of time. And and through the winter and early spring, I think will be much better off and hopefully can open up schools again. Thank you. Oh, great. I’ll
Unknown Speaker 37:02
commit deck. And then I’ll come back to Karen go ahead deck.
Unknown Speaker 37:09
Hi, this is Richard Mater. I had I just have I guess I have two questions. A simple question is, Dr. have been you mentioned that testing does not get you out of quarantine. And I assume that’s because of the false negative taps. Could you explain that a little bit more?
Unknown Speaker 37:35
Sure. This is an excellent question. Thank you for asking this question. Because I found that by talking to people individually, because they’re there thinking, Oh, I didn’t know how does this work? So so thank you for asking this question. So the idea is the virus is incubated in our body, everybody expresses it differently. Not everybody will actually get symptoms. And so we estimate 40% will be asymptomatic. Because during this period of time, it’s incubated. It doesn’t replicate fast enough to show a positive test. The average test it when you’re incubating the virus is around between five and seven days. And that’s why we recommend if you want to get tested, get tested at about seven days into incubation period. That doesn’t get you out of if you’re positive, it doesn’t get you out of I guess it does get you out of quarantine, it makes you isolated for 10 days. But it doesn’t necessarily get you out of quarantine because for the next seven days, that virus could be building up in your body so that you ultimately will test positive for that for the disease. So in any case, I’m trying to say is that it’s too early because the virus hasn’t replicated enough in your body to show a positive on the on the on the on the on the PCR test. So does that make sense?
Unknown Speaker 39:03
Yes, it does. So it’s not really a matter of a false negative. It’s a matter of the virus having sufficient time to come to levels that is detectable. Is that correct?
Unknown Speaker 39:13
That is correct. Okay.
Unknown Speaker 39:17
Thank you. I guess my other question is a more general one. And it has to do with our students who are in primary grades that I guess largely our K five students. If, if our K five students are not as affected at this time, and potentially could be doing in person learning. Don’t they also represent potential vectors for the virus to their families and others?
Unknown Speaker 39:57
Jeff, I’ll take this one as well. If you don’t mind, the good news. And this is tremendous news, at least at this point in our in our lives. Except for those children affected with multi system organ failure that you’ve seen some of these kids are affected by this as a lead sick, well, I have the disease, although there have been less than 10 cases in Colorado, it’s still a potential sequelae of a short term mild infection. So generally, because we talked about expression of the virus in your body, children are K through 2k through five, show mild symptoms, similar to a common cold, runny nose, achy feeling, sometimes fever, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, sometimes diarrhea, it’s very difficult for us to tell whether or not that’s COVID-19 or not. they recover, let’s say they do have COVID-19. They don’t get tested. Although we’re encouraging testing, they get recover during that period that they’re infectious. They still can spread it. And this is where we’re seeing sometimes, and we don’t see it so much in the schools because of your good personal hygiene, mechanical ventilation, masking cohorting, all the things that you’re doing. We still they can still take it home to their intergenerational family, their dad, mom, their their grandma, grandpa, their aunts and uncles. So it is still possible to spread the disease, although less likely. The challenge is we’re so new in this disease process. Looking back, we’ll say all Yeah, kids were probably a very potent spreader. But we just didn’t know that. Now. We don’t think that is true. But at least we’re at this point where we’re following this very closely. And and we’re seeing how kids are spreading. But yes, absolutely. Any kind of infection can spread the disease to another person.
Unknown Speaker 42:00
So would you say that the risk of that disease spread from our younger primary, elementary school students? Is, is how would you characterize that compared with middle school students and high school students? And
Unknown Speaker 42:18
I don’t think we have the answer yet. There have been some studies that talk about kids that are 10 and older, are probably more efficient spreaders, probably because they have more of the virus particles, some of that same study that was done, and South Korea talked about kids younger than 10, being not as likely to spread the illness. But those are preliminary results. I think we’re still at this point, saying that kids get mild disease. As you get older, you have a greater chance of getting more severe disease. And at least this point, all the kids are more likely to spread the illness. And it could be from the socialization patterns of them that are less likely than younger kids.
Unknown Speaker 43:03
And so they they would spread it less in a controlled environment in the classroom, but potentially more if they are when they’re outside of the classroom is.
Unknown Speaker 43:17
I think that’s an accurate statement. I think that for the kids and Jeff talked about this earlier, I think it is a safer environment for them to be in schools. But I understand the issues around personnel and staff and quarantine. And I know Don’s going to talk about that later. So that’s a big challenge. If you don’t have teachers and staff to to educate these kids, that will be a challenge.
Unknown Speaker 43:42
Thank you that answers my questions. I appreciate it.
Unknown Speaker 43:45
Karen. Thanks, Joey.
Unknown Speaker 43:47
My first question is for Jeff. And I wonder if you have a statistic on the percentage of of Boulder resident population that have tested positive to date.
Unknown Speaker 44:02
I do not right off the top of my the my if I might be able to get that for you while we’re on the phone. And it if you go to another question. I can try to look that up. We did get some data. I just can’t remember the number right off the top of my head.
Unknown Speaker 44:20
Okay. Sure. And then another question. I think this would be more for Dr. Bina. And I’m wondering if the fatality rate factor in the factor into the public health guidelines and determinations as they pertain to school. I think we’re at 1.1% in Boulder County.
Unknown Speaker 44:43
But a comment or a question. I’m not sure. Could you repeat the question?
Unknown Speaker 44:46
Yeah, I was wondering if the fatality rate factors into any of the decision making for schools or for any kind of guidelines for public health.
Unknown Speaker 45:00
I would say at this point, the fatality rate is a big issue for for families, certainly not as significant suffering mental health. My father is 93 got disease got COVID-19, a couple months ago, and we were afraid he was going to die. Fortunately, he recovered. But we can’t say that about everybody. And the sad part about this is we can’t predict. Although we do know that people over the age of 65, and people with chronic medical conditions are more likely to die. But we can’t separate that population from the rest of the world. I interact with much younger people than myself, I have grandson, we all are in this together, even though I if I get the infection, I will have that more likelihood of dying from the infection than a younger person. So I guess I, I guess my comment is any death, and now we’ve had a quarter of a million deaths and in the United States from COVID-19, is unacceptable to me. That’s the equivalent of, of, and I guess, people have talked about the death rate is although low, a little over 1%. Daily, we’re losing 1000 people in this country related to them, that’s equivalent to four jumbo jets crashing every day. And to me, that’s a very powerful image. And to me, that’s an unacceptable death rate.
Unknown Speaker 46:32
Yeah, I absolutely agree. And so fatality rate really doesn’t affect the the guidelines or any kind of determinations as they pertain to public health guidelines. Right. It’s more case, positivity. All
Unknown Speaker 46:51
that? That is correct. We don’t follow deaths, although it’s significant. Once you’re in the ICU, there is a significant mortality rate within that, that disease. And Jeff, maybe you can answer that. That was not on our dial, we use different rates.
Unknown Speaker 47:10
Yeah, I would say that if we had a very high fatality rate, which which we know that we don’t in this disease, that that would absolutely factor into what kinds of strategies would be in place and restrictions would be in place. But as Chris Dad, I don’t want that, to at all minimize, so I don’t have the numbers right in front of me. But in a month’s period of time, we had more than 14 deaths in Boulder County. And those are all somebodies grandmother, grandfather, brother, sister, aunt, uncle parents. And it’s, it’s completely sad when we think about that this disease is preventable, that we have any deaths as Krista. But if we had a very high death rate that would absolutely affect and influence decisions that were made at the state and local level. We were that is just not one of the things that we’re tracking right now. Because it was tracked pretty early. And it has been looked at throughout the disease progression. I did find the other statistic for you. So as of November 2, we have an estimated 6% of people in Boulder County that have been instructed at this point.
Unknown Speaker 48:21
Okay, thanks so much for finding that information. So we have a ways to go before assuming any kind of herd immunity. Last question, and I am just curious, with the glass, half full attitude. I’m wondering if there’s kind of a magic number or a positivity rate or something that we could set our sights on to, to determine whether when schools could could potentially reopened fully in person.
Unknown Speaker 49:00
So I think it comes down to several things. And there is I know, you’re all probably aware of this, but there is measures right now in the dial. And again, the recommendations on K through five specifically, are any level of the dial, they’re recommending K through five in person. So what I look at in terms of limiting factors in that, and again, I think Don’s gonna talk some more about this. Number one, if we’re in the higher levels of the dial, the quarantine restrictions that we have make it improbable for schools to be able to operate. I fully understand that I’ve heard that from so many districts across the state. There’s been a lot of efforts around that, to consider changes to that. But when we’re in that type of quarantine, and we’re in those levels of spread, it’s improbable in my mind that it’s possible. But of course the districts would have to make that decision based on whether they can operate at those levels. With that many kids and that many teachers out. The second thing for me that feels important is obviously if we drive our case rates down, people implement the behaviors that we’re talking about, we get below the level that where we have to use the more strict quarantine, and we are down into a level of yellow on the dial, then we can use targeted quarantine again, and again, until that changes, I think it’s as soon as you get into the orange, the red or purple, you’re into levels of spread that make it much more improbable for schools to be able to operate in person. And I obviously would differ don don, Don works with these District Superintendent much more closely than I do. But again, I heard so much that I feel pretty confident to be able to state that.
Unknown Speaker 50:51
Thank you so much.
Unknown Speaker 50:53
Thanks, Jeff. I think that’s a perfect transition. Don, if you’re ready to, I think we heard a lot of information from Jeff and Dr. Urbina about the current situation here in our community. But I thought they did a great job of explaining the challenges that the district is faced with. And it’s, you know, it’s certainly one thing for governor polis to say that they recommend kids are in school and to, to stay on the dial at each level, that being in person learning is appropriate, yet, require us to follow guidelines that really make that virtually impossible. Yeah, yeah.
Unknown Speaker 51:32
I appreciate that. And both Jeff, and Chris, thank you very much for taking another opportunity to share with our community and to share with our board and everyone your knowledge around this issue. And as you know, from the beginning of this back in March, we made a commitment to stay aligned with the health experts. I think it’s really important, you know, the information that was given tonight, to highlight a couple of things. One is that I hear often people want that target, what number do I have to see before you make this decision. But that only holds true if that’s the only factor you’re looking at. And so there’s never going to be something definitive, for example, the red dial today has been moved. So few days ago, if you were in this dial, you wouldn’t be having somebody say to you, open the schools, for in person learning. So you can keep moving the dial to accommodate a philosophical view. But it doesn’t change the reality that comes with what’s going on. And so there’s theory and then there’s practical, and there’s reality. And what I mean by that is, if you change the dial, without addressing the protocols that come with that change, then what you have are two conflicting actions. And it is very easy to say, we recommend that children be in school fully in person. I think that I have said that from the beginning. And I will continue to say that, that in person learning is absolutely the best approach. And not only from an academic standpoint, but for a mental health standpoint. There are issues around anxiety and depression and isolation that are very, very real. And so we say, and we believe that’s where you should be. But if that’s the recommendation from the state, then they need to make it operationally feasible. So we were in the targeted quarantine process. And we were able to go six weeks. In this generalized quarantining process. What we have is on a daily basis, teacher after teacher after teacher going into quarantine going into isolation. And then you have the traditional flu, and colds that keep people out on a regular basis, even without COVID. And then you also have the level of anxiety that has been that has reached a fever pitch with people were coming in to a situation. I also read on the front page of the headlines that the governor recommended everyone work from home. And so therein lies another conflict of messaging. And I also heard the head of cdphp say, on the TV recently, everyone should stay at home. And so when you hear this message to the public. And then behind the scenes, we talk about the quarantining process. And we’re told, you are required to adhere to it. And we say, well, when we don’t have enough bus drivers to transport kids, when we don’t have enough teachers, and our teachers are having to cover and then what happens is we’ve had central office and administrators go in and substitute and then they get quarantined. So it’s just this, and it’s just every day. And it’s large swaths. And so again, I recommend you be in school, but I’m not going to make it practically feasible for you to do so. Those are two conflicting statements. that put us at odds. And that is why you see, the major metro area school districts have all
Unknown Speaker 55:52
decided it’s, it’s necessary to go to remote, there isn’t a single Superintendent that I talked to, that doesn’t believe that kids are better off in person in school. And I believe that fully, there is a practical reality, that when the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment states unequivocally that you will follow these guidelines. And then you don’t have the staff to do what you otherwise would do. That’s the reality that we’re faced with. So it’s really important when we have the discussion, because I think it was either Jeff or Chris, started by saying you don’t have to convince us that being in school is the best option. Research theory, there is no question about that. But if the quarantining protocols, and the inability to operate are in conflict with that research, then something has to change. And the only people that have the authority to change it, are the people at the state level. So that’s why we started, I think you remember back in the summer, we were planning to do a, a hybrid, right from the start. And then you’ll remember, even though we had called the Colorado Department of Health numerous times, and the attorneys from Boulder County had called them all summer trying to get some direction. And we got no response. And then it was July 30, that we were told, here are the quarantining protocols, which turned everything upside down to where we had to shift and go to the the fully synchronous model. Then there came a point in time when they shifted, it was around that October 5, where you could move to targeted quarantining. And so we knew we were seeing that spike right after the Labor Day weekend, and the CPU issue. But we also knew that was that two week lag. And that’s when Jeff came in and said, looks like we’re gonna see a downturn. So we decided we’re going to go with the hybrid. And so that’s what we’ve been in for the last six weeks. And it was moving along, there were still significant challenges. I mean, our teachers have been balancing the, the in person learning with the remote learning simultaneously. And that’s just really hard on teachers. And that’s really hard on kids too. And it’s really hard on parents. But knowing that we were going to try to get every minute we could in school, as long as we were being told that it’s safer to do that, and that the quarantine protocols allowed for it. Our teachers, and our principals, were willing to do that extra work to keep our kids in school. And then when we moved to the orange dial, you know, happened with the quarantining protocols. And then shortly thereafter, the entire dial changed. And what was once stay at home now is moved to, I think it’s something around severe is the term they use, and then they’ve created a purple level, which now creates a whole new dynamic. And so those are the kinds of things that we’re trying to navigate but but what I want to say, you know, unequivocally, all things being equal, and if it’s a safer place to be, and if it’s feasible from a practical standpoint, we absolutely want our kids in person. I continue to share with you as a board, you know, the, the absenteeism rates and things along those lines. And those are very real, because there’s another safety issue if you don’t have staff and personnel, just from a normal standpoint around safety in schools. So that’s kind of where we’re at. And I appreciate Jeff highlighting that we will continue to have conversations, we’ll continue to talk through it. Jeff indicated tonight, the same thing that he has indicated to us that they don’t have the capacity to manage the quarantining protocol. And that affects us in a in a significant way. So I don’t want to, you know, I don’t want to be critical, because I know everybody’s trying to do their very best. But I do think that there has to be consistent messaging at the state level,
Unknown Speaker 1:00:52
that if you’re going to say this, then your actions have to support this. And if they don’t, then it becomes very difficult for people in the public to understand fully what’s going on. Case in point after the governor statement, I received email saying now that the governor has said this, and I said, Well, you need to pay attention to what he hasn’t said. Because what he said, was this, what he didn’t say, was this, and this is the problem right now. And so I appreciate everybody’s, you know, advocacy for in person or, or remote. The other thing that I, you know, I want people to know is, you have to be immersed in this on a daily basis to fully understand it. And all of the moving parts. Dr. Meyer, I thought your question was a great one around the testing. Because I hear that often. Well, what if I test negative? It doesn’t make any sense? Well, it does when you hear a medical expert explain it. But if you’re trying to understand it, and you’re because I asked the same question, I was confused by it. Because I’m not a medical expert, I thought, common sense, you get a negative test, you should be able to go back in until it was explained to me in detail. The same thing with the quarantining, you know, some people are looking, and they say, Well, you’ve had three people, quarantine or three people that have been a probable case or something. And I see this many quarantines. But over here, I see three and I see a whole different number. Well, and that’s all borne out of the interviewing, and the contact tracing and all of what goes into it. And so it’s never going to be as simple as I get this number, and it adds up to this number. And again, these are all the questions that I asked, because I didn’t understand it. But after you get immersed in it, and you’re having meeting after meeting after meeting, you begin to understand it. So I appreciate greatly the communication. Because with each person who communicates, through email, through phone call, we’re able to have that conversation. And we’re able to make adjustments to our website, and we’re able to help communicate with our community. But the other factor that changes everything, and you know, when you feel like you, you understand it, and then all of a sudden you get a new dial with a whole new set of guidelines. So I won’t belabor that point. But I do want I did want to say those things, because I want I want to make very clear that it’s not simply a debate or a disagreement or any kind of a philosophical disagreement about whether you should be in school or not. We all believe that. But it has to be safer than outside. And it also has to be practical in terms of the reality. And the guidelines. I’ve had people say to me, Well, I’ve heard from the governor’s office, that is local control. So you should be able to make that decision. The quarantining protocols are not local control. They are required by the state and there is no wiggle room. So again, you have conflicting messages. And these are the challenges that, you know, we’d like to say, Now, I have said this over and over. I’m very grateful to this community. I think they have, as they always have, they have stepped up. The support has been overwhelming. I want to thank our teachers. They have been nothing short of heroic and meet with them on a regular basis. And it’s just, it’s a very, very difficult time for our community right now. So I will stop there to see if you have any comments before we transition into the next phase. And what I’d like to find out from you is because we have talked for quite a while This next part is pretty extensive. It’s a walk back through March. So I’d like to ask if you still want to do that at this level? Because it’s it’s pretty extensive. And if we do to take a little break, because talking in this mask for this long, and it’s a next session is pretty involved. I want to be able to, you know, to do that. Well,
Unknown Speaker 1:05:30
thanks, Tom. I do think the rest of the agenda is important with board members Be gracious enough to take a short break and then stay a little bit longer this evening. For for the report. I think the board is supportive of that, Don, the reality is, are you and and your team because they’re each individually presenting? And I so I just want to make sure I know that everybody has. They have so much on their plate already and staying a little bit later. may be more of an ask for them than it is for the board. Okay, then why don’t we take a five minute break? we’ll reconvene at 730 for that part of the agenda. And Jeff and Dr. Urbina, thank you again for your partnership. We We very much appreciate you.
Unknown Speaker 1:06:19
Thank you. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 1:06:20
Thank Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 1:06:21
Yep. Take care. 735 minutes. Oh, you know what, john, I’m going to done. We do have one public comment. Thank you, Paula. Yeah, Mr. Scott Dunn, if you could go ahead and invite him in. That would be great. I did step out and thank him for his patience not too long ago.
Unknown Speaker 1:06:54
Hi, Scott. Thank you so much for your patience. We really appreciate it. These are unusual times, and we wanted to make sure we had an opportunity to hear from our medical experts. We appreciate you participating in public comment this evening. You do have three minutes for your comments, and why don’t you state your name and your address? And we’ll go ahead and have you begin speaking.
Unknown Speaker 1:07:20
Thank you very much. No policies are necessary. I appreciate you allowing me to speak today. President members of the board My name is Scott Dunn. I live at 5915918 Blue Mountains circle Longmont. I’m not here to speak regarding the determination of whether the school will go back to full online, hybrid or not, that is a question to be informed by medical professionals of which I am not. I signed up to speak today to share the perspective of just one parent with children in the school district. I’m parent of 13 year old twins in eighth grade at Alterna Middle School. Over the last eight months, my family like all of us has been living in a time of unprecedented uncertainty. As the parents of two young children, my wife and I have been committed to keeping our children mentally strong. We have happy well adjusted children but they too are impacted by isolation, loss uncertainty and constant change. We communicate to them that we are going to get through this stronger as we rely on each other and place value on what is really important. It is in this environment, children continue to participate in school. Unfortunately, why we’re trying to make it through this time in a positive way. My children are getting repeated messages from the school not doing well enough. These are not normal times and children are filled with anxiety in the chat met, excuse me, the message My children are getting from school is often you need to do better step up, you’re falling behind. Here’s another bad grade. Here’s another zero because this assignment wasn’t submitted. I could also go into some of the difficulties parents that we have tried to do this with iPads where technology sometimes makes it impossible to help them and we have to in effect put a television in their hands that has infinite distractions. Soon before COVID started, my wife and I sat in a room with my daughter and a number of excellent altona teachers talking about how proud we were for progress. I can still see her face that day and how proud she was. Now during this time of fear and uncertainty, my daughter tells us how she’s a failure with the school reminding her that she’s not measuring up to expectations that she’s told that she needs to meet continue to meet even with the rug pulled out from under her. I hate to have to tell my children that they are doing great and difficult times while they seem to be getting the message that they are not. These are hard times especially for children. I’m just it would be very helpful for the school to just help families do the best they can and not feel like children are being measured as to whether they are keeping up with goals that are not suited to the world that they see that they’re currently living in. It’s a laudable goal to try to keep our children learning as much as they can during these trying times. However continuing to assess and measure them had that’s been occurring with my children with what seemed to us to be conventional pre COVID yardsticks is often very good. counterproductive. I’m asking that the district reconsider as we move forward its approach, and which relates to constant measurement, which can often lead to frustration discouragement and anxiety. And I’d like to really thank you all. I know, I was listening outside how difficult these times are. I appreciate the work that everyone’s doing. I just tried to overall say just try to help families. It’s It’s getting hard on kids feeling like they’re measured. And it’s really it’s a hard time. Thank you. Thank you, Scott, I
Unknown Speaker 1:10:34
appreciate you sharing that perspective with us. And please know that we, we welcome your feedback. And at any time, you’re welcome to reach out to any of the Board of Education phone call, email and Dr. Had at as well. Thank you. We appreciate it. Thank you. All right. We’ll see everyone back in five minutes to start the next portion of the agenda. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 1:17:17
Alright, thanks, everyone,
Unknown Speaker 1:17:18
we’re back from our break, and getting ready to jump into our pandemic response and sustainability, discussion and a look that Don over the past nine months of the district’s work to really, truly repurpose the school district, we’ve seen several different iterations of this. And I think we’re, we’re going to see something a little different again, which I think is a great segue to you jumping in and beginning your presentation.
Unknown Speaker 1:17:53
Thank you and kind of finish out what I was saying earlier, as a result of all of those challenges. What we’re going to be doing after Thanksgiving break, is moving back to a fully synchronous model. We’ll go online through the remainder of December until we get that winter break, at which time we will be able to reconvene before we go on to winter break. And with our health department, find out what the data is saying. And then we will communicate with our community, that first day that we go on to break so that they’ll have two weeks to know what’s going to happen, whether we’re going to be able to come back in a hybrid, or whether we’re going to be able to come back in fully synchronous or what that date is informing us. And then if there’s any progress, so that gives us the week of Thanksgiving, three weeks, and then two weeks. So a total of six weeks, my hope is that we will see a shift in the data that will allow us to get back in person in some form. The other thing that will be different and this is different from the perspective of when we went through in the first part of the school year, we had teachers working from the buildings because the rates were low. And we didn’t we weren’t in that orange level and all of those changing factors. So I met with our teacher leadership yesterday, and you know, we’re gonna give teachers the option to work from home. And I know that we had that was a survey a questionnaire that went out that Steve Villareal put out around just kind of where people are and I just want people to know our teachers are very supportive. They’ve been very supportive throughout this entire thing. But given the fact that we are now in level red, I think it’s very appropriate to let a teacher make that decision. Some teachers indicated that they would like to come into the buildings and because they have all of their equipment and the bandwidth and everything there and they will be able to do that.
Unknown Speaker 0:00
At our administration will be here. And they will deliver their synchronous learning from the classroom. And then others who make the decision to deliver the synchronous learning from home will have that option. So that’s where we are. And then I’ll give you as a board an update on the data. When we get back from Thanksgiving immediately right, before we start that three week stretch before the the winter break. I want to just check, is there anything else that we talked about wanting to share tonight, besides the next part of the presentation? Okay, great. I will also be sending a letter tomorrow to our teachers and staff, and then to our parents and our families. And so you should get it either Thursday or Friday, it’ll come in the form of the way in which you’ve seen them before. And that will have even more detailed information than what I’ve just shared. I have, as I said, been able to communicate with our teachers and our classified staff. And right now, we have a large number of people working from home, in our classified staff and others. So. So that’s kind of where we are at this point.
Unknown Speaker 1:06
Okay, thanks, Don, I appreciate it. In the in the spirit of being somewhat efficient, I think I’ll go ahead and ask for board members, if somebody could please make a motion to extend our meeting time this evening.
Unknown Speaker 1:22
So moved. A 30.
Unknown Speaker 1:24
Day 30. Okay, and a second. Second. And BB, BB. Are you comfortable? If we just do a group vote?
Unknown Speaker 1:35
Unknown Speaker 1:36
Okay. All in favor?
Unknown Speaker 1:38
Unknown Speaker 1:39
Aye, was unanimous BB. Thank you. All right, Don, we look forward to hearing your presentation now.
Unknown Speaker 1:45
All right, well, we’re gonna kind of go through a pretty extensive presentation taking us back to march. And I’ll even take us back just a little bit before that. I remember, you know, one of the things we do is we stay up on national and world news quite a bit. And early on in the second semester of last spring, started to see reports coming out about COVID. And I think you all will recall, I copied you on an email, just based on what we were reading what we were seeing. And this was before it became widespread information that had some serious concerns about it, and asked our operations and maintenance team to do double cleanings in the buildings. And then also make sure that the H vac systems were working. And you know, back in the day with h one n one, you kind of saw some of the same developments. But what was being said about this about much more contagious and just some some of those kinds of things. So we really began to pay close attention to this very early on and kind of get buildings ready, not knowing fully what to expect. We also when we got to March, we realized we were closed by the state at that point in time. And so we gave our teachers notice. And I’m going to go through a list of things, the teachers and staff we, if you recall, we paused to give them that first week to attend their personal business and families and also for families to get things in order. And during that time, we in the central office created 10 days of lessons in the core content area, so that teachers could have that structure of going online, which was very new to a lot of people. We also provided the paper curriculum packets to families. Because of you know, while while the devices in the internet were all secured, we wanted to make sure they had a choice because some people felt more comfortable with the paper, set up the central Wi Fi in every feeder system and provided individual hotspots throughout the district. We set up to fully staffed community resource centers to begin deliver iPad delivering iPads, which we did to every student pre K through 12. We also purchased some additional devices, as we learned of some who didn’t have or they may have had multiple kids in their family. We purchased learning management systems and other standardized tools seesaw, Schoology and WebEx and did extensive professional development on seesaw on Schoology for teachers through the district’s learning leaders.
Unknown Speaker 4:14
We also develop best practices documents for blended learning and online learning and provided them to our teachers and staff. We provided numerous comprehensive communications to parents, teachers and staff throughout thorough cleaning ongoing cleaning of all district facilities, established a new grading and attendance system for the remainder of the year. And this is still back in a spring focused attention and monitoring of student engagement and this ties into what Scott was talking about. Tried to give grace in a very difficult time for our students. And I’ll talk about that a little bit later because I appreciated his comments. Had daily and weekly coordinated services meetings we opened up a new school for online asynchronous and synchronous version with 3400 students because we would not have had the opportunity to develop the curriculum that fast. To do that, we attended numerous agency meetings with the governor CDE cdphp. And Boulder County Public Health and other school districts committed to staying in alignment very early on with the health professionals. Something our team talked about once we knew what we were involved with, that this was going to be a long process. This was not going to be a sprint, this was going to be a marathon. And we knew we had to stay aligned with the health department, because there would be many critical decisions to make along the way. And we just couldn’t be making them without that medical expertise. And then we secured emergency funding as I shared with you in the as we lost a significant amount from the state. We had our bi weekly principal meetings and ongoing meetings with teachers staff and other groups. We set up a fully funded for our teachers and staff COVID testing site. We established the district wide safety protocols campaign safe was seven established and funded extensive safety safety protocols, schools, classrooms, music busing, athletics, shared materials, recess lunch, we rearranged spaces and furniture to accommodate the social distancing, which drove some of the reasons why we were thinking about the hybrid. But you know, at that point when we got into August, to maintain the social distancing, we allocated numerous additional teachers to accommodate class sizes, and the online launch dead enrollment, the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act cases, the loss of enrollment, we lost enrollment, but we didn’t want to lose the teachers. So we picked up that extra financial burden. To accommodate that situation. We secured appropriate personnel and protective equipment for department schools and classrooms, and establish school administrator teacher plan teams in each of the schools to walk out the hybrid model.
Unknown Speaker 6:51
We hired three additional nurses to support Boulder County Public Health, with contract tracing, established a safe safety team with members of and now I’m into this later on in the years, established a safety team with members of Boulder County Public Health, central administration, to school board members, nine teachers and the SBA leadership that safety team met regularly and we met often about where the data was and continuing to get feedback from from key stakeholders. We established a comprehensive district Coronavirus website in English and Spanish over 200 accommodations for our teachers. Ada tier one and tier two caregiver and high risk tier two because we knew that they would not be able to teach in person given COVID developed a comprehensive quarantining tracking system with communications and school procedures planned and conducted graduation ceremonies for every st brain High School. And that was in July supported the planning and formatting of school principal safety videos to communicate specific to the schools. A walk around for parents and teachers secured legal language and permissions to conduct a virtual student performances and recognitions reworked the board meeting video streaming capacities to handle greater levels of public interest. Continuing with the online recovery, ie credit recovery, with the high school hybrid and Middle School jumpstart and algebra one launch programs to help kids get additional support. Our mobile lab conducted summer book distribution throughout the community. We produced a walking podcast convocation events since we were not able to meet in person for all of our teachers and staff. We implemented a modified Community Schools program for Bell care and before and after school care, developed safe transportation for students while implementing the procedural changes that allowed for easier contact tracing, social distancing and bus cleaning efforts. And you’ll recall that several districts there were other districts that decided to discontinue transportation because of the onerous expectations. We felt that that would be detrimental to our students. So we continued with the transportation implemented new procedures around classroom cleaning protective gear and social distancing by moving furniture adding barriers and signage to support social distancing. Increase the cleaning frequency by adding at contract employees to our custodial department, paying close attention to classroom surfaces and high touch points, like doorknobs and bathroom fixtures, and increased training around proper COVID cleaning support, reviewing each school building, identifying building components, changes that support safer environments, maintained our construction and our building efforts, which is absolutely critical because if you delay those projects, you will stand to lose millions of dollars, because you’ll get caught by inflation and that would have reduced our capacity to deliver on our promises. Instead our operations team they stayed ahead of schedule and, and really have done amazing work to support the educational environments and protect our students. We close the usage of our buildings by outside users. We redevelop protocols and best practices for building a actuations and emergency preparedness in order to follow the COVID restrictions, the building ventilation systems were reviewed and adjusted and upgraded to provide as much fresh air as our systems could produce changed out all the H fac air filters to Merv 11 levels installed co2 meters in every school to monitor fresh air quality, installed bottle filling stations in our schools to reduce touch point contact and completed building modifications throughout the district supporting a variety of COVID complications. We closed and ultimately opened all of our playgrounds required bus rider registration for all students accessing the bus required bus rider contact agreement along with reviewing informational safety video the use of z pass cards along with paper logs. For those who didn’t have cards to track all rider activity on and off the buses. Bus rider mandated face coverings assigned seating for all bus riders loading procedures including social distancing at bus stops, back to front loading and front and back unloading at the recommendation of our health agencies. And then also the cleaning of the high touch through the transportations and multiple cleanings of the bus between runs, and develop new procedures for protective gear cleaning and social distancing. And all of those things helped our transportation continue for students.
Unknown Speaker 11:18
We installed markers on the floor and sidewalks already covered the PPR stuff increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting all the hard surfaces and touch points provided training and support to custodial staff and contracted workers to provide a safe environment developed revised enrollment projections in the late spring based on participation rates in anticipation of impacts to moving online and no one person and you’ll get the results of the counts. But it was somewhere in the ballpark of 1000 students that we lost for a variety of reasons and we’ll hope to re cover students as things settle but located in an implemented free breakfast and lunch distribution spots throughout the district. Today we’ve served over 300,000 free meals for our community. So that’s something that’s very appreciative of our nutrition services department. We analyze the capacity of all schools and all of our classrooms to see the impacts on reducing students per classroom, mapping and locating our launched ed students. The combination of fire hazard impacts and COVID impacts kept us busy with mapping and student location identification. We opened the new Elementary School in Meade and I know that you’ve had a chance to visit that we added exterior field lighting at three high schools to support evening practices and that’s at Silver Creek High at nyuad. High and at Skyline high. We so now all of our high schools have lighted stadiums. We shared the design of a new district swimming pool or we started the design of a new district swimming pool which will be construction will start soon. we rebuilt and opened Main Street school to provide outstanding opportunities and you’ve seen the extensive renovation that took place there. We rebuilt an open Longmont high school with major classroom and cafeteria remodeling. We designed and started the new auditorium at Lyons middle senior high school. We design and started construction on a new elementary school out in Erie elementary 28. I was out there visiting that school today. It’s exciting that it’ll be opening soon design and started construction of a new classroom wing at Frederick High School. we rebuilt Vance brand auditorium added restrooms and security improvements to spark discovery preschool. Started design on Centennial elementary school security improvements. We moved portables to support social classroom distancing, delivered the block bond plan scope of work at altona, Coleridge, Erie and trail Ridge middle schools. We upgraded security fencing at Grandview elementary school, improved the parking lot and completed Roofing Repairs at Sanborn Elementary, completed district wide security upgrades that included door hardware replacements. The addition of a first responder support that includes secure building access by adding lock boxes to every building for law enforcement, emergency sound and light notification systems for building occupants and upgrades to burglar alarms throughout the district. Completed educational improvements at Burlington elementary school that included a new grow dome classroom space bathroom remodels and security upgrades. Finished Apex homeschool program building. As we continued online learning through August and September we align employees to other positions that best fit the needs of the school district. So we had some of our transportation folks helping us with custodial staff. And the significance of that is we did not want to lay anybody off. So we kept our entire staff intact in order to avoid mass layoffs as a result of the COVID virus. And we continue to do that and we’ll continue to do that. As we go online after Thanksgiving. We will continue to keep all employees employed whether they are actively involved in their regular functions like us. drivers and things along those lines.
Unknown Speaker 15:03
Regarding the COVID, and all of those kinds of things, I’ve got to stop there and just make a transition. Because one of the things that has made all of this possible is our community. And you can’t do these things without financial stability, and we would not have financial stability. If it weren’t for our community. I can’t say to the same rain Valley parents, and the business community, and the families and the teachers thank you enough, because as difficult and this has been extremely difficult on our families and on our children, as difficult as it’s been, it would have been magnified if we didn’t have the financial stability that our communities provided for us and have done so regularly. So a sincere thank you. Regarding the fiscal year 20 Kaffir. You’ve heard about that the independent auditor concluded based on the audit that there was a reasonable basis for rendering an unmodified completely clean opinion that the district’s financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30 2020. You’ve heard that the Financial Services Department for 16 straight years now for excellence in financial reporting by the Association of School Business Officials international and the governmental financial Officers Association, and due to the economic environment caused by COVID-19, the funding to the district was decreased by for the 2021 school year by approximately $14 million. Despite the DC crease and funding, the strong financial management has ensured stability in the district’s finances and level of services provided to the community. that normally would be said by Greg, but I wanted to say it because I want to thank Greg faith. And Tony widely and Jane shot all of the members of our finance office. They are incredible. They’re nothing short of incredible. And the work they do has helped us stay in a very solid place financially. So, Greg, if you’re listening, thank you for that. And then I’m going to transition now to Greg.
Unknown Speaker 17:06
Hi, Greg, welcome.
Unknown Speaker 17:09
Good. Can you hear me?
Unknown Speaker 17:10
Unknown Speaker 17:12
All right. Awesome. Thank you, Don. And thanks Board of Education. What I’m going to do is give us give you kind of our guiding principles in the finance office. And then a few updates most of them you heard about, but I wanted to just just get them out there real quick for you. So our guiding principles are to secure and maintain adequate resources to ensure the safety and security of students, teachers and staff to secure and maintain adequate resources to ensure the district’s strategic priorities vision statement and mission statement are met. Ensuring demonstrate the district resources are used appropriately and for intended purposes. And the last one is to ensure that critical financial processes of the district remain at a high operational level. So just to give you an update on what we’re doing right now, again, we’re monitoring key funding sources. We talked about assessed valuation is down 1.26%. And that’s primarily in the commercial side of it. We are in the process of final finalizing the October count certification, so we will get an accurate funding from the state. It’s currently just a proposal or just a projected we are monitoring the governor’s budget proposal. And I think Don talked to you about that last time. We’re also looking at the key November ballot changes that happened the repeal of Gallagher will be a very positive thing for our district in terms of property tax funding. We’re looking at the state income tax reduction. We’re looking at the Family Medical Leave Act and how that might impact us and then the cigarette and tobacco tax increase. The other things we are doing is we’re tracking and monitoring the corona relief Coronavirus relief funds and the elementary and secondary schools emergency relief funding and their expenditures. we’re piloting credit card systems for pre ticketing AND gate sales for athletics and activities. And we’re in the process of potentially changing our time clock system. And so we’re going through an RFP right now. And those are kind of the key things. So I think at this point, I’m going to turn it over to kale.
Unknown Speaker 19:30
Thanks, Greg, and welcome, kale.
Unknown Speaker 19:34
Thank you, Greg. Thank you, Board of Education members. A few of our guiding principles for the Department of assessment and curriculum and instruction. We really go forth to support the district wide development of rigorous relevant curriculum and the implementation of best instructional practices to sustain high achievement and really give our students that competitive advantage. And one of the things that we I’m working on. This is in collaboration with district Technology Services, Michelle bourgeois since about 2011 is we are here to provide students and teachers with the tools they need to investigate to communicate, collaborate, model and explore a concept and content. In authentic context. I know that’s a lot. But that’s kind of a measuring stick that the department has been looking at for some time. And with that, the updates that we’ve been, and I can’t say enough for our staff and our teaching staff as well. We’ve established a series of different instructional models preparing to go into this in August in September. We are training we develop models, model lesson plans, videos for fully online and are launched Ed School, which john mentioned earlier, right at about 3500 students. So that has been really exciting. We support for staffing and content and instructional planning. And then in October, we moved to the hybrid, we were prepared for that, in conjunction with Diane Lauer and professional development. We good we’re able to accommodate that have professional training models, ready to go and support schools with that. Currently, we have some curricular adoptions that we have not stopped with. We have a secondary language arts adoption that’s in the pilot phase. And we have the first year of middle school math was, which is information gathering and evaluation. And then the next is secondary world languages, and which again, is in the information gathering and evaluation phases. A couple important points is that all of our high school students this year, including launch dead students, were allowed to take eight courses. And they were also allowed to take courses synchronously back at their home high schools, which was very important for us, because some of them had chosen to go to those high schools, where those options were available on the focus areas. And I wanted students were able to still accomplish that. And of course, our E credit recovery options are available to all of our high school students. You’re around, and our finish rate has been still very high throughout all of that. So those are the quick overview of our updates for assessment curriculum instruction.
Unknown Speaker 22:31
Thank you. Thanks, Kim.
Unknown Speaker 22:37
Diane Lauer will now give an update for professional development.
Unknown Speaker 22:40
Great. Thanks, Jackie. Hi, Diane.
Unknown Speaker 22:43
Hello, and good evening. As we can see, during this time, things are very critical our time and our and our people. And so when we think about professional development, ensuring that our opportunities to help people expand their capacity, it must be safe, it must be purposeful. It needs to be relevant, and it needs to be timely. We began the summer with some intensive training and had over 900 teacher participants. engaged in summer blended learning training, everybody knew how critical it would be to have the skill sets to manage teaching in a multitude of environments. And so I’m so proud of our teachers that that not only engaged the summer, but over 1400 participants engaged in additional training for during the months of August and September to to really understand the depth and complexity around hybrid learning. If we think also about welcoming, we welcomed about 150 new teachers to our field, and they are doing fantastic. We’ve been working very closely with all the new teachers so that they are able to provide high quality instruction in this environment. We work very closely with our human resources department. You heard tonight that that having a robust pool of guest teachers substitute teachers is critical. So we provided face to face training for over 70 of our substitutes to in enrich their technology skills. We’ll continue to do this on a regular basis and it’s been a great collaboration. Blended learning has been probably the largest priority but many of you are aware that we are primed to provide opportunities for learning. There is a new revised read Act, which requires all teachers who provide literacy See, to kindergarten through third grade, they’re required to complete a mandated 45 hours or more training. We are very fortunate that our district plan was approved. And so we have many teachers who have already started the training. They have currently until the end of August 2021. To complete this training, we have 587 teachers in our district who make up this, this pool. And there is talks with the State Department of the State Board of Education to give us an additional six months to meet this timeline. So those are things that we are working on. And next up, it will be Johnny, our Executive Director of Student Services.
Unknown Speaker 25:49
Thanks, Diane. Hi, Johnny.
Unknown Speaker 25:52
Good evening, everyone. Can you hear me?
Unknown Speaker 25:54
We can? Yes. Excellent.
Unknown Speaker 25:57
Well, first of all, I
Unknown Speaker 25:58
want to thank Dr. Dodd and the Board of Education, for giving me an opportunity to share the guiding principles and, and provide some brief updates for students services. And so first, I think first and foremost, our guiding principle is to provide critical services to students who need additional support to ensure safety and success with their learning experiences, while attending schools in same brain, Valley School District. And then secondly, we provide robust virtual learning and training platforms for the services provided in our department has including, and you’re going to learn a little bit later about some of those specific offices like DLA, the Digital Learning Academy. And then we also support schools enhance a student’s academic career and personal social development. That’s key to guiding principle. And we also provide consultation and guidance that’s consistent with the Board of County Public Health and cdphp guidelines to both schools and departments so that they may maintain safe, healthy and secure learning environments, and updates related to those guiding principles. Each month, we’ll continue to provide professional development opportunities for counselors, interventionists, and administrators in the in the district in the areas of alternative digital learning, attendance and engagement, engaging in equity, to 504 process, Title Nine, homebound education, gifted and talented services, health services and Medicaid. We do this each month on the third Tuesday of each month to our Student Services open labs. We continue to support schools and departments with case investigations and contact tracing related to COVID and it, support it. And that’s supported by hiring three additional nurses for our department. And so kudos I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our nurses, they have done a fantastic job in this area. And then we continue to liaise with our community partners to train staff and promote equity and diversity throughout our system. And then last, but certainly not least, we’ve continued to provide counseling services and social emotional support to students and staff through our mental health staff, to our mental health staff supply to each one of our schools essentially, and through our level of specific programming. You’ve heard me mentioned before at the K five level and focus at the middle school level seven mindsets, and at the high school level grades nine through 12 sources of strength. And I believe I’m going to transition over to special education and is Laura Hess. Thanks, Johnny. Hi, Laura.
Unknown Speaker 28:58
Unknown Speaker 28:59
Thank you again, I have everyone else’s sentiments we appreciate being able to present tonight, I just want to give a few quick updates in the area of special education. A lot of the work that we’ve done is continue to provide students with numerous opportunities to demonstrate their abilities across all safe all of our safe learning environments that we have. In addition, we are focused on providing robust and relevant professional development opportunities to not only our certified staff, but our classified staff as well. And then, you know, part of special ed is always maintaining that compliance with the federal state laws and regulations. When we were in person learning, we had our students with disabilities attending four days a week rather than in the hybrid bottle to help support their IEP goals and those very directive pieces of learning. In addition, we moved to align a lot of our supports for students who want to access launch dead right now we have close to 13% of our overall population at launch Jed has a student with a disability So we continue to provide that level of support through that virtual environment. one additional thing that I want to thank the staff from our district office this year is last June, they were tasked with the idea of creating a robust professional development learning platform for our classified staff. So all of our paraprofessionals and we were able to before school started to have everybody trained in the district who worked for us as a classified staff to be able to then provide one to one and small group instruction to our students in that virtual learning, which has been a great help. And I really want to thank our classified staff for taking the lead on that and our teachers were helping support them. And then the last thing that we have is similar to what Diane talked about as our focus on literacy is in the area of special education we have about 40 speech and language pathologist. And as their work is heavily related to the work in literacy, we are also going we’ve embarked on planning training during the school year for them, for that particular group in the area of Orton Gillingham. Because we know that multi sensory approach combined with the knowledge that our speech pathologists have, it’s going to be very powerful, especially for our earliest learners. So that is the special education update and I am going to pass it on to petty thanks, Lori, or Laura. Sorry.
Unknown Speaker 31:22
That was Laurie was the combination of Patty and Laura all at the same time. I should just say thanks, Lori, and that’ll be thanks, Lori. Welcome, Laurie. Anyway, it’s nice to see you, Patti. Thanks, Laura.
Unknown Speaker 31:34
Thanks. Good evening, everyone. The innovation center staff continues to focus on our principles, which include insurance safety to all of our safe frame students who access the Innovation Center programs. We also want them to have opportunities and access to our advanced courses and completion of industry certifications. We are collaborative and maintain relationships with all of our industry partners, nonprofits and higher education for the benefit of all of our students and staff. We are building a productive community that delivers innovative practice and stem throughout the district. Some of the updates that I’d like to share with you this evening are that we have over last year to this year have increased our class enrollment by 37%. Even with the pandemic occurring, we’ve added eight new courses which were introduced this fall, we’ve increased one F to E for our teacher who is developed and created that our pilot ground pathway which is very exciting for students, we’ve pivoted to virtual model with all of our classes and even in the summer. activities we really just pivoted very, very quickly. We conducted three high school summer classes of 60 students are participating. Our super stem summer camps, which we’ve always been successful, had 186 students virtually our Innovation Academy with IBM continued to go virtual and they had 120 students in their 10th anniversary year. And our project teams continue to work. We currently have 31 project teams with about 180 student designers that participate. We continue to reach out to our industry partners and we have about 45 that we’re involved with. Some of the new things that we’ve added are the internships experiences for students, and those come through three companies anarch, Misty robotics and bolder AI. We also were accepted as a Cisco net Academy which will really benefit our students and staff. We currently have 10 contracts with clients that we continue to work through. And then we are really exploring our badging system and we have designed three badges for students design thinking, communication and team building. We continue to find support within our community and across our country with our different industry partners and nonprofits. And to just to mention a few the Daniels Family Foundation has received has given us another round of funding specifically to address our AI and cybersecurity work. That’s 250,000 over three years, otter cares Foundation which is linked to OtterBox as given our entrepreneurial zone and maker space 25k each. We also chose received Colorado Department of Ed Computer Science Education grants for close to 30,001 of our foundations that just came through last year they funded us. We had had some great relationships with them. The mayor of Philips Family Foundation, will be supporting us in the next two years with $150,000 Boeing has really looked at us as a very cutting edge program. And last year they provided us with $100,000, which we split with between aerospace at the Innovation Center in Erie High School. This year, we again will receive another 100k from a bowling. We are the site for hosting of the COVID check Colorado for establishing a local testing site for St. vrain staff. And that’s what I have this evening. And I’m going to turn it over to Michelle with DTS.
Unknown Speaker 35:35
Unknown Speaker 35:36
Thank you, Patti. Hi, Michelle.
Unknown Speaker 35:39
Hi, everyone. And I just want to say first, thank you to the Board of Education and to Dr. Haddad for all the support you’ve given us. In DTS, I am proud to represent the hardest working team of technology professionals that have ever had the chance to work with mdts. Our guiding principles are really to make sure we’re ensuring a safe and secure digital learning and work environment so that we are empowering our students, our staff, our teachers and our families. We believe it’s important to provide both students and staff with a resilient and a robust network, and make sure they have access to up to date hardware that meets their learning needs and their work needs so that we continue to be at the forefront of learning and education. We also believe it’s important for us to continue to develop and adopt digital resources that provide for enhanced learning, for insightful data analysis, and really to make sure that we’re supporting improved business processes for our district. A couple of updates for you. One that I’m proud to share, we worked with our communications department and developed a digital citizenship campaign called screen smart. We kicked that off in October, and that included materials like stickers for students to put on their iPads, posters to hang in schools and postcards that we provided to all of our schools to help support digital citizenship thinking and conversations in our schools. We applied for the T Mobile Project 10 million program. And just week and a half ago, we were lucky enough to receive 792 additional hotspots, that we are fast preparing to get out to families as those are needed. We’ve also been busy in adopting new online tools such as a virtual parent teacher conference platform, so that we can have those conferences with minimal disruption and maximum support for our families. And then our programming team has been hard at work developing COVID data collection and reporting mechanisms to make sure that we can keep on top of that data. We also develop the systems and processes that we’re using to track student progress, student engagement, and even rethinking attendance and how we might create the systems to do that. Well, we worked with the city of Longmont to increase our district bandwidth because we knew it was important to make sure we had a reliable and robust connection for all of our teachers and all of our students in this new era of blended and hybrid learning. And then as Dr. had mentioned, we ensure that we had enough iPads for all students to make sure that everyone had a personal device to use for online learning. It’s been a fun time to be able to support all of this in technology. And I get to hand it off to Brian lamer to talk about operations.
Unknown Speaker 38:26
Thanks, Michelle. Right. Hi, Brian.
Unknown Speaker 38:29
Hey. And I too wanted to extend my thank yous. It’s, you know, it’s been a long year, and 2020 certainly has a name of its own. So yeah, I just want to say thank you, thank you for your support. The operations department, we created a mission statement some five years ago, and it says creating and maintaining safe and innovative spaces for students to learn and grow. And we continue with that guiding principle today and certainly through 2020 we will continue to review, monitor and improve all of our efforts to maintain safe educational environments for our students. As the system adjusts, and so will we. I’ve I’ve often said business as usual. And I was challenged on the concept. You know, stating this is 2020 and it’s been a tough year. So I went to my staff, and we’ve we talked about what it looks like business as usual, if you will. And so my construction department and I should say our construction department, you know they they talked about continuing with the 2016 bond has planned and then on top of that they’re looking at building wellness programs administered through the LEA administration program. They’re switching some of our hv AC units to Support our nurse stations. And they’re putting in lighting as Don mentioned, so students can engage in, in athletic programs. And I would call that business as usual. The custodial department continues to provide cleaning beyond the normal with hire contractors to provide assistance. And they continue to look for ways to do things better. As you know, we’ve been employing robotic equipment to help us clean. And we’re also changing building materials so that it’s easier to keep our buildings clean transportation. And all of them did such a great job. But they they developed a program that allowed us to walk through the the COVID experience, if you will. By asking riders to register they they implemented the Z pass program, proper loading and unloading seat assignments, all of those things. And I was talking with Lance the other day and on on a yearly basis. on a yearly basis, there’s probably 10 to 15 students that end up getting on the wrong bus. And now with these implemented of changes that Lance has put together, we can successfully track students when they do get on the wrong bus, if you will. And then nutrition. And as you know, as we go online, they will provide meals to students curbside, and when I talked with them, they said, Yeah, we’ve got all this plan together. And in addition, we’re looking at providing funding to support our nutrition program, changing menus to invite, or more bus selection. And of course, providing individual training for staff. And then, finally, a conversation with maintenance. And it was all of these things didn’t come at at me at once. But it was over about a week time. And they said yeah, we continue to monitor and maintain our HVDC systems to provide maximum amounts of clean fresh air to building occupants. And by the way, we have a broken water main at one of our schools and it flooded. You know about six different classrooms. We, but we couldn’t get the plumbers over there in time because they were busy fixing two sewer lines. And in the end, we had a bear that got trapped in a trash can. And so all of that said, I would say business as usual for operations. And with that, I’m going to hand that off to Jackie.
Unknown Speaker 43:00
Yes, thank you. I’d also like to extend my appreciation to Dr. Haddad in the Board of Education for your thoughtful and steadfast leadership during these past eight months, especially always, but especially in the in the last eight months or so. I’m representing the work of our area assistant superintendents, Mark Mills, Dina perfetti, Dini and Brian Kraus as well as our principals and, of course, our teaching staff around academic support and school support, we have really focused on monitoring, very carefully monitoring our student participation in attendance. Right now we’re seeing a 93 to 94% attendance rate every single day in our school district, both online or in person. We are monitoring grades, we’re running grade reports, we are looking for students who have missing assignments. And we’re also doing lots of graduation checks with our seniors, but also our juniors or sophomores and especially our freshmen as they are transitioning into high school. We are providing and focused on academic support to fill in any of those gaps as we continue that monitoring that looks like a credit, project launch, extended learning time on after school on Saturdays and especially on those Fridays that are asynchronous and give our teachers an opportunity to connect individually with students and to communicate with parents. We continue our professional development and we are especially focused on the early literacy work of fundations and Orton Gillingham because we’ve seen some very early promising results. We also continue to focus on our increased pathways for post secondary opportunities for students in our P tech programming expand P tech programming, as well as our focus programming across schools. And we do all of this under our guiding principles of providing academic and social emotional support for all p K through five students in a safe learning environment. And also, we focus on ensuring that all of our students will have grade level success in grades pre K through 12, especially during during this year that looks so much different for them. And with that, I will turn it over to you, Carrie McDermott.
Unknown Speaker 45:31
All right. Thank you, Jackie. And I want to echo the same sentiments as everyone else has shared an appreciation for the board and Dr. Had add in sharing some updates tonight. On the communications team, we have a mighty team that really does believe in the power of public education to transform the world. And through that we know that an informed and engaged community is critical to a highly effective public institution. And so when our communication efforts we prioritize accuracy, transparency, consistency, access, equity, and impact driven messaging. And Dr. had shared many of the things that we’ve been doing in this time of the coronavirus pandemic, such as our our Coronavirus website in English and Spanish has had over 760,000 pageviews. Since those were launched our dashboard heads over 72,000 page views we’ve also prioritized publishing a lot more video content, including our Yon brick and mortar series to get more of those stories out in the community of people having an impact on students. And since March videos we publish have had 10s of 1000s of views. We’ve also fielded over 3000 questions and feedback submissions through our online forums since March. But we have a lot of big projects coming up on the horizon that I’m excited to just briefly share with you one of witches we are preparing to launch a new modern website for the district by the end of the calendar year and new websites for the schools by the end of the academic year. It’s a project that’s been in the work for some time now. And we’re really excited to see that moving forward next month and it’s going to really help to streamline communication processes, even emergency communication notifications for the district. We’re also working closely with a student intern from one of our high schools on an engagement plan to better connect our high school with our high school students through Instagram or other social media platforms. In partnership with DTS we are also currently testing and setting up a new email voice text communication platform school messenger that will also streamline delivery times and processes for those parent communications. But most importantly, we are continuing to strengthen community feedback loops in our community, including forming parent Coronavirus update and Advisory Committee. Currently, we have over 90 parents signed up to participate in that and our first meeting will be in December. We’re also going to continue to prioritize and share out Superintendent updates and community letters as we receive new information and have stories to share with our community. Throughout this time, Dr. Head and the leadership team have continued our regular AR meetings with our with our teachers, but we are also going to be restarting our teacher advisory council meetings that were paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are planning to host a zoom meeting with newly elected representatives and continue zoom meetings with our chambers or community groups and our business partners to share information about the district. We also will continue our regular COVID-19 planning meetings that include principals, Board of Education members, central admin staff and our public health experts such as the one we had tonight. And again ongoing email in person and virtual correspondence and meetings with our students, staff parent groups in the media. And with that, I will hand it over to Todd.
Unknown Speaker 48:54
Good evening. And thank you members of the board and Dr. Hood dad. I’m excited to share some information with you. But first I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful HR team for all their hard work and excellent customer service. We have some guiding principles in HR that we follow, recruiting and maintaining outstanding teachers and staff to work in a safe to work and safe environments throughout the district serve and support the employees, schools and departments with procedures processes and resources and ensuring compliance with policies and laws. Just an update about where we are. We’ve participated in numerous virtual meetings with the superintendent and various employee groups created and implemented virtual onboarding and training since we can’t hold it in person training and finding new creative ways to to ensure that people get off to the right start and have the the tools that they need. interpreted and implemented executive orders from the governor and the state and federal Coronavirus leave. Those have been challenging and some In cases of ever changing and and interpreting what they say, in November, we implemented a new super guest teacher substitute strategy to improve flow rates by assigning guest teachers to individual schools and in more of a one on one situation, depending on the size of the school, having certain number of subs available to them that are just within their building to create some avenues where subs feel safe and in the boat to go into one building. And schools know that they have somebody to count on. So we’re currently implementing that and trying to get more and more into the schools. In November and December, we’ve already started developing a strategy to recruit outstanding employees, we know we’re going to have to do that in the virtual environment. And we’re always going to have needs of teachers especially in the teacher shortage, and finding great teachers especially hard to fill areas. So we’re already starting to strategize about how to do that. And then in January, we’ll be implementing with the finance department, the Healthy Families and workplaces act, as well as the equal pay for equal work act that will go into effect January one. And with that, I’m going to turn things over to our executive director chase McBride of athletics activities.
Unknown Speaker 51:21
Good evening, good evening, everyone. Can you hear me okay.
Unknown Speaker 51:26
Hi, Chase we can
Unknown Speaker 51:28
okay perfect. Mr. Smith secrets presidency Chris Ducker dad board. Thanks for Thanks for having us tonight. And you know, again especially thanks for all your support and guidance during these difficult times. I want to start by thanking our immediate team Melissa Lehman and Janae bird for their excellent work during this year as well. And a special things a little bit I know that Brian and his team say business as usual, but it’s it’s been a little bit more than usual, I think in helping giving us cleaning equipments and preparing our grounds on short notice helping supply the lights at the at the three new schools in the pool, and it takes a takes a village to help run activities and athletics and thank everybody for their support. Some of our guiding principles are to to provide opportunities for our students to participate in CO curricular and extracurricular activities. Under the safety approved guidelines from cesa cdphp and Boulder County help as well as to establish safety guidelines for daily tracking of COVID symptoms and health questionnaires for all participants and staff involved in our co curricular and extracurricular activities. An update as to where we are now we were able to provide an opportunity for for season a participants to successfully complete their seasons. That includes music and Fine Arts at our schools as well as softball boys golf boys, tennis, boys and girls cross country sideline cheer and dance and of course football. And I want to make a you know another special mention to meet football it it seems to be the one that gets gets the tough end of the of the stick. Sometimes they had to forfeit their playoff game because of COVID. But yet again, they’ve they’ve demonstrated how to handle adversity with class and they’ve certainly done it so very professionally. So I know that we’ve provided offseason abilities for our other sports music, drama, and and other programs to participate under proper protocols. Working with Brian’s team and Lance, we provided additional opportunities for transportation to provide the most safest environment possible getting our kids from one place to another. As Greg mentioned earlier, we’re working with finance, on piloting a credit card program that will we use for athletic events hopefully going forward. We’ve secured legal language and permission slips to con to conduct virtual student performances and recognitions. We provide professional development opportunities as well as resources for art, music PE and drama teachers, k 12. to support them in each of their transitions. We’ve created Schoology groups for each content area so that teachers can share resources and connect with one another virtually or in or in person if they’re in the same building. And we’ve expanded our resources alongside with DTS for music RP and drama Speech and Debate teachers as well. Thank you for the opportunity to share. Great, thank you
Unknown Speaker 54:53
chase. I believe that brings us to
Unknown Speaker 54:57
an reid is going to just do a quick
Unknown Speaker 54:59
search Fantastic, that great and then we’ll go ahead and vote to extend the meeting for just 15 minutes after an speaks. Thank you. Hi, Diane. Hi.
Unknown Speaker 55:12
Thank you. Thank you, Dr. Dad and the Board of Education for your continued support. It’s a pleasure to do an overview of achievement data for sight brain, we’re really looking at a student entering the same friend system, and preschool and kindergarten and going through and as they leave the system, all the other opportunities they have had in st brain. So looking at starting at preschool, and kindergarten, we have 26 elementary schools all with high quality preschools and full day kindergarten, and as measured by Ts cold, we have students entering in the fall in preschool and leaving in the spring with higher skills and literacy and mathematics. And shifting to our fifth grade CMS reading achievement, looking at that fifth the important fifth grade outcomes transitioning to middle school, St. Fran continues to make incremental incremental gains for all students, and to also outpace the state specific loop looking at our Hispanic students, that increased percentage that are meeting and exceeding those expectations and reading in fifth grade increased by 11%. over a five year time period. A similar trajectory in math, we’re continuing to outpace all students the state and increase each year, and Hispanic students over the same time period have increased by 10%. And the fifth grade math for CMS, specifically focusing on algebra one, and the important gatekeeper course, we’re always intentionally looking at our our curriculum in the system of having students be successful and taking algebra, one in eighth grade, opening up opportunities for extended AP courses and advanced coursework. And we’re also looking to make sure students all students have that opportunity and preparation with summer programming and focus engagement for successful transition to ninth grade. In that completion of algebra one. In St. Brain, we have over 70, high quality rigorous instructional programs. We have recently added the third p tech cybersecurity focus program that enables students to leave st frame with that associate’s degree. Then, if you take a look here at listing, numerous, those focused programming, each and every student has that opportunity throughout the brain to find opportunities they’re interested in and have experiences within those, those fields that are entering, and while they’re in St. Frame games, college credit and open doors when they leave St. Mary. It’s very important to focus on student engagement, having students involved in activities increases their connection to the school community. It also is important that they that that increases their academic performance as well, you can see that 25% increase of student engagement over the last four years. We’re always looking to close that gap with our advanced coursework in St. Fran has been recognized in one of four Colorado School districts and one of 373 in the nation to be recognized for AP for doing that, specifically increasing access to AP courses for all students. And specific specific to advanced placement, we are continuing to increase the total number of advanced placement exams, if students score three or higher, they have that opportunity to gain that college credit. And you can see in a five year period that has increased 62%. And taking a look at our populations, it’s we can see that in that same time period, we’ve increased the the the spanic students taking exams by 92% over five years, while continuing to add to the percentage of students scoring that three or higher similarly are increasing our white students increasing 52% over that time, same time period and our black students increasing 50% over that same time period. Our IB program at an Iowa High School and can you continues to increase the number of subjects entries that our students are taking and the number of candidates for that IB Diploma. Remarkably, we’ve had a 201% think reducing the number of concurrent enrollment courses taken in seven years, outstanding.
Unknown Speaker 1:00:07
all at the same time while increasing graduation rates to 24.5. Over a 10 year period, you can see that the graduation rates increasing and significantly closing the gap for Hispanic students. And a similar pattern here with our dropout rates decreasing to a point 8% this year for all students, and a significant increase in 1.4% for Hispanic students. For our LSAT, our students continue to outscore the nation in the state scores, and our students year over year continuing to improve in both math and, and evidence based reading and writing. And to close out this evening, we take a look at the expulsion rates. It goes back to that community and relationships with students and families keeping students connected. And year over year, the last two years having expulsion rates of zero, truly remarkable. And we take just making sure that students across the system, have the opportunities when they enter and throughout their time and have as many opportunities when they leave St. Frame.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:24
Thanks, Dan. I would entertain a motion this evening to extend our meeting by 15 minutes, please. so moved by Karen in a second. Second. by Dick All in favor? Aye. Any opposed? Great. Thank you. Don, I believe you had some closing words for the presentation.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:47
Yeah, absolutely. I first want to thank everybody on the team. Excellent work, thank our teachers, excellent work and our classified staff and in our community for all of what you see is the result of a team effort. So I’m very appreciative. And I’m very appreciative of our students, too, who are at the heart of what we do, and working very hard, because obviously, without their hard work, we wouldn’t see these results. I also wanted to comment on Mr. Dunn’s comments. I agree with him wholeheartedly and had a long conversation, you know, with our teacher leadership, and our principals will be talking with them tomorrow, to really recognize the hardships that our children are facing. And their unprecedented hardships. And they have a lot of high stakes activities going on. Whether it’s you know, getting ready for college, or getting ready to progress to the next grade level. And it’s important that we recognize the struggles that they’re going to have, and give grace and give opportunity to keep their grade point averages where they are recognize their hard work, and recognize that they are overcoming really, really difficult things. And I’ll be talking more about that with our principals tomorrow and continue to talk about that with our teachers as we go online after Thanksgiving break. I want to make sure that our you know as much as we can mitigate the difficulty for our students, we definitely want to do that. And so I wanted to take the opportunity to thank Scott for his comments and let you know that that’s something top of mind for all of us, though. The other thing, reminder to look for the letters, teachers and staff tomorrow, and families tomorrow and Friday, that will give some additional information. And then again, we will make a decision for what’s going to happen after the winter break that first day of the winter break. And so people will have that that time to know what’s going on. Other than that, I’m just looking at my notes. I don’t Well, there was one other thing that somebody asked me that I do want to say, if we get back into a hybrid model in the second semester, let’s just hope and assume that we’re going to get back to that in person learning and the data supports it. Somebody asked if that choice of synchronous learning would be available for students, if they were in the hybrid, but did not want to go in person and wanted to stay fully connected synchronously. Online. And the answer that question is yes, we will continue that option. So it’s a it’s it’s there for a student and a parent if that’s what they choose to do. So we will continue with that. Going into the second semester. And as I’ve said all along, I’m you know, I was optimistic about what Jeff was talking about with the vaccine. You know, as long as everything comes in alignment, we want to get children back in person as quickly as possible. As long as it’s the safest and most practical thing for everybody to do. So. Thank you very much.
Unknown Speaker 1:04:54
Great done. Thanks. I appreciate it. We are we did vote again took In the meeting, and we’re 45 minutes past our scheduled time, which I think is more than appropriate, given the importance of our discussion this evening, I would ask board members, given the time and understanding that staff has been waiting a long time, and it’s clear from the report that they shared this evening that they have a lot on their plate. If we could, if you could take notes, remember your questions. Certainly, I’m not saying your questions aren’t important. But if you could direct those directly to Dr. Haddad for follow up. And then I think tonight, if we could, if any board members want to make a brief comment, that we could certainly do that, but would ask you to just just hold your questions to anybody want to make a comment? You certainly you know, don’t don’t have to I want to make anybody feel as if they do. Paula, did you have something?
Unknown Speaker 1:05:54
Yeah, just I just want to thank Don, you and Jackie and your entire staff, because we’ve spent so much time as a board working with with you in real time on the what’s the data today? What’s the data this week, what is our capacity, whether their learning model going to be looking like it’s it’s it’s also short sighted because it has to be because we’re we’re working in this, this pandemic reality. So tonight to pull this curtain back, and to share with us everything that’s going on behind the scenes, was really incredible. It was really eye opening. And it’s, it may be business as usual. But it’s like two jobs for everybody. We’re doing what we would normally be doing in this business of the human intellect, which is very granulated and very hard and very customized. And we’re trying to do it in the middle of a pandemic. So I really appreciate the look, the look behind the curtain, and how extensive and how detailed it is. And thank you to everybody who’s doing all of this work, and keeping this going. Not just not just surviving, but we’re doing really good work. And we’re gonna we’re gonna be better when we get to the other side of this. I truly believe that. Thank you. Karen,
Unknown Speaker 1:07:12
I just wanted to say I read an article that Dan sent, I think a year or two ago, about 30 behaviors that make you unstoppable. And all I can think of while everybody was presenting was how unstoppable our students and our staff and everybody in our district is I’ve just could not be more humbled by the incredible work that everyone’s doing. So thank you,
Unknown Speaker 1:07:38
Chico. Yeah, that’s one of the thing. Jeff and Dr. Rubina, and everyone who presented tonight, really appreciate all the work you put into it, and especially all of our staff that they’re presented with all that’s going on. And Dawn’s Pacific, I want to thank you for your work. Something was touched on briefly was, unless you have the entire scope of everything, it’s it’s hard to really know what the right things are to do and how to move in. And you might be the one person position to really have a sense of all of that, and certainly have to take a piece of all of that every single day. And so, you know, I just want to appreciate you for doing that. And considering all that and, and knowing that so much is you know, coming coming at you all the time. I know it’s a ton and I certainly appreciate it. Thanks, Chico.
Unknown Speaker 1:08:34
You know, don’t I’ll echo what what’s already been been said by board members. And I certainly won’t repeat that. But while we have your team on the phone, I am going to err on WebEx, I am going to take an opportunity to recognize them, and thank them for all of their hard work and dedication. As each each individual was going through their individual reports, it’s abundantly clear that every decision that’s made in the school district is centered around what’s best for students. And that really did shine through tonight. And while we typically have an opportunity to ask them questions and and have reports in a different fashion and see them in person at meetings, we haven’t been able to do that. And so in the absence of that, since I have them on WebEx right now, I will express my gratitude and say thank you to everyone. Appreciate it. Alright, if there aren’t any other comments or questions, then we’ll go ahead and sign off for tonight. Don just if you could briefly reiterate, you’ll be sending out a communication and just walk through the next steps and then what gets us to January please and then I’ll call for adjournment.
Unknown Speaker 1:09:49
We will be starting with the fully synchronous model. When we return from Thanksgiving. Teachers will have the opportunity to work from home or from The buildings if they choose. And then we will be communicating tomorrow and Friday, with detailed information about what’s happening over the next three weeks when we return from Thanksgiving. So parents can expect communication from me this week, and so can teachers and staff. And then that first day, by the first day of the winter break, we will communicate with teachers and staff and families around what we’ll be doing when we get back from the winter break. And that will be in large part over those three weeks prior to, and I will keep the board informed each step of the way with my meetings over Thanksgiving break. And each of those weeks thereafter with the health department’s and let you know what has transpired and, and what our best thinking is at that point. When we do get back, if we’re able to get back in person with the hybrid, those that may still feel like they’d like to do the fully synchronous, we’ll have that option or the hybrid. And then at some point, hopefully we can get to the other side of this and come back fully in person when it’s appropriate to do so.
Unknown Speaker 1:11:08
Thanks, john. Appreciate it. And just because the the district will be moving to remote learning does not mean that your interactions with Boulder County Public Health and the state are stopping. Great, thank you. All right. With that I would entertain a motion for adjournment. so moved by Karen and a second by Jim, all in favor. Thanks everyone. Be safe.