Back to School Frequently Asked Questions
Updated July 24, 2020
Is Mapleton proposing a regular start to the school year?
Yes. At this time, Mapleton is busy preparing to welcome students back to school for in-person or online learning through Mapleton Online on Thursday, Aug. 27. You can view the entire plan here.
What is Mapleton doing or planning to do to ensure a safe and healthy school year?
Mapleton is taking many steps to ensure we are doing our part to provide for healthy communities, healthy buildings, healthy classrooms, healthy schedules, healthy activities, and healthy policies. To view the many components of our reopening plan, please view the entire plan here. A few highlights are listed below:
- Delaying the start of school to Thursday, Aug. 27.
- Introducing a staggered start to the year. Students return on Thursday, Aug. 27. There is no school for students on Monday, Aug. 31, or Tuesday, Sept. 1. There is also no school for students on Monday, Sept. 7, in observation of the Labor Day Holiday. The first full week of school for students is the week of Sept. 14. Visit our calendar page to view school calendars.
- Opening an online school, Mapleton Online, for families who wish to continue their Mapleton education online for the 2020-21 school year.
- Filtering indoor air with portable air cleaners with HEPA filters, maximizing ventilation, and increasing circulation of outdoor air. Learn more about our air filtration improvements here.
- Establishing student cohorts group no bigger than 30 students. Cohorting has been found to be the most effective control strategy by reducing the number of contacts between students and adults throughout the school day.
- Staggering arrival and departure times for schools. Additional information from each Mapleton school is forthcoming.
- Wearing face masks as much as possible is required for students and staff.
- Adding hand sanitization stations in every classroom, school hallways, and school buses.
- Reconfiguring and reimagining schools and classrooms – from traffic flow to furniture – to promote social distancing.
- Modifying physical education, specials, and extracurricular activities to limit contact, modify the use of shared equipment, and encourage distance.
- Asking parents to ensure student symptom checks occur at home, prior to arrival at school. Digital thermometers will be provided to families who do not have one at home.
When do students go back to school?
We are looking forward to welcoming all students back to school on Thursday, August 27. We will open to all grades (PreK-12), at all schools, five-days-a-week in-person or online learning, and follow our 2020-21 academic calendar.
As a part of our cautious and progressive start to the upcoming school year, students will not have school on Monday, Aug. 31, or Tuesday, Sept. 1. These two days will allow schools to apply what we learned in the first two days back to school and make the necessary modifications and adjustments. All students will return to school on Wednesday, Sept. 2, and the regularly scheduled student calendar will resume. We are confident this will provide a safe and healthy return to in-person learning for students and staff.
Are in-person learning and remote learning the only two options? Can students alternate between in-person and remote learning?
Mapleton will offer families two choices for the upcoming school year, full-time in-person learning and full-time online learning. This decision was made after listening to and gathering feedback from our families and carefully examining current guidance from local health officials. When integrated with our reopening plan, these two options prepare staff to expertly support students in either environment and ensure we are doing our part to provide our families with safe, healthy learning communities and our students with continuity in learning.
How will staff adequately socially distance students within their school or classrooms during the day-to-day activities that take place within the school?
School leadership teams are in the process of identifying school 'neighborhoods' and student cohort groups to minimize the number of interactions between adults and students, promote social distance, and manage transition times and locations. Movement in hallways, corridors, playgrounds, and cafeterias will be staggered and traffic patterns will be redirected to minimize the number of students moving at any one time. Schools will communicate additional information as it becomes available.
What is Mapleton Online?
We understand some families would like to continue with remote learning. To that end, we are introducing Mapleton Online, a new K-12 school in Mapleton to support families choosing to continue their child’s academic journey online. Mapleton Online will also open on Thursday, August 27, and is currently accepting enrollment. There is no deadline to enroll in Mapleton Online, however the sooner families, enroll, the better we will be able to support students with staffing and materials. For more information visit Mapleton Online.
How is Mapleton Online different from the remote learning my child's school offered in the spring?
Mapleton Online instruction will be delivered by teachers with extensive training and expertise in online education. Mapleton will use Canvas to help students master the learning targets outlined in the Colorado Department of Education’s prioritized standards. The Canvas Learning Management platform allows schools to build a digital learning environment that meets the unique and individual needs of students. Canvas is rooted in the science of learning—to help every student and teacher save time, increase achievement, and find success. All Mapleton Online students will receive the technology they need to be successful with remote learning. Mapleton will soon provide details/and or access to free or low-cost internet options.
If I enroll my child in Mapleton Online and later decide to return my child to in-person learning, will they still have a seat at their current Mapleton school?
By choosing to enroll your child in Mapleton Online, you are giving up your seat at your current school. If you choose to return to in-person learning placement will depend on availability at your school of choice.
Will Mapleton provide plexi-glass stand-up shields to aid in social distancing students and teachers?
Yes. Face shields, plexi-glass barriers, and face masks will be provided to any staff member requesting them.
What happens if a school or the district needs to close temporarily or for an extended period of time?
Mapleton Public Schools implemented a 1:1 technology ratio for students’ grades K-12 as a part of the move to online learning last spring. The district will maintain this ratio moving into the 2020-21 school year to allow for a blended learning approach. Blended learning supports teachers in using technology to offer students flexible, engaging activities in a classroom or in a home-learning setting. Blended learning will help students and staff seamlessly transition between in-person learning and remote learning should a school or the district need to close temporarily or for an extended period of time. The components of blended learning include whole and small group instruction, personalized learning, collaborative learning, digital learning experiences, in-person instruction, and monitoring learning.
Will students and staff be required to have their temperature checked?
Families and staff will be encouraged to check for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 illness before sending children to school or coming to work. Families are encouraged to keep children at home from school if they experience any symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Mapleton will provide digital thermometers to families who do not have one to assist in symptom checking children.
If my child is sick, what should I do?
If your child is sick, your child should remain at home. We encourage you to contact your primary care physician. Your child's school will work with you to obtain missed lessons and assignments.
How will each school handle students who become sick?
Students who are sick will be sent to the nurses' office and isolated from other students who are in the clinic for routine reasons (i.e. first aid, medication, other regular treatments). Students who are sick must be promptly picked up from school. School nurses will actively monitor school attendance to understand potential trends in symptoms/reasons for student illness or absence(s).
Our Integrated Services team will be trained in contract-tracing to assist in identifying students, families, or schools with any concerns.
What will be used to determine a future school or district closure?
Mapleton leaderships will meet daily to monitor confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases. Decisions to open and to remain open will be based on the safety of staff and students using the latest guidance from CDPHE, Tri-County Health Department, CDE, and other local health experts.
What will bus transportation look like?
Transportation plays an integral role in Mapleton’s choice system. To that end, we are exploring all opportunities and monitoring the latest precautions and guidance to continue to transport our students safely and effectively. Parents will be encouraged to self-transport their children to school, when possible. When on a Mapleton school bus, staff and students will be required to wear a face covering. Hand sanitizer stations will be installed in schools’ buses, and social distancing will be implemented where possible. Additional cleaning and decontamination of school buses will be implemented after each run.
Will parents be allowed to go inside of their child's school? Will parents, especially new families or families with young students, have an opportunity to tour schools and classrooms?
We are reopening with the goal of making our school buildings feel as welcoming, safe, and comfortable as possible while introducing on-site modifications to promote the health and wellness of our students and staff. The success of our reopening plan depends on our ability to reduce the number of contacts our staff and students are exposed to every school day. To promote healthy spaces, we, unfortunately, will not be able to invite families into buildings or classrooms at this time.
We know and understand this will be very difficult for many families. We thank you for doing your part to support a healthy community. Everyone has a role to play in reopening our schools. When you drop off your child at school, please use your school's designated kiss and go lane. Do not get out of your car. Do not walk your child to the front door of the school. Help us minimize the number of adults we have in and around our building by following your school's drop off and pick up procedure. Walking your child into school creates risks for all families. Thank you for your support and understanding.
Preschool families will be asked to do hand-to-hand drop-off and pick up. More information is forthcoming.
What will back-to-school night look like this year?
Schools are currently planning virtual tours of buildings and classrooms as part of our reimagined back to school nights. We anticipate these virtual tours will be interactive, engaging, and confidence-boosting, preparing students and families for the first day of school. Please stay tuned for more information from your child's school about virtual tours.
Will Mapleton require students and staff to wear masks?
Students and staff will wear face masks as much as possible given the developmental appropriateness of the child, especially when in hallways, restrooms, and when in proximity to students from other classes/cohorts. The district will provide masks for all students and staff who require them.
Will students be allowed to participate in recess?
Yes. Access to recess will not be limited. Lunch and recess time will be staggered/scheduled according to student cohort groups and students will be asked to stay in designated areas. Students will be encouraged to participate in touch-free activities, such as jump rope, hula hoops, shadow tag, hopscotch, kicking or soccer ball, etc.
Will water fountains be available for student and staff use?
Water fountains will be turned off for the upcoming school year. We have ordered 7,500 clear Mapleton water bottles that will be distributed to all students. Water bottle fillers are being installed in all schools and will be available for both student and staff use.
When will Mapleton have an updated school supply list?
As we focus on keeping our community, school buildings, and classrooms safe and healthy, we are rethinking many of our back-to-school traditions, including our school supply list.
This year, to minimize the sharing of supplies and make sure all students have the materials they need to be successful in the classroom, we are not asking parents to send their students to school with school supplies. The district will provide students with all necessary supplies. This was made possible by generous donations and the Mapleton Education Foundation.
The only item students will be asked to bring to school is a backpack to safely transport iPads and Chromebooks to and from school.
Will students be able to participate in fall sports?
While we are reopening our schools, we will not be reopening our athletics or performing arts programs until our students can more safely interact. The first phase of our reopening plan calls for limiting the interactions our students and staff have among and between cohorts. The smaller cohorts will assure a more protected environment where we can monitor the health of those within the cohort. The most pressing matter is to get our schools open. Once open, we will be able to monitor the effectiveness of other precautionary measures and help us determine when we can safely resume these important and valuable experiences. We know this is very disappointing news. Please know that this is a temporary situation. We value the benefits of these programs and are committed to getting them reopened. We are also committed to finding other engaging opportunities for our students to socially connect while staying physically distant. Again, this a temporary measure as the first phase of our reopening is getting back to school. We will resume these activities in the next phase of our plan.
What about other events and activities?
To the extent possible, we will minimize the number of students and staff each individual interaction with during the course of the school day. For Performing Arts, students will not perform in circles, music will be projected on screens when possible to prevent sharing of printed music, singing time inside classrooms will be limited, and students will be encouraged to video themselves performing and use class time for review and individual instruction.
Will ‘Zero Hour’ classes resume in August?
All ‘Zero Hour’ classes (Performing Arts, Air Force JROTC) are postponed or will be reimagined until further notice.
How will school breakfast and lunch be served?
Mapleton is exploring all possible options and awaiting further guidance from the USDA on how to best provide meals to students. Options could include ‘grab & go’ meals taken to classrooms, or, to increase meal options, students could be permitted to pick up food from the cafeteria in small groups. Mapleton strives to provide healthy, nutritious meals to each and every child. Nutrition Services staff prepare every meal with care using the highest health and safety standards. This year, staff will be taking extra cleaning and health precautions by wearing face masks at all times. Face shields will be worn in addition to masks when staff interacts with students. Mapleton Public Schools is pleased to provide breakfast to all students at no cost. All students who qualify for reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program will also receive lunch at no cost. To qualify, families must keep their annual Federal Meal Benefit Application current each year. The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility and verifying data.
Will students go on field trips?
Unfortunately, all field trips and activities away from school are canceled until further notice. As a part of the Mapleton way, staff will continue to find creative and engaging opportunities to outside learning experiences into the classroom.
Will visitors be allowed inside schools?
To promote intentional movement within our school buildings and social distancing, visitors will either not be allowed or will be extremely limited.
Maximize group distancing to slow transmission chains
• Organize students with specific staff in cohorts or “families” for extended learning times.
• Keep cohort groups as distinct and separate as possible and limit movement between cohorts.
• Staff will remain with one cohort or family as much as possible, minimizing the number of students and staff individuals interact with throughout the school day.
• Avoid large groups and gatherings, both in and outside of school.