COVID-19 Updates

(Last Updated: 12 August 2020)

General Information

We are currently following guidance from state and local government on how/when we will return to school in the fall.  Please check this page often for the latest updates regarding COVID-19, and visit our Back-to-School webpages for important information regarding the 2020-21 school year. 

Guidance for Parents

On Tuesday, August 4, CHSAA released the 2020-2021 athletic calendar which you can now see below!

Registration is now open for all sports, regardless of season it was assigned to!  Please click here to register for the sports you are interested in as soon as possible.  Athletic fees are not due when registering – fees will be collected after final roster selections are made.

If you have questions regarding 2020-2021 sports, please contact our Athletic Director, Joe Simboli.

Below are eleven educational websites vetted by K-6 Principal, Renee Henslee.  Please feel free to explore these websites with your children for additional educational enrichment. 

Free membership code for ABCmouse: 7771

District 11 Meal Service

Colorado Springs District 11, the district that provides meal service to The Vanguard School, is offering one free bagged meal per day for any children ages 1-18.  The service is offered weekdays from 11:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. at the following sites: Doherty High School, Russell Middle School, Mitchell High School, Swigert Middle School, The RJWAC Campus, North Middle School, Mann Middle School, Coronado High School, and West Elementary School.

Colorado Springs Food Rescue

The Colorado Springs Food Rescue has opened a fresh grocery distribution center at the Helen Hunt nonprofit campus.  Food will be distributed at 3:00 P.M. Tuesday through Friday and at noon on Saturday at 917 East Moreno Avenue.  Those who are interested in volunteering to help with food distribution can sign up here.

Communicating Illness to the School

Please contact the school nurse, Robin Smith, immediately if your child, or someone in close association with your child, tests positive

Communicating Quarantines and/or Possible COVID-19 Cases to Staff and Families

The school will follow the lead of El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) on any quarantines and the communication requirements regarding those quarantines.  If EPCPH identifies that a person who tests positive with COVID-19 has been at a school while infectious, and there is in turn a threat to the school community, the agency will notify school leadership immediately and request assistance with finding close contacts of the sick individual who may need to be quarantined.  EPCPH will initiate quarantine and communicate directly with the affected individuals.  The school will then follow communication guidelines from EPCPH.  If a student or a staff member is quarantined due to contact with a case, but there is no identified risk of disease transmission at a school, EPCPH will supervise and monitor the quarantine and the school will not be notified.  This means we will not communicate quarantines or test results for any staff or family member until directed to do so by EPCPH.

Travel

The school is following the guidance of public health agencies regarding domestic and international travel.  All school-sponsored international and out-of-state travel has been suspended.  We are asking families to self-report if they have traveled to high-risk areas. 

Academic Information

Infinite Campus

Infinite Campus is the backbone and primary tool for delivering lessons.  You may access Infinite Campus by clicking here.  If you have not yet verified your child’s Infinite Campus account, please do so right away.  If you need support with either the username or password, or are experiencing difficulty with Infinite Campus, please contact Mrs. Debbie Gard.

Student Assignments

Elementary assignments will now be presented in an MP4 format, allowing for greater ease of use for families with multiple devices.  Also, a teacher video component has been added to increase teacher interaction and instruction during the lesson.  The lessons also provide details on dates and deadlines for verifying work has been completed, and discussion threads are provided for questions and answers.  Please click here to access a brief tutorial on this process.

New assignments for our elementary students will be posted every Tuesday by 9:00 A.M. The assignments are posted only once per week to allow flexibility to families in managing requirements over the course of the week as best fits their schedule.

Please note that we are beginning our Distance Learning with a focus on reading (with embedded spelling) and math in the lower elementary, and literature and math in the upper elementary. Once the program is underway, we will assess when to add history, science, and Latin (upper elementary).  Music, art, and P.E. are not part of the Distance Learning Program.

Reading, Literature, and Math Groups

Our achievement groups will continue during Distance Learning.  Please note that we have adjusted teacher assignments slightly, so your child’s reading or math teacher may have changed.  Also, we will not be doing any group movements during distance learning, so your child’s group placement will remain the same throughout this time.

Parent/Teacher Communication

The primary method of communication with your child’s teacher will be via email.  Please check your email regularly for updates and information.  Teachers will not be using any form of video conferencing to communicate with families.  If you need to talk directly to the teacher, a phone call will be arranged.

Computer and Internet Access

The school will work with any families who may not have computer and/or internet access to ensure all students are able to receive appropriate instruction.  Comcast is offering free internet for two months for new customers who are eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, etc.  Please visit the Comcast website for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Section I:  Assignments

Q.  Where do I find my child’s assignments?
A.  Please see steps below:
–  Log on via the Infinite Campus student portal.
–  Log on via the Infinite Campus student portal.
–  Click on “Assignments” on the left.
–  Scroll down to “5/28.”
–  Assignments will be labeled clearly with a due date.
–  View the Infinite Campus tutorial video for more information.

Q.  How do I access the lessons?
A.  Teacher PowerPoint lessons are designed to play in an online browser on a variety of devices. Please see steps below:
–  We recommend using Google Chrome (PC or MAC) as your browser.
–  To play audio clips, click the three dots near the audio icon.
–  Please reach out to your teacher via email if you have questions.
–  For Infinite Campus support, please reach out to Debbie Gard

Q.  When are assignments due?
A.  Lessons will be uploaded every Tuesday morning by 9:00 A.M., and the due date for completion is the following Tuesday.  Completion dates are also posted on the first slide of your child’s PowerPoint lessons.

Q.  Why are all of the assignments listed under “5/28” in Infinite Campus?
A.  This will allow all assignments to stay “active” in Infinite Campus.  The expected completion date will be posted on the PowerPoints as well as labeled in Infinite Campus.

Q.  How does my child show work and submit their assignments?
A.  Student assignments will be verified via the parent survey or mini quizzes that teachers assign on a weekly basis.

Q.  How do I resolve difficulties with my technology?
A.  Reach out to your child’s teacher who will forward your question to the appropriate person.

Section II:  Discussion Threads

Q.  Can parents direct questions or make comments in the Infinite Campus discussion threads?
A.  In lower elementary, these threads are intended to be a place for parents to pose academic questions.  In upper elementary, discussion threads are meant for students to pose academic questions.  We ask that parents not comment in the upper elementary threads but rather email your child’s teacher directly.

Q.  How long will Infinite Campus discussion threads be available and monitored by teachers?
A.  Discussion threads will be actively monitored through the week they are initially assigned.

Q.  Can parents set up a way for their children to interact with their classmates?
A.  Staying connected during this time will be important.  Check The Vanguard School website for upcoming spirit days and opportunities.

Overview

Infinite Campus is our instructional delivery platform for Distance Learning.  Students should log in to Infinite Campus to see their assignments and assessments (please watch the below tutorials under the “Student Video” section).  If your student has difficulty with their Infinite Campus log in credentials, please email our Infinite Campus Coordinator, Mrs. Debbie Gard.

Our teachers will make themselves available during regular office hours. Teachers will be available from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, to answer questions via email. Emails received during this time will be answered as quickly as possible and no later than the end of the day.  Emails sent outside of these hours will be responded to during the next business day.  Students who email a teacher need to copy a parent/guardian for awareness.  If a parent is not copied, the teacher will simply reply to ask the student to resend the email with a parent copied.

School Week, Recommended Completion Dates, Due Date

The cycle of our school week, with respect to lessons and student work, will be Monday through Friday, with lessons for the week due by the end of day on Sunday.

Lessons and assignments for the week will be posted on Monday.  Recommended completion dates will be communicated by teachers within their presentations to help students with their pacing.  Our junior high sends a combined presentation of the week’s worth of work covering all subjects.  In the high school, individual teachers send the recommended due dates for their own classes.  Consider these recommended dates as mile markers to guide your child in sequentially pacing schoolwork.  We are assigning all of the work for the week at the same time to allow each family flexibility in determining the best way to get assignments accomplished within the family schedule.  Please do not wait until the end of the week to complete a week’s worth of assignments.

The due date for each week’s work of homework will be on Sunday, prior to beginning the new week.  Example:  for the April 6-10 school week, assignments will be due by 11:59 P.M. on Sunday, April 12.

If there are extenuating circumstances and you cannot complete an assignment by the deadline, please reach out to the appropriate teacher directly for further coordination so we can support you in getting these turned in.

Student Videos

Below are links to five training sessions.  The first, “Distance Learning Philosophy,” is a video, and the subsequent four are PowerPoint presentations with voiced-over audio.  These PowerPoint presentations are representative of a student lesson.  Take time to get comfortable with navigating these presentations.  You do not need a license for Office products to view these presentations.

Navigating PowerPoint Presentations

Please note, phone and tablet navigation will vary slightly from the following instructions, but these presentations are available to view on any web-enabled device.

Click the links provided below to access the PowerPoint presentations.  These will open in a new window.  Once inside PowerPoint, you will click the “Presentation” button located in the bottom right corner of your screen (pictured below) to begin the presentation.

Once you are in presentation mode, you will click the play button beneath the speaker icon (pictured below) to begin audio.

Once the audio for the chosen slide in complete, you will click or use your arrow keys to navigate to the next slide.  PowerPoint will not automatically change the slide.

Now that you know the basics of navigation, please view the “Distance Learning Philosophy” video and the PowerPoint presentations in the order given below.

  1. Distance Learning Philosophy
  2. How to View Lessons and Lectures in Infinite Campus
  3. How to Submit Homework in Infinite Campus
  4. How to Participate in Discussions in Infinite Campus
  5. How to Complete Quick Assessments in Infinite Campus

Computer and Internet Access

The school will work with any families who may not have computer and/or internet access to ensure all students are able to receive appropriate instruction.  Comcast is offering free internet for two months for new customers who are eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, etc.  Please visit the Comcast website for more information.

CMAS 

The administration of end-of-the-year assessments, including the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), will be paused for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year due to extensive school closures throughout Colorado to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

PSAT and SAT

Public health officials have made it clear that it is not safe to gather students in one place.  Many U.S. states have closed schools for the rest of the academic year, and globally there are widespread school closures across 192 countries.  As such, the College Board will not be able to administer the SAT® and SAT Subject Tests™ as planned on June 6, 2020.

If it is safe from a public health standpoint,  the College Board will provide weekend SAT administrations every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August.  This includes a new administration in September and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5.  Students will be able to register for these administrations beginning in May. The College Board will communicate directly with students when the exact date is available. Eligible students will be able to take the exam with a fee waiver. Students who were registered for June and those in the high school class of 2021 who don’t have SAT scores will have early access to registration for the August, September, and October administrations.

In the unlikely event that schools don’t reopen this fall, the College Board will provide a digital SAT for home use.  As with at-home AP® Exams, the College Board would ensure that at-home SAT testing is simple; secure and fair; accessible to all; and valid for use in college admissions.

Please visit the College Board “SAT and PSAT-Related Coronavirus Updates” webpage for more information. 

AP Exams

As schools and communities navigate the unprecedented challenges posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the AP Program is supporting schools by providing free remote learning resources and investing in the development of a new at-home testing option.

Traditional face-to-face exam administration will not take place.  Instead, students will take a 45-minute, online, free-response exam at home.  For each AP subject, there will be two different testing dates;  we will plan for our students to use the May date. 

The AP Program will also unlock any relevant free-response questions in AP Classroom for digital use so students can access all practice questions of the type that will appear on the exam.  The AP Program will continue to support students with free resources through exam day.  While students are encouraged to wait until closer to the test date to decide, any student already registered for an exam can choose to cancel at no charge.

For more information about this year’s AP exams, please visit the AP Central webpage.

AP Classroom Updates

The College Board is continually working to better support remote learning, practice, and feedback. Below are the most recent updates that the College Board has made to AP Classroom. The College Board has…

– Highlighted free AP live classes on every student’s homepage, and added links to recorded classes on key topics and review concepts.

– Enabled all free-response questions to be taken by students at home on any device, without requiring the LockDown Browser.

– Provided optional, self-paced student practice, with free-response questions to help students practice their knowledge and skills as they prepare for the exam. Students can see scoring criteria from past exams to help revise their responses.

– Provided optional, self-paced student practice, with free-response questions to help students practice their knowledge and skills as they prepare for the exam. Students can see scoring criteria from past exams to help revise their responses.

– Helped students stay signed in, especially during online tests.