The Vanguard School is actively monitoring information regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is taking definitive steps to properly address this issue. We are following the guidance of local, state, and national health departments, but please remember that this is a rapidly changing situation. As we update information and plans, we will share them with you. We want our parents, students, and staff to know that, should the situation escalate, The Vanguard School will confer with the El Paso County Health Department to assess the situation and respond quickly and appropriately.
On March 18, Governor Polis issued an executive order suspending all in-person education for public and private schools. Our administration is continually working on the distance learning plan we will implement after Spring Break. For details, please see the “Continuity of Learning” section below.
Distance Learning Plan
Our school leadership has been working very hard to convert our excellent classroom teaching into meaningful distance learning for our students. We have done this with an understanding that the current environment has placed a variety of stresses on our families and our community. Our overall intent is to provide educational value in a way that fits into the daily life of our families as they work to navigate the challenges around COVID-19.
In order to provide our teachers the training necessary to provide quality lessons in a consistent manner across our school, we will take Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, March 30 – April 1, to conduct training and preparation. Teachers will post their first lessons on the morning of Thursday, April 2. The intention is not to replace the experience students would have in the classroom, but rather to support students with continued learning while they are away from campus. Teachers will provide specific details on assignments to their students, but, in general, we are attempting to provide several lessons at a time and several days to complete those lessons so that each family can manage the requirements as best fits their schedule.
Our distance learning program will utilize Infinite Campus as the backbone and primary tool for delivering lessons. If you have not yet verified your child’s Infinite Campus account, please do that right away. If you need support with either the username or password, please contact Debbie Gard for assistance.
As we begin instruction, our teachers will make themselves available during regular office hours: Beginning April 2, 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 these daytime hours 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 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.
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.
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
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is working with The College Board to generate possible solutions for the administration of the PSAT and SAT tests, which offer unique roles in Colorado’s system in terms of scholarships and college entrance. Additional information will be posted on CDE’s website as it becomes available.
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. Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates.
The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3. 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.
Communicating Illness to the School
The school has received very specific guidance regarding possible future closures that would be required if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. Accordingly, we ask that you 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.
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.
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 0-18. 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.
District 12 Meal Service
District 12 food service personnel will be providing a grab-and-go breakfast and lunch program for all children under 18 years of age beginning Monday, March 30. Meals can be picked up at Cheyenne Mountain Junior High from 11:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. These meals are available to all children (whether or not they qualify for free lunch) regardless of where they attend school, so spread the word to your friends and neighbors.
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.
(Last Updated: 28 March 2020)