From the Principal's Desk 7-27-2020
From the Principal's Desk:
Dear Cresthill Community,
I am sending you this quick message to communicate two important pieces of information. You will be receiving a much more comprehensive communication from Douglas County Schools about the decisions made during the Saturday Board of Education special meeting. There were some pretty important developments that caught schools a bit off guard and we are all trying to adjust as quickly as we can. I thought for certain you would have received information by now and I'm not sure what the delay is. So please forgive me for being so brief and vague here - I KNOW you have many important questions that need answers. I have them too!
The first thing I want to communicate is that with the decisions that were made by our Board and district leaders Saturday we are canceling our in-person New Beginnings orientation that was scheduled for this week. This cancellation only affects new 8th graders and in-coming 7th graders who have signed up for this optional summer program. We will be processing full refunds beginning immediately. I apologize profusely to all of the families that are impacted by this late decision and this is not at all the first impression we want to make for our new families. Let me say at the outset that this decision crushes my heart because of how much I value this highly relational orientation program and how important it is in establishing a positive start for our new students.
The reasons for canceling New Beginnings are twofold. First, with the move to a hybrid model of learning (more on this below) for the start of the year, it is now necessary for us to completely redo our master schedule and calendar, which includes team placements for students and class schedules. So much of New Beginnings is getting kids comfortable with their schedules, lockers, actual teacher classrooms and faces, etc. With this weekend change from full in-person learning, we will not know this student-level information at any time this week (parents are not even indicating who is coming back officially until next week!). So this changes significantly the purpose and goals for New Beginnings. Second, district leadership just designated the week of August 17th an "orientation week" for all students and all schools. What this will look like is not yet known. But suffice it to say this will now accomplish much of what we would normally be doing during New Beginnings.
I met with our extraordinary counseling staff this morning, and they are putting together an online/virtual edition of New Beginnings for all students at Cresthill. It will be completely free of charge and you will be able to access the videos at a time and place that is convenient for you. And you can watch them over and over again! Please keep an eye out for more information on this. The counseling team are busy at work as I write this planning an online platform that will be easy to access and navigate, and will be incredibly informative about our school and how this is all going to work at Cresthill this year.
The second thing I wanted to communicate is simply the decision that was made Saturday. All DCSD schools will begin the year with what district leadership is calling "hybrid learning." Couldn't we come up with something a little more exciting than that? This hybrid model is based on the idea that only half of the student population at any given school will attend physically on any given day thus allowing for smaller classes and the ability to appropriately maintain distance between learners. Learning will continue from home on the days a student is not learning at school. The specifics of what this rotating model will look like is still unknown and principals are eagerly awaiting direction and information so we can collaborate with one another and communicate with our families.
In addition to more detailed communication from the District, I am told you will be receiving information about Express Check-In. This is where you will officially select whether you are having your student participate in this hybrid learning model OR enroll in a full online learning program. Once every family has made this selection, we will then know how many kids to plan for here in the building and we will feverishly construct schedules for all of our students. This is all going to have to happen very quickly.
That's it for the moment. You should be getting much more information within the next 24 hours from District Communications.
Cresthill Middle School
Mission and Vision for CMS: Follow this link (coming soon) to get the information on what makes Cresthill tick, on what makes us a "Journey Learning" school.
True North Principles
The Joy of Understanding
A Certainty of Safety
The Gift of Struggle