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Information on the Return to Learn Plan for Park Families

We must emphasize that any in-person learning this year will be unlike what we have considered normal in the past.  Park Elementary’s goal is to engage all students in learning with a strong emphasis on supporting students academically and social-emotionally. Given the current situation with COVID-19 here in La Plata County, our local public health agencies feel that it is possible to open schools, as long as students are kept in consistent, socially-distanced cohorts.  For those that feel comfortable, Park is committed to adhering to safety recommendations per the Colorado Department of Education and our teachers are so excited to meet their new students. Park’s summer enrichment program has offered students, staff and parents the opportunity to experience in-person instruction and all have reported the benefits of connecting in person with added safety measures. 

Below are the three different models that you could choose from.  Choices will be made for Semester 1 (school starting date through winter break). However, Park administration will give an opportunity for feedback on your child’s learning model and will consider making changes to placement after the first quarter. Any change for the 2nd quarter will be dependent on availability and need. 


1) Remote Learning Model: Students will participate in home learning. They will typically have opportunities to check in with their teachers virtually on those days, but will largely participate in assignments that can be completed independently.  Students will have access to live lessons with a Park teacher.  Home Learning will be taught by a Park teacher, using the itsLearning platform. Durango 9-R will support students with access to technology tools where needed. We are striving to provide students with an opportunity to continue to interact with their school community – while meeting their need to stay home. Every effort will be made to ensure an engaging and rigorous experience that meets the needs of our students. We feel confident that we will be able to meet the needs of your child during remote instruction.  We received feedback about Park remote instruction and considered this feedback when developing our new remote model. 


2) Blended Learning Model:  Students will attend school two days a week in a classroom. For this option, students will receive in-person instruction a couple of days a week and remote, at home structured learning activities on the other days of the week.  These at home learning activities will provide opportunities for students to practice, apply and continue their learning and solidify skills and knowledge.  Park Elementary will work with other schools to ensure alignment with families. 

3) In-person learning Model- five days a week: Students will be taught in a classroom five days a week as long as permitted by public health orders. Students who choose to participate in in-person learning will be required to go through passive health screenings on the days they go to school and take health precautions throughout the day. 

In the classroom, students will be spaced with as much personal space as the class size allows. Students will only have limited access to areas in the buildings, including designated bathrooms. There will be a strong emphasis on washing hands, watching distance, and wearing face coverings. 

School Funding: School funding is allocated on a per pupil basis in Durango 9-R. Each student enrolled in ANY of our 3 models will bring with him/her approximately $8,000 to our school budget. The number of dollars a school receives is based on how many students are enrolled on October 1st. Schools do not receive additional funding for students who enroll after this point in the school year. If you are considering having your child engage in a remote model, we hope that you will give Park the opportunity to provide this programming. This will ensure that our school can weather the pandemic while still providing the necessary resources for our students.

Recess: Students will have an opportunity to play outside and on the playground, and will be kept in their groups (cohorts).  They will not be required to wear masks outside as long as they can maintain 6’ of distance from each other. Recess times will be spread out over the day to ensure each group remains separated from each other.

Outdoor Learning:We will be working to take full advantage of outdoor learning spaces, our beautiful school campus, parks and other outdoor facilities, whenever the weather permits. Our team is working to identify outdoor learning spaces.

Lunch:Students will eat lunch together in cohorts in the classroom.  Meals will be provided, at a cost for families.  If you will need a free or reduced lunch, please fill out the free and reduced application:Click Here

For more information about the models, please  read through the entire Return to Learn plan found HERE.  

Family Engagement Sessions

The district is hosting two family engagement sessions regarding the plan on August 6th and 7th, at 7:30 am, 12:00pm and 6:00 pm on both dates. These zoom sessions will also be available in Spanish. Please visit the district’s webpage to access the meetings and participate in the engagement sessions. You may also provide feedback to the district through our online feedback form HERE

Shortly after the feedback sessions, parents will receive a digital selection form to choose the model most appropriate for them.   Please fill this out as soon as you have made your decision.  Park administration will need this information to create a master schedule and assign staff to one of the three models. The last day to fill out the survey is August 10th as a deadline for families to make their choice. 

We know that the decision of which model to choose is a challenging one, as parents we have both grappled with what is best for our children and family.  Ultimately, the decision you make is the right one.  Feel confident that you made the right decision with the information that you had at that time.  If you have questions, feel free to reach out to Park administration, Marie Voss-Patteson: mvoss-patterson@durangoschools.org and/or Laurel Pate: lpate@durangoschools.org

Thanks for your continued support.  We look forward to a wonderful and safe school year. 

In partnership, 

Marie Voss-Patterson and Laurel Pate