Manager Monthly
July 2020
The Latest on Returning to Schools

Dear Central Office Leaders,

We know that given Friday's announcement to begin the school year with remote learning, there has never been a more important time to connect and work together as we map out the best path forward. As our school leaders are meeting during this week's July Leadership Week, we wanted to make sure our central teams are also aware of the latest updates.

Please review the  Remote Learning Plan , as well as the deck and recording from Monday's July Leadership Week kick off. We will continue to update you as more information is available.
Also, in order to better align our efforts and meet the needs of students and families, we wanted to ensure you're aware that we will being limiting our learning management systems (LMS) to Seesaw for grades K-5 and Schoology for grades 6-12 moving forward . The fully licensed versions of each LMS will be purchased centrally. These programs offer the ability for DPS to purchase school-wide equitable access for all students and provide consistent professional learning for staff. By streamlining the use of our learning management systems across DPS, we will be able to better track student data and progress.

Thank you for your continued flexibility and support. We plan to continue sharing more information as its available.
Budget Implementation and Updates for 2020-21

On June 29, the Board of Education approved the budget for the 2020-21 school year. With the dramatic decrease in state funding, building this year’s budget required filling a $64 million gap, which will have impacts on budget execution. In a time of dramatically reduced resources, and with an outlook of continued resource constraints for a number of years, these steps are necessary to maximize the efficiency of district operations and minimize impacts on DPS students. As we begin the 2020-21 budget year, leaders should be aware of the following budget changes:
School Budgets 
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): We have purchased PPE in bulk, including masks, face shields, plexiglass dividers and hand sanitizer and will be distributing these resources to schools. District-run schools will not be charged for centrally provided PPE in their budgets. If schools choose to purchase their own PPE, they will need to use their school budget to do so.
  • Printing: Around DPS, color printing and the ability to print emails will be removed from all district printers and copiers. 
  • Chromebook Purchases: With the shift to remote learning, the district will be providing Chromebooks, where needed, for K-12 students in district-run schools. Schools should only purchase devices for teachers and paras. Schools should not initiate new purchases of Chromebooks without first checking with DoTS to assess whether their needs will be met with central purchases.
Central Departments
  • Purchasing update: With reductions now in place for 2020-21, purchasing may now resume. However, we remain in a resource-constrained environment. If activities in a department do not go forward as planned, we ask leaders leave funds unspent and return them to reserves, rather than shifting spending to other areas.
  • Hiring freeze: A hiring freeze has been in place for non-school based positions since April. Going forward, the hiring freeze will be lifted and positions remaining in the budget may be filled. Any non-school based vacancies must be reviewed prior to posting by the Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Financial Officer or their designees. This review will consist of confirming that, in a time of dramatically reduced budgets, the functions to be performed by the vacant position are essential and cannot be redistributed to other positions.
  • Other expenditures: Reductions including travel, cellphones, printing, recognition events and others. In the past, some employees have been provided a district-owned cellphone or stipend for using their own personal cellphone. These cellphone expenses and stipends will be removed from the budget, with the exceptions of facilities, safety, specialized service providers, food services and Discovery Link. Financial partners will work with budget owners individually to identify specific cellphone adjustments. In addition to cellphones, travel for non-school based staff will not be approved for 2020-21. As with schools, the capability for color printing and the ability to print emails will be removed from district printers and copiers. Recognition events will also be suspended. 
  • Details on adjustments to department budgets can be found in here.
Please work with your Financial and Human Resources partners on questions you may have about these and others with regard to the budget implementation.
Updates & FYI
Transition to Google Before School Starts
To ensure continued productivity, time to adapt to the Google platform and seamless collaboration with our school-based colleagues, all central office teams should begin transitioning to Google by August.  As a reminder, Microsoft Office will be uninstalled from all DPS devices in December , so it is especially important to begin working in Google for resources you will access throughout the year.

  • Please work with your Google Champion to review these resources and begin planning your transition now. Here you'll find many resources, including the Leaders Guide to the Google Transition. If you don't have a Google Champion, we urge you to identify a team member who is comfortable with Google and will support and champion the transition with your team, then have them complete this form.

  • All Microsoft Office applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) will be removed. We encourage you to begin working fully in Google applications (DocsSheets, Slides) by the start of school, while you still have Office applications as a back up. 

Please note:

  • Your files will not disappear once Microsoft Office is uninstalled, however they will need to be uploaded to your DPS Google Drive in order for you to read and/or edit. 

  • We have heard your requests to move from Outlook on the Web to Gmail and we are in the process of exploring the technical requirements needed for this possible future phase of the project. More information to come.

Google Exceptions Process
While we encourage all teams to begin using Google exclusively by August, we realize some may require continued access to Microsoft products. For this reason, only directors and above may request to temporarily extend the usage of Office products for team members.  If someone on your team needs an exception,  complete this  Exception Request Form  no later than  Sept. 30  and please provide detailed justification addressing the  criteria found here , a list of which Office products are needed and individuals who need licenses. 
Requests received by Sept. 30 will be reviewed by the Microsoft Exception Committee and, if criteria are met, a limited exception may be granted with a target date to renew or revoke the exception. For more information about the Google Transition, visit  The Commons .
Update on Fall Registration and Verification

The Annual Family Update, our online registration process, opens  July 27 . In addition to verifying and updating household information,  this year families will also officially enroll their students in either in-person learning or a virtual program as part of the registration process.  We are still working through plans for the 100% virtual program given that all schools will start with remote learning, and it is important that this information be collected for both school-level and central planning as we prepare for remote, hybrid and full in-person scenarios.

To encourage social distancing, families are encouraged to complete registration and verification online through AFU, rather than during in-person registration. We’ve created some  helpful resources  to support, including guidelines, communication templates and alternative registration options. Schools are strongly encouraged to pursue remote registration options first before considering any in-person registration events.

We know that some guardians may need extra support to complete AFU online, and schools' front-office staff continue to be a great resource. The Enrollment Services team will also be hiring additional temporary employees for the registration period to help support schools and families. If you have questions, please contact .
Reopening Fingerprinting and New Hire Processing
On July 6, Human Resources and Safety and Security reopened operations for fingerprinting, photo IDs and new hire I-9 forms with the goal of having new hires ready to begin work in August. A process has been created to increase efficiencies for new hires and enhance responsiveness to all recommended safety precautions.

Click  here  for more information. If you have questions, call HR Connect at 720-423-3900.  
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