Dear PCSD1 Students and Families,

As many of you know, on April 1, 2020, Governor Jared Polis announced extended closures of schools in Colorado through April 30, 2020. Then, on April 6, Governor Polis extended his “Stay at Home” Executive Order until April 26, 2020. Over the past several weeks, I have spoken regularly and often to public health officials, state officials, and superintendents to better understand the timeline and path forward for the year, both with regard to COVID-19 and “traditional” school year expectations. I understand that there are not specific answers to exactly how and when we return to “life as normal” during this unprecedented health crisis. Given all of the information we have at our disposal, we rely upon our best judgment and place safety above all else.

What is clear is that there will not be definitive, universal guidance to proceed as normal. Rather, there will be a gradual lifting of restrictions and a step-by-step return to normalcy. I believe that it is a safe assumption to state that once the “Stay at Home” order is lifted, we will continue to have restrictions on social distancing and the size of group gatherings for at least several weeks, if not months. Given the nature of a school environment (classrooms, passing periods, buses, playgrounds, etc.), these restrictions are not practical within the school setting. As such, there does not appear to be a viable way for us to convene traditional in-person learning this school year.

At their regular Board meeting last night, the members of the Platte Canyon School District 1 Board of Education and I discussed what actions we should take in order to give our District families the most realistic information regarding the school year. As a result of those discussions, we have made the decision to keep our school system closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

In providing a concrete direction now with regard to in-person learning for the duration of the school year, we can focus our energy and attention to addressing questions and concerns, rather than ongoing uncertainty. It will also allow us to shift to a proactive stance in that we can begin to plan for completing the current year remotely, and to address questions about end-of-year assessments and celebrations, logistics considerations regarding how to facilitate students in the retrieval of personal items from District facilities, and staff end-of-year check-out procedures, among other items.

Making this decision was extremely difficult. Our strong preference would be to be able to interact with our students, in-person, every day.  We do believe, however, that this is the right decision given all of the information that we currently possess and also given the timing of the Governor’s Executive Orders.
You can anticipate further specific information regarding school-related events and logistics in the coming weeks. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with questions and/or concerns.

Mike Schmidt
PCSD1 Superintendent

PCSD1 Offers Free Grab-and-Go Breakfast/Lunch Mon. - Fri.
PCSD1 Nutritional Services staff members continue to distribute bag breakfasts/lunches to all community students (up to 18 years old).

When: Monday-Friday, 11am-1pm

Where: Deer Creek Elementary bus lane/front entrance

How: Please open your trunk/hatch prior to approaching the front entrance. Indicate to staff how many bags are needed. For the safety of all involved, PLEASE STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE. PCSD1 staff members will place the bags in your vehicle. You may pick up breakfast and lunch at the same time.

Please Complete the U.S. Census!
Only 20.7% of Park County residents have completed the U.S. Census, compared to nearly 50% at the state and national levels. Accurate information is needed in order to determine congressional representation, to inform funding for billions of dollars of federal funding, and to provide data that will impact our community (local/state) for the next decade.

Start the Census by clicking here .

Student Support (Reprinted from 3.20.20)
If a student works with a counselor or social worker in one of our schools, or simply needs some extra emotional support over the next few weeks, emails can be accessed from our website (listed below) or from the direct links found below. You may choose to schedule a virtual or phone session for your student during the period of school closure (other than during Spring Break): 

Erin Noonan, Elementary School Counselor,
Hayley Steinmuller, Middle School Counselor,
Cyn Giffen, High School Counselor,
Brooke DeGroat, Social Worker,
Lisa Robinson, Social Worker,
Liz Schwemlein, Social Worker,