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  • Weekly Roundup January 12

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    ACTION REQUIRED: REVIEW HYBRID LEARNING PLAN
    Please read the GWHS Hybrid Plan for important information on what the return to in-person learning will look like starting February 1. Included in the linked document is information on the new bell schedule, the opportunity to change your learning option, cohort assignments, and more.

    COMMUNITY UPDATE – VIRTUAL Q&A OPPORTUNITY JANUARY 21
    GW is hosting a live virtual session for parents/guardians to ask questions about  Quarter 3 updates on Thursday, January 21 at 6:00pm. In this session, a panel of GW faculty and staff will provide updates about Hybrid Learning, Student Engagement, Sports, the Black Excellence Plan, and the Future Center.  Click HERE to register for the session. Spanish and Arabic interpretation will be available at both sessions.

    Q1 AND Q2 TRANSCRIPT TIMELINE
    Q1 and Q2 grades are finalized in IC and will be rolling to transcript tomorrow afternoon.

    CLASS MATERIALS RETURN AND PICKUP
    We are hosting a second opportunity on January 13 from 9:00am – 4:00pm in our North Lobby. If you have class materials from the Fall Term, please return them on this date. If you are enrolled in any of the following classes for the Spring Term, please visit our school during these hours to pick-up materials:

    • English 1 Honors
    • English 2 and English 2 Honors
    • Hispanic American Literature
    • African American Literature
    • IB English 1
    • CE English 150
    • PreCalculus
    • Sculpture
    • Guitar (only for students who indicated they need a guitar)
    • Math students who signed up with their teacher to receive a calculator

    UNIVERSAL SOCIAL EMOTIONAL SCREENER FOR ALL GW STUDENTS
    As part of our effort to support the Whole Child, our school will be implementing a universal social and emotional screening for students. Universal social and emotional screening can provide a fair and impartial way of looking at how students are progressing in their social and emotional development. Screenings can also help identify areas where school personnel can improve or adjust our supports.

    Denver Public Schools currently uses a social and emotional screening questionnaire called the Behavior and Emotional Screening System (BESS). The online tool takes approximately ten minutes to complete and consists of 28 questions for the student to answer. This screener will be delivered to all George Washington students during their community learning seminar the week of January 25th.

    If you do NOT want your child to participate, please complete THIS FORM by Friday, January 15.

    CHSAA SPORTS SEASON B UPDATE
    In alignment with the start of CHSAA Season B, DPS schools will be allowed to operate the indoor Season B sports of boys and girls basketball, girls swimming and competitive cheer based on the following timeline only if we are not in red or purple on the CDPHE dial:

    • January 11 – January 16: Allow indoor access to begin off-season conditioning and fitness.
    • January 14: Weight Certification for GW Wrestling Program (Coach Finesilver will share the schedule with registered wrestlers)
    • January 18: First official start date of CHSAA Season B – full participation as outlined by CHSAA and state health officials.
    • January 25: First contest

    Additional information regarding wrestling, ice hockey, and sideline cheer will be made available as further guidance on variances and safety protocols become available from CDPHE/CHSAA. Details regarding events will be shared as additional direction becomes available from CDPHE/CHSAA/local health department. In alignment with CDPHE guidance, if Denver is in levels red or purple, we will NOT proceed with indoor access for conditioning and fitness or the start of CHSAA Season B.

    As we move into 2021, we look forward to providing a COVID safe environment for our student-athletes and coaches.  We will operate within the guidelines set forth by CHSAA and DPS.  Please note that depending on the COVID data and safety color level in Denver, DPS may have different guidelines/allowances from CHSAA and neighboring districts.  Please stay safe and healthy and do your part to help us offer sports at GW in 2021!

    If you have any questions, please email our athletic director at kevin_maguire@dpsk12.net. If you would like to learn more about our athletics program, please click HERE.

    CAP AND GOWN ORDERS – SENIORS
    Seniors! Whether in person or virtual, ordering your cap & gown is symbolic of all the hard work to get to the finish line. Jostens is hosting the cap and gown ordering senior week next week Monday, January 18 – Friday, January 22. While we don’t have the specific information regarding graduation, we want to make sure you all get your orders in. Please click HERE to order your cap and gown. Orders must be in by Sunday, January 24. If you have any questions, you can contact our jostens rep, Nils Erickson by phone at 303-985-0095 or email at nils.erickson.office@jostens.com. Stay tuned for more information regarding graduation and other senior business.

    JOIN THE GIRLS SWIM TEAM
    Anyone interested in participating on the girls swim team must register and have an up to date physical to compete in time trials. Time trials are to be held on January 19 and 20, so make sure your paperwork is in before then. New swimmers, freshmen or otherwise, reach out to your captains at addison.morris729@gmail.com and ellavc@me.com so you can stay updated on the season!

    AUDITION FOR THE SPRING MUSICAL
    Patriot Players is producing a spring musical this semester: Little Shop of Horrors! Based on health conditions and DPS guidance, we don’t know at this time if the production will be virtual or in-person, but either way we are planning on producing a spring musical! Auditions will be virtual: prepare a short monologue (1 minute) and about 1 minute of you singing a song. Please record yourself on your phone in landscape-mode and submit both videos to troupe1621@gmail.com. Audition videos are due by Friday, January 15.

    In order to prepare for the audition videos for Little Shop of Horrors, the Thespians are hosting a workshop on Wednesday, January 13th at 3:00pm. Please join us HERE. The workshop will be for ANYONE who has questions or concerns about recording their 1 minute monologue and 1 minute song video for the auditions. You will get a chance to perform and receive some feedback. We hope to see you there!

    Any questions? Contact Ms. Kullman at susan_kullman1@dpsk12.net.Any questions? Ask Ms. Kullman: susan_kullman1@dpsk12.net.

    FAMILY CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE ENGAGEMENT UPDATE
    The beginning of a new year is an opportunity for change and improvement. For some this includes resolutions, vision boards, or goal setting. Family Culturally Responsive Engagement is no exception. We are making improvements! We are happy to announce the following changes for the second semester.

    Affinity Groups will meet as one under Family Culturally Responsive Engagement. Meetings will be held on the last Wednesday of the month 5:30 – 7:00pm. To register for the January 27 meeting please click HERE.

    • 5:30 – 6:00pm meet and greet
    • 6:00pm – 7:00pm informative session
    • Featured guest presenters
    • Call-To-Action Initiative (Goal Setting)
    • Community Building

    These changes were a result of your feedback. Your voice matters, please take a moment to complete the engagement survey HERE.

    • Affinity Groups will be used during breakout sessions when beneficial
    • Participation is a key element
    • This is a space to share your truth
    • All voices will be honored
    • We learn, grow, and support each other
    • Student excellence is why we are engaging and collaborating

    If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Quattlebaum at m_quattlebaum@dpsk12.net.

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  • Weekly Roundup January 5

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    PLANNING FOR RETURN TO IN-PERSON LEARNING
    DPS is committed to bringing secondary students who opted for in-person learning back to school buildings by February. We have developed a plan for in-person learning opportunities for those who select this option. We are fine-tuning the details and will share our full plan early next week. We will also provide the opportunity for families to change their learning option at that time. We are excited to reunite in person as a community!

    SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
    Quarter 3 live instruction begins tomorrow at 7:45am. We are following our regular M/T/Th/F bell schedule Wednesday – Friday this week. We sent out an orientation email to students this morning, if you missed it you can read it HERE.

    Q1 AND Q2 TRANSCRIPT TIMELINE
    This week we are doing semester closeout work to prepare for rolling fall term grades to transcript. We will be updating credit recovery grades, 9th grade earned honors credits, and auditing all grades prior to rolling to transcript early next week.

    CLASS MATERIALS RETURN AND PICKUP
    If you weren’t able to attend Materials Pick-up and Return today, we are hosting a second opportunity on January 13 from 9:00am – 4:00pm in our North Lobby. If you have class materials from the Fall Term, please return them on this date. If you are enrolled in any of the following classes for the Spring Term, please visit our school during these hours to pick-up materials:

    • English 1 Honors
    • English 2 and English 2 Honors
    • Hispanic American Literature
    • African American Literature
    • IB English 1
    • CE English 150
    • PreCalculus
    • Drawing/Painting
    • Sculpture
    • Guitar (only for students who indicated they need a guitar)
    • Math students who signed up with their teacher to receive a calculator

    CHSAA SPORTS SEASON B UPDATE

    In alignment with the start of CHSAA Season B, DPS schools will be allowed to operate the indoor Season B sports of boys and girls basketball, girls swimming and competitive cheer based on the following timeline only if we are not in red or purple on the CDPHE dial:

    • January 11 – January 16: Allow indoor access to begin off-season conditioning and fitness.
    • January 14: Weight Certification for GW Wrestling Program (Coach Finesilver will share the schedule with registered wrestlers)
    • January 18: First official start date of CHSAA Season B – full participation as outlined by CHSAA and state health officials.
    • January 25: First contest

    Additional information regarding wrestling, ice hockey, and sideline cheer will be made available as further guidance on variances and safety protocols become available from CDPHE/CHSAA. Details regarding events will be shared as additional direction becomes available from CDPHE/CHSAA/local health department. In alignment with CDPHE guidance, if Denver is in levels red or purple, we will NOT proceed with indoor access for conditioning and fitness or the start of CHSAA Season B.

    As we move into 2021, we look forward to providing a COVID safe environment for our student-athletes and coaches.  We will operate within the guidelines set forth by CHSAA and DPS.  Please note that depending on the COVID data and safety color level in Denver, DPS may have different guidelines/allowances from CHSAA and neighboring districts.  Please stay safe and healthy and do your part to help us offer sports at GW in 2021!

    If you have any questions, please email our athletic director at kevin_maguire@dpsk12.net. If you would like to learn more about our athletics program, please click HERE.

    AUDITION FOR THE SPRING MUSICAL
    Patriot Players is producing a spring musical this semester: Little Shop of Horrors! Based on health conditions and DPS guidance, we don’t know at this time if the production will be virtual or in-person, but either way we are planning on producing a spring musical! Auditions will be virtual: prepare a short monologue (1 minute) and about 1 minute of you singing a song. Please record yourself on your phone in landscape-mode and submit both videos to troupe1621@gmail.com. Audition videos are due by Friday, January 15. Any questions? Ask Ms. Kullman: susan_kullman1@dpsk12.net.

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  • Welcome To Q3

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    Hello Patriots!

    Welcome to the start of Quarter 3. Today you begin fresh with a new set of classes, teachers, and classmates. This is an exciting opportunity to recommit to your goals, and also acknowledge where you need support to finish the school year strong. We have a wide network of resources and staff members here to help you – we know that learning in a pandemic is anything but normal. We are here for you!

    This week’s schedule is modified. Today is an asynchronous Q3 orientation day and live instruction will begin on Wednesday, following our regular M/T/Th/F bell schedule for the remainder of the week.

    Below are instructions for your asynchronous orientation day – it’s a light day intended for you to get your bearings with the new courses you are taking this term. Each teacher has posted an asynchronous activity to introduce themselves and get to know you before live instruction begins on Wednesday. You can complete these activities at your own pace today. We will start with Period 1 Live Instruction at 7:45am on Wednesday, January 6.

    STEP ONE: Organize Your Schoology Courses
    Follow our instructions for organizing your Quarter 3 courses in Schoology so that the classes appear in the order they happen during the day.

    STEP TWO: Add the GW Bell Schedule and GW School Calendar to Your Google Calendar
    Make it easy to keep track of your day! You can add the GW Bell Schedule to your Google Calendar by following these instructions.

    STEP THREE: Complete Asynchronous Activities for All Classes
    Each teacher has posted a brief activity for you to get acquainted with their class. Visit each of your courses in Schoology to read a message from your teacher and complete the activity they have prepared for you.

    STEP FOUR: Supply Pick Up and Drop Off
    Visit our North Lobby today between 9:00am – 4:00pm or on Wednesday, January 13 from 9:00am – 4:00pm to return any supplies from Fall Term, or to pick-up supplies for Spring Term. If you are enrolled in the following classes this term, your teachers have supplies for you to pick up!

    • English 1 Honors
    • English 2 and English 2 Honors
    • Hispanic American Literature
    • African American Literature
    • IB English 1
    • CE English 150
    • PreCalculus
    • IB Calculus
    • Drawing/Painting
    • Digital Media Foundations
    • Sculpture
    • Guitar (only for students who indicated they need a guitar)
    • Math students who signed up with their teacher to receive a calculator

    STEP FIVE: Log into your first period class at 7:45am tomorrow morning, Wednesday, January 6.

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  • Weekly Roundup December 15

    By in Announcements on

    PLANNING FOR RETURN TO IN-PERSON LEARNING
    As Superintendent Cordova shared last week, DPS is committed to bringing secondary students who opted for in-person learning back to school buildings by February. DPS has also extended the deadline for secondary families to request a change in learning option (either in-person or virtual) in Parent Portal until Wednesday, December 16. Families that don’t take action will remain enrolled in their current learning option through the end of the school year. We shared an update specific to GWHS’s return to school planning last week, if you missed it, please read it HERE.

    Q2 FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE
    Q2 Final Exams will be held on December 16 and 17. December 18 is a teacher workday and there is no school for students. Dates and times are listed below and can also be found on our school calendar.

    Wednesday, December 16
    Period 1 Final | 8:00am – 9:30am
    Period 2 Final | 11:00am – 12:30pm

    Thursday, December 17
    Period 3 Final | 8:00am – 9:30am
    Period 4 Final | 11:00am – 12:30pm

    WINTER BREAK
    Winter Break is December 21 – January 4. There will be no school for students.

    SPRING TERM START DATE AND FIRST WEEK SCHEDULE 
    Quarter 3 will start with virtual learning. January 5 is the first day of Quarter 3 and is an asynchronous orientation day for students to be introduced to their new classes and instructors for the spring term. Students will receive an email on the morning of January 5 with instructions for the asynchronous orientation. January 6, 7, and 8 will be virtual live instruction following our regular M/T/Th/F bell schedule.

    CLASS MATERIALS RETURN AND PICKUP
    Materials Pick-up and Return will be held on January 5 and 13 from 9:00am – 4:00pm in our North Lobby. If you have class materials from the Fall Term, please return them on this date. If you are enrolled in any of the following classes for the Spring Term, please visit our school during these hours to pick-up materials:

    • English 1 Honors
    • English 2 and English 2 Honors
    • Hispanic American Literature
    • African American Literature
    • IB English 1
    • CE English 150
    • PreCalculus
    • IB Calculus
    • Drawing/Painting
    • Digital Media Foundations
    • Sculpture
    • Guitar (only for students who indicated they need a guitar)
    • Math students who signed up with their teacher to receive a calculator

    ASCENT APPLICATION NOW OPEN
    The ASCENT application is open now and the deadline to apply is March 1, 2020. ASCENT is a 5th year program that allows students to attend one full year of college for FREE. Students attend a participating technical, community, or 4 year-college the year following graduation from high school, setting them on a path to earning a certificate or degree while saving time and money. Students graduating in spring 2021 are eligible if they meet DPS graduation requirements and have earned 12+ college credits through concurrent/dual enrollment courses and AP/IB/CLEP exams. Reach out to Mr. Wallace khari_wallace@dpsk12.net for questions, application, and support.

    CHSAA SPORTS SEASON B UPDATE
    CHSAA announced that the start date for Season B was going to be delayed due to the rise in COVID-19 cases statewide. THIS LINK will take you to the CHSAA announcement and provides detailed information for the adjusted CHSAA calendar. DPS Athletics is still determining what sports will run during Season B. As soon as we have specific information to share, we will publish it in the Weekly Roundup.

    SENIOR YEARBOOK SUBMISSIONS NOW OPEN – SENIORS
    Senior Photos and Baby Dedications for the 2021 Special Edition Yearbook are now open for submissions! All submissions are free and must be received by January 4, 2021. Click HERE to submit and read more about our special edition yearbook.

    REGISTER FOR WASHINGTON DC TRIP
    We are still accepting registrations for our trip to Washington DC, and if you enroll by today, Tuesday December 15, you will receive a $500 scholarship towards your total cost! GW, in partnership with John F. Kennedy High School, will be taking a trip to our nation’s capitol in Spring 2022. Not only will we see the sights and sounds of DC, but we will also meet with our congressional delegation and about the policy-making and legislative process. REGISTER HERE. If you have any questions reach out to Richard_Maez@dpsk12.net.

    NEW GW SWAG AVAILABLE ONLINE
    DECA and ACE are excited to provide you with some new GW swag. You can order yours online to be shipped directly to your home until Dec 18th. Order these styles while the supplies last! Click HERE to order!

    LEARN ABOUT SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND THE ADOLESCENT BRAIN
    DPS is hosting a prevention services webinar series and invites you to join Dr. Christian Thurstone, M.D, for a webinar at 12:00pm on Wednesday, December 16. Dr. Thurstone, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado, will provide facts about how substance use can affect the developing brain. Dr. Thurstone is one of about four dozen physicians in the United States who are board-certified in general, child and adolescent and addictions psychiatry. Register HERE.

    GWHS FOOD PANTRY WINTER BREAK BOXES
    The GWHS Food Pantry is offering Winter Break Boxes – they will be distributed to interested families on Wednesday December 16th for both pick-up or delivery.

    The food baskets will include choice of ham, beef roast or chicken, vegetable side, potatoes, and a treat, plus extra food for over break. If you are interested in receiving a basket, please fill out THIS FORM.

    This program could not be possible without our Patriot donors and volunteers. We are so appreciative of your past support and welcome our new supporters. Please sign up to donate or volunteer by clicking HERE. Questions? Email Jo-Nell Herndon at jonellherndon@yahoo.com.

    AFFINITY GROUP: COOKIE EXCHANGE EXTRAVAGANZA
    Join us for the Family Culturally Responsive Engagement year-end celebration! Parents and community members have done an amazing job engaging in honest conversations, sharing impactful experiences, and examining how we can create an inclusive culture which promotes excellence in every student. Now it is time to have a little fun and get to know others. The Affinity Groups will meet together on December 16 at 6:00pm for a virtual “cookie” exchange. Please register and share a recipe. And don’t forget to bring your dish/cookies to the virtual get together so everyone can see the finished product! Register HERE.

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  • Update: Return to In-Person Learning

    By in Announcements on

    Dear GW Community –

    As Superintendent Cordova shared yesterday evening, DPS is committed to bringing secondary students who opted for in-person learning back to school buildings by February. DPS also shared that secondary families can request a change to their learning option(either in-person or virtual) until Sunday, December 13. Families that don’t take action will remain enrolled in their current learning option through the end of the school year.

    We are excited at the prospect of bringing students together for in-person learning and committed to building a meaningful learning experience for all students. DPS has developed new scheduling options for high schools that provide more flexibility in regards to scheduling. At the same time, we want to be upfront about the challenges we are earnestly trying to solve right now. We also want to be clear that we don’t have all the answers today, and will be spending the next six weeks creating and fine-tuning our plan.

    When health conditions allow for students to return for hybrid-learning, the following guardrails as defined by DPS, in collaboration with Denver Health, will be in place:

    • Classes will operate with 17 or fewer students in-person and live stream remote/virtual students.
    • Students can rotate to their classes during their in-person days two days a week.
    • Each individual class must follow DCTA classroom maximums of 35, including students in person and live streaming.
    • Teachers can have a maximum exposure of 136 in-person students (up to 8 groups of in-person students containing up to 17 in-person students in each group).
    • Hallways must be set up to support one-way direction flow when possible, or two way direction flow with adequate distance among groups to avoid student crossover and congregating.
    • Lunch must be eaten in a classroom with a teacher, students may not leave campus.
    • All classes must maintain accurate seating charts and require daily adherence to the seating chart to support Targeted Contact Identification in the case of a COVID exposure.
    • Students in grades 6-12 should be socially distanced a minimum of 3 feet; greater distance is encouraged if possible.

     

    What this would look like at GW:

    • Class Offerings: In a hybrid model, students will maintain the classes they are scheduled to attend in Quarters 3 and 4 – there will be no changes to our course offerings.
    • Class Schedule: We would follow an AA/BB hybrid schedule where 50% of our students would attend in-person two days a week. Students would attend each of their classes in-person two days a week with the instructor of record (except those instructors who have remote-work accommodations). There would be two additional days of live, virtual instruction. Wednesdays would remain asynchronous learning with targeted student supports, and AP/IB test preparation sessions.
    • Instruction: Teachers will be responsible for instructing both in-person and virtual students simultaneously. Even though students will be in a classroom with their instructor, the majority of instruction would be conducted through the computer. Students coming for in-person learning will be required to have their computer for each class they attend.
    • Lunch: Teachers are required to have a 45-minute duty-free lunch. Because the guardrails specify that lunch must be in a classroom monitored by a licensed staff member, we would not be able to meet this contractual obligation for our teachers.That means that in a hybrid model, we would likely move our live instruction to the morning and dismiss students at lunch to return home for a consolidated set of time for Teacher Directed Independent Study (TDIS).
    • Community Learning: Students will continue to attend daily Community Learning Seminar, though we are not sure if this would be virtual or in person.
    • Special Education: All special education center based programs will return to 100% in-person learning for those who selected this option.

     

    There are four significant challenges that we are currently trying to solve: 

    • Staffing: 25% of our licensed faculty have received an accommodation to remain remote if we return to in-person learning. This means that no matter what format we return to in-person, classes taught by these instructors will be virtual. We need additional licensed staff members to manage these classrooms for students who are accessing their virtual teacher.
    • Planning For Teacher Absences: We have been assigned one dedicated guest teacher. In the virtual-learning environment, teacher absences are handled by assigning asynchronous lessons for the students. During in-person learning, if one teacher is absent and we are not able to provide a substitute, students would be required to stay home to complete asynchronous work since we will not have licensed adults available to monitor the classroom.
    • Off Periods for Students: In the quarter-block schedule model, students have at least one off period over the course of the year. Students who have off periods during Quarter 3 and 4 will be assigned a classroom with a licensed staff member during this time. Currently, we are short on staff available to monitor in-person classrooms.
    • Maintaining Consistency: We feel strongly that consistency is key to student success during the pandemic. We are concerned that moving in and out of in-person learning as the need to quarantine will inevitably arise will create interruptions and confusion for students and staff. We are examining how we can best offer in-person learning while maintaining as much consistency as possible for our community.

     

    As a leadership team we are collaborating with our faculty’s instructional leaders and principals across DPS to develop the best plan possible for returning to in-person learning when health conditions allow. We know that this is an incredibly challenging time, and we all want to be together again, learning and growing in-person, and for the first time it feels like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We will continue to update you as we move through this planning process, and we appreciate your patience as we navigate these next steps in planning for a safe and meaningful return to in-person learning.

    Sincerely,
    Kristin Waters, Ph.D.
    Principal | George Washington High School

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