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Nimble, Flexible Instructional Options
Updated Guidance for the 2021-22 School Year Coming Soon
CDE and CDPHE, using new guidance recently published by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, are working to provide update resources for schools and districts to use as they prepare for the upcoming school year.
The toolkit is anticipated to be ready in early August.
For now, please find the resources from last year for review purposes.
As the situation evolves, districts and schools will need to consider planning, scheduling, and educational services and resources to support students as they enter the new school year. The ideas below are designed to begin these conversations and plan for fall opportunities.
- Consider using CDE approved reading intervention programs.
- Starting in the 2020-21 school year, districts need to include information about how their reading programs are scientifically or evidence-based in their UIPs. Although the reading programs do not need to be from CDE’s approved list, they must meet the scientifically or evidence-based criteria. If districts use one of the approved programs, then it automatically meets the criteria. If districts use their READ funds to purchase an instructional program, it must be on the CDE approved list.
- Some districts have expressed an interest in opening and sustaining an online program/school beyond the 2020-21 school year. Please contact the office of Blended and Online Learning to assist.
Plans should take into account the entire 2020-21 school year.
- Prepare for individual students who will be impacted by COVID-19 and will learn from home.
- Consider assessing student learning gaps upon reopening, and adjust curriculum pacing for these needs.
- Consider how the Summer School Guidance could assist with fall planning efforts. Many districts are considering starting the school year by adding a summer semester and launching summer programs to sustain connections with students and enriching students’ learning to support a successful fall school beginning.
- Consider allowing teachers' children to come to school everyday to support staff returning to work.
- Consider Cohorting students by the same class/group of students so that they function independently as much as possible from other students. Each group of students would recess together, eat together, have passing time together, etc. Creating cohorts where students remain together and the teachers move between classes could reduce contact with other students and slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Consider 'Looping' elementary school teachers with the same group of students from 2019-20 so that students return to a familiar face for increased emotional security, maximize instructional time by starting with established relationships and knowledge of students' learning needs.
- Consider Flex-Grades. A 5th grade class becomes a 4th/5th grade class with teachers starting the year with content from the last few months of 4th grade that may have not been covered due to COVID-19 remote learning environment
- Consider learning opportunities that include daily/weekly check-ins with students.
- Consider master schedule adjustments for additional instructional time in identified contents.Consider which content areas most need in-person instruction (music, science labs, etc.) and which may be better suited to remote learning.
- Consider which content areas most need in-person instruction (music, science labs, etc.) and which may be better suited to remote learning.
- Educational services should strive for equitable access to instruction for students, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II).
Supports for Gifted and Talented Learners:
Schools must make every effort to identify and provide appropriate gifted education services for gifted and talented learners. Gifted education programming options and services must be provided for at least the number of days calendared for the school year (2220-R-12.00). Local districts may choose how to meet requirements regarding the identification of gifted learners and what gifted programming approaches will be employed within their district.
Guidance and considerations for meeting ECEA requirements specific to gifted education can be found here. Ongoing updates will be made to this information including strategies and promising practices from the field.
Gifted and Talented: Guiding Questions
Does the school team have access to the student's Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) to understand the strengths and social emotional needs of the child?
Are resources in place to provide the needed accommodations for the student to access appropriate content and pacing?
Are gifted education services in place to support the instructional needs of the student?
Resources for Gifted and Talented
Resources for supporting Gifted and Talented Students
- Consider the compatibility of a virtual platform(s) with the accessibility needs of students with a disability, specifically those with sensory disability(ies). Consult with special education staff to confirm accessibility needs, barriers, and options.
- For accessibility for learners with hearing impairment, including deafness, go to: https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/dhh-covid-resources
- For accessibility for learners with visual impairment, including blindness, go to: https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/vi_incl_blindness