Email Communications for Families and students

Below are messages and communications from our Executive Director, principals, and other leadership from Pueblo School for Arts and Sciences' regarding our most recent plans for COVID-19, remote learning, and any other important updates and announcements. 

Communications for Families and Students

November 9, 2020


Dear PSAS families and staff, We are grateful for your continued patience and flexibility as we navigate the impacts of Covid on our schools. As of today, Monday, November 9, we are experiencing a high level of absences among both staff and students. These absences, involving a mix of mandatory and non-mandatory quarantines, currently represent a small number of verified positive cases, but those with which we are aware are a significant concern. Further, the overall number of absences has made it somewhat impractical for PSAS to offer in-person learning for the next few weeks. Therefore, in order to be responsible to our staff and families, and to maintain a continuity of learning, we have made the difficult decision to go to remote learning until Monday, November 30, our goal date to return. Fulton Heights Middle school, will begin Wednesday, November 11 as previously scheduled. Thanksgiving break will remain the same from Monday, November 23 - Friday, November 27. To facilitate this change, we will have a two-day staff planning transition this Tuesday and Wednesday. Students will not attend class with the exception of completing current assignments already provided by their teachers. Starting Thursday, November 12, and through the end of Thanksgiving weekend, PSAS will operate fully under our remote learning protocols. Your individual school and teacher may contact you with additional details prior to the advent of remote learning on Thursday. During the course of our remote learning period, we will remain open for communications and to facilitate any ministerial items such as collecting personal items at our campuses. This is a difficult decision, and we are so very thankful that you have been supportive of PSAS throughout this time. We hope to stay in frequent contact to update all families and staff as this process unfolds. Jones Campus Remote from 11/12 - 11/20 Fulton Heights K-5 Remote from 11/12 - 11/20 Fulton Heights Middle School Remote from 11/11 - 11/20 PSAS Homeschool Remote from 11/12 - 11/20 PSAS e-Learning Continue as normal ALL PSAS CAMPUSES Thanksgiving Break from 11/23 - 11/27 Thank you, Dave Martin Interim ED




November 25, 2020


PSAS Families and Staff,

I hope this message finds each of you healthy and excited for the Thanksgiving Holiday. I am reaching out today to inform you that The Fulton, Homeschool and Jones campuses will return to in-person learning on Monday November 30th, 2020.

The decision to return was not an easy one to make but we do feel it is in the best interest of our students learning success. We have had minimal positive cases in our schools and will continue to use the safety protocols established earlier this year to keep exposure to a minimum. Each school will be on a case by case basis as it has been in the past for quarantines and remote status.

As we return, I wanted to thank our Staff for their diligence in care over the last several months. They are the best! I also know the disruptions at home and work for our parents has been a challenge. I understand the challenges necessary to support your children who are engaged in remote learning at home and at the same time keep up with the demands of a job. Thank you for your patience and trust as we continue through this pandemic together.

Sincerely,

Dave Martin




November 27, 2020


Dear PSAS families,

School districts across the state are choosing to move from in-person to remote school in light of widespread increases in COVID-19 cases. This decision is afforded to districts and schools under the level red of Colorado’s COVID-19 response framework, and is even open under a stay-at-home order as schools are defined as “critical businesses.” PSAS endeavors to remain in-person, and we had planned to remain in-person for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, we have now been forced to extend our remote learning approach at Jones Campus for at least two more weeks. This is not because of any student transmission or exposure at school, but due to quarantine/isolation protocols for several staff members who were exposed and, in some cases, have been diagnosed with COVID due to exposures outside of the PSAS environment. Accordingly, we do not have adequate staff available for in-person learning in the coming two weeks.

That said, PSAS firmly believes that in-person learning should be our goal and our priority regardless of where Pueblo stands on the COVID-19 response framework. Thus, we will be in-person at both Fulton Heights and our Homeschool Program. We will move to in-person learning at Jones Campus as soon as possible and will keep you informed with our progress on that front.

I recognize that this is an uncommon disposition to take in the current landscape, and I recognize further that there is disagreement in our school community about what the most appropriate response should be. In light of that, I do want to offer my reasons for attempting to remain in-person, even if a stay-at-home order is issued.

  1. Schools are defined as “critical businesses” under Public Health Order 20-36, and may “provid[e] in person learning as necessary, or other essential services to students as determined by the school or school district in consultation with the local public health agency. As Governor Polis stated, “[w]e feel that based on the data, for many families and for many kids, that [school] is the safest place they can be with the safety parameters that we have at school.";
  2. We determine the social and moral relationships built in-person to be necessary and essential for student learning, health, and happiness. Just last week, The Atlantic declared that “closing schools causes well-documented damage to students. Evidence from around the world shows not only that many schools should remain open, but that we should take more steps to open up classrooms.";
  3. We have not seen a spread of COVID-19 in our school and have been successful in preventing outbreaks.

There are more reasons that are on my mind, but which fall outside this direct justification. For instance:

  • - that the burden with stay-at-home orders falls disproportionately on women and mothers who must withdraw from their careers. This is unfair burden generally and not one we wish to contribute to;
  • - that children of ​all ​ages and ​all ​backgrounds need the personal engagement of peers and teachers to help form their identities. No child should be deprived of that opportunity and right except under the utmost necessity;
  • - that children of ​all ​ages and ​all ​backgrounds are better prepared to lead independent and joyful lives if the normal, ordinary, and safe environment of schools is open to them;
  • - that citizenship doesn’t spring up in isolation or virtually, but requires ongoing, real, and robust conversations and relationships.

Again, our firm intent is to remain open as long as it is feasible to do so. We are, however, postponing all non-school activities, which includes athletics and clubs, because these environments are harder to control given the community spread of COVID-19. Again, our dominant priority is in-person ​school.​ If anything requires us to change our approach, we will communicate quickly.

Sincerely,

Dave Martin




January 4, 2021


Dear PSAS Families, Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great and safe winter break. I would like to remind you that all students will resume in-person learning tomorrow, Tuesday, January 5th. This includes our Jones, Fulton Heights, e-Learning, and Homeschool campuses. We believe our goal should be in-person and we will continue to make safety our top priority as students and staff return from break. Sincerely, Dave Martin




March 12, 2021


Hi PSAS Families,

The Board Meeting originally scheduled for March 24, 2021 has been rescheduled to March 17, 2021 due to Spring Break. The board meeting will still take place at the typically scheduled time, 5:30 PM. The agenda and sign up sheet will be posted to the PSAS Website 24 hours before the board meeting. You can also find the call-in information on the agenda. We hope you can join us!

-PSAS Administration




March 9, 2021


Happy Tuesday PSAS Families,

As we wrap up the 3rd quarter of the 2020-2021 school year, we are starting to prepare for end-of-the-year activities and look ahead to April for CMAS Testing. We will be transitioning to remote learning for all PSAS Campuses starting on Monday, March 15, 2021, through Wednesday, March 17, 2021. This precautionary measure will help to ensure that we can finish the year strong and in-person! These measures include: making improvements to the buildings, such as working on our Outdoor Classrooms, Windows, Doors and HVAC systems.

Conferences will be conducted remotely on Thursday, March 18, 2021, and staff will have professional development on Friday, March 19, 2021.

Spring break will still take place as scheduled from March 22, 2021, through March 26, 2021. Additionally, this allows our hard-working custodial staff time to complete necessary cleaning and sanitization.

Upcoming Dates

Week of March 15th

3/15 - All Students and Staff Remote Learning

3/16 - All Students and Staff Remote Learning

3/17 - All Students and Staff Remote Learning

3/18 - Remote Parent Teacher Conferences (No School for Students)

3/19 - Professional Development Day (No School for Students)

Week of March 22nd

3/22 - Spring Break (No School for Students or Staff)

3/23 - Spring Break (No School for Students or Staff)

3/24 - Spring Break (No School for Students or Staff)

3/25 - Spring Break (No School for Students or Staff)

3/26 - Spring Break (No School for Students or Staff)

Be sure you and your family remain safe and healthy during remote-learning and spring break. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me or your child’s principal directly.

Thanks,

Dave Martin

Interim Executive Director




August 3, 2021


Dear PSAS Families and Staff,

I know you are all eager to learn more about the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. We are working hard on a plan to ensure students have the support they need to learn, thrive, and be safe this year.

Many of you have inquired about this coming year’s COVID-19 guidance and mask requirements. At this time, masks remain optional and will not be required. We will continue to collaborate with our partners at the Pueblo County Health Department (PCHD) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to determine how future recommendations may affect PSAS Schools. We will follow the PCHD guidance and inform our community about mask guidance or requirements, along with other health protocols as they become available. As always, we will continue to align with changing guidance from the state or county throughout the school year.

Thank you for your patience and partnership. We can’t wait to welcome students back into classrooms!

Sincerely,

Dave Martin

Executive Director




August 18, 2021


Good Evening PSAS Families,

We appreciate the feedback that we have received from our families concerning the COVID-19 protocols for this coming school year. Parent feedback has helped shape the way that PSAS will approach COVID-19 this school year. COVID-19 is still in our community with the emergence of variants and the persistence of positive cases.

Pueblo School for Arts and Sciences took this summer to reflect on last school year, and while we are proud of the precautions taken, we have found areas for improvement. Our focus as educators and as a charter network is to have an ample amount of face-to-face contact with students this coming school year. PSAS feels this is a necessary tactic to counter the number of quarantines and learning loss that we have faced in the last year and a half. We have been a leader in cleaning and sanitization of our facilities, PSAS outpaces the health department requirements for cleaning to include daily cleaning of each classroom, UltraViolet light disinfection, and other cleaning measures.

We are proud to announce that we have partnered with Beechtree Laboratories to provide COVID-19 tests weekly to PSAS stakeholders, including students, staff, and families. COVID-19 testing will begin on Friday, September 3, 2021.

We have sought the service of Beechtree Laboratories to help ensure student and community safety and support the previous COVID-19 protocols sent to families.

Beechtree is a highly experienced laboratory located in Draper, UT. They have been testing across the US supporting states, municipalities, airports, schools, hospitals, drive-thru sites, the US Military, and the movie, oil, sports, and fishing industries. PSAS has elected to partner with Beechtree because they offer:

  • Fast Turn-Around Results (within 24 Hours)
  • Simple, Fast, and Efficient Service On-Site
  • Zero Cost to Families
  • At-Home Test Kits

The partnership between PSAS and Beechtree supports CDC recommendations, creating a layered approach that includes regular screen testing. The CDC states, “to be effective the screening program should test at least once per week, and rapidly (within 24 hours) report results.”

PSAS is excited to partner with Beechtree as this helps provide a safe, equitable, and consistent learning experience for all students and families this school year. The program will be optional for families and is mandated only for activities where students leave campus. More information will be sent home in the coming weeks with directions and logistics for each campus. To start the process, families can register and provide consent for your student using the information below.



REGISTRATION AND CONSENT

Please register your child and provide consent for testing in the Beechtree application by scanning the QR Code below. This is a one-time registration and consent for the school year. You can withdraw consent at any time but won’t need to register your child every week. Once registered, a QR Code is provided to the child’s phone. If they do not have a device, a lanyard card will be provided.

Thank you very much for your understanding and we are very pleased to be able to use this layered approach to allow us to manage the risk of COVID-19 spread this year and keep our students in class.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your campus principal. To learn more about Beechtree Laboratories and their testing procedures, please see attached document.

Sincerely,

Dave Martin