Dear DSST Families,
This has been quite a week for DSST, Denver and our country. Thank you for your flexibility as we navigate together the rapidly changing world of COVID-19 as a DSST family. I am grateful for the patience and grace everyone has exhibited during this time. And, most of all, thank you for continuing to provide us the opportunity to educate your children. Uncertain times like these often help us re-commit to the most important things in our lives. For us at DSST, one of those things is your children. We love your children and are very grateful that we have the opportunity to work with them every day.
As you know, yesterday DPS announced an Extended Spring Break for all schools in order to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19. DSST will follow this protocol as well. Here are our priorities as an organization during this Extended Spring Break:
- Ensuring the safety and health of our students, families and staff.
- Staying in touch with our students to support them through this time.
- Utilizing our 1 to 1 technology platform to deliver Optional Academic Resources to our students so they can voluntarily continue to learn and grow.
- Supporting ongoing college counseling.
- Providing transparent communication so that our students and families can stay connected and engaged.
To that end, please continue to visit this site for a variety of important resources and updates for our community.
Below are additional details for the upcoming weeks:
DSST School Hours
School buildings are open March 16 and 17 and administrative staff will be on campus those two days from 7:30AM - 4:00PM to allow time for students and families to pick up personal belongings, including laptops and chargers, medications, etc. DSST will be closed beginning March 18.
DSST Home Office staff and School Teams will work remotely from March 18 - 27. Please note, DPS is returning from spring break on April 7 but DSST students will return Monday, April 6, with the exception of Cole Middle School and Cole High School students, who will return on April 7 due to a scheduled professional development day.
Food: Denver Public Schools will offer free meals to students at 11 locations throughout the city, using a grab-and-go style system, from Monday, March 16th through Friday, April 3rd. Breakfast will be served from 8-9 a.m. Lunch will be served from 12-1 p.m. Vegetarian options will be available. You can view the locations here.
Internet Access: We also recognize that some students may not have internet access at home. Internet Essentials from Comcast is offering free internet at home for eligible families.
Mental Health: The COVID-19 outbreak may be causing severe anxiety and worry. We have identified several resources that you may find useful:
- The Mental Health Center of Denver
- The National Alliance on Mental Health - Local Provider Finder
- The 5 Ways to Help Teens Manage Anxiety About the Coronavirus
Optional Academic Resources
Next week, we will be sending you a list of optional academic resources your students can access during this extended closure. We are very committed to using our 1 to 1 laptop platform to provide optional academic resources for our students. We encourage you to make sure your child has their laptop, a charger and at least one independent reading book for this extended period of time. Computers will be helpful to access the academic resources and to stay in touch with advisors.
How We’ll Stay in Touch
Over the next two weeks, your student should expect to receive a weekly check-in phone call from their advisor. We care deeply about each of our students and want to make sure that we are doing everything to support them during this time. We know that students will want to enjoy their extended Spring break, but please encourage them to check their email regularly so that we can stay in touch.
You should also expect weekly updates from me over the next three weeks - and more frequently should there be any new developments. You will receive these updates via email and Flyer (if applicable). Be sure to also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and check our COVID-19 Resource Page for the latest updates.
Thank you again for your flexibility and patience during this difficult time of uncertainty. Be safe, stay healthy, and have a restful weekend.