School District 51 Family and Community Newsletter | March 2020

All school buildings closed through April 17 due to COVID-19

At this time, all D51 schools are closed through April 17 and all D51 sports are canceled through April 18 to help slow the spread of COVID-19. For updates about the closure and its impacts, please check for emails from D51 and your child's school and visit
Remote Learning
All D51 schools will begin remote learning next Monday, March 30. Teachers are being asked to plan for and deliver three lessons per class per week starting next week, which may be delivered via email, Google Classroom or Schoology. Elementary teachers are being asked to focus on math and English lessons, while middle and high school teachers will prepare lessons in their content areas. While remote learning will be an adjustment, the district and schools are making a good faith effort to continue learning during this time by providing lessons as well as the technology needed to use those systems. Please contact your school if you have any questions - we're here to help! Also check out the Resources for Families section of our COVID-19 page.

District 51 Nutrition Services continues to support families

Twelve school sites are offering curbside pick up of to-go lunch and breakfast, and the Lunch Lizard is making three daily stops during the COVID-19 closure. All sites involved are offering free meals to any child 18 or younger (whether they attend a D51 school or not) and will be open Monday through Friday throughout the district-wide building closure. Emergency meal service is considered an essential need and will continue during the Stay At Home Order. Click here to learn more about the program and find a schedule for Lunch Lizard stops and school meal sites. Two sites are ending service after this Friday (Dual Immersion Academy and Fruita 8/9) due to low participation, but two sites are being added starting Monday: 13 Cider Bistro in Palisade and Fruitvale Elementary.

Chromebook Checkout a Success!

This Tuesday, parents in need of a device for remote learning for their children were able to check out a D51 Chromebook at their child's school. Many schools used a drive-thru system, while others checked out devices in different ways, all while trying to maintain social distancing. D51 is lucky to have a low student-to-device ratio thanks in great part to 9,000+ Chromebooks purchased two years ago through the 2017 Bond Measure. Thank you to all who helped things run smoothly!

Mental health services available online

With students physically separated from their classmates and counselors, the current closure period may be extra hard for students struggling with mental health issues. During this time, students can communicate with their school counselors or mental health therapists through email, Google Chats, and video-conferencing. There is also a list of ways to access multiple crisis services on the D51 Mental Health Resource page. If you feel your student is in immediate danger to themselves or others please call 911.

Fruita area boundaries set
Thanks to input shared at four community meetings in February, the D51 School Board has settled on boundaries for the new Monument Ridge Elementary School and moved Fruita students south of I-70 back to Shelledy. See the new boundary map by clicking on the image above.
PHS gets new International Baccalaureate program
For more than a decade, Palisade High School has been home to the county's only International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for juniors and seniors. Now, PHS has a program for younger students, too! Click here to learn more.
OWL opens new Gateway facility
On March 2, D51 opened the first-ever permanent home for the Outdoor Wilderness Lab in Gateway! Learn how OWL grew from a small outdoor education program for a handful of students to a multi-week program for 10 D51 middle schools here.
Strategic Plan progresses 
Thank you to everyone who attended the Strategic Plan focus group meetings in February and March! Your input will help shape the future of D51 education. All comments collected through the Strategic Plan meetings will be available publicly and will be used to shape plan goals.
Unified Basketball Team
Central, FMHS, Fruita 8/9, GJHS, and Palisade special needs kids teamed up with their peers for a unified basketball tournament March 2 at GJHS. Seventy students participated in the first of hopefully many tournaments to come!
Are you interested in joining the District 51 School Board?
There's an immediate opening on the D51 School Board in Director District C. The deadline to apply for the job by submitting a resume, cover letter, and a copy of your driver's license for verification purposes here has been extended to April 20. Learn more here.
8th-graders plan for the future
Middle School students from across the valley learned about potential career paths and the programs and degrees that can get them there at a career fair Feb. 24 at CMU. The fair was revamped this year to be better than ever! 
Kindergartners get elegant
Every year, kindergarten students at Thunder Mt. dress up in their finest outfits, march down a red carpet while their parents take photos, and practice eating politely. This event, called Elegant Party, is a great way for students to learn good manners from the start!
Thunder Mt. students dedicate Buddy Bench on playground
Thunder Mt. has a new Buddy Bench built and donated by Collbran Job Corps students. A Buddy Bench is a place where kids  looking for friends can sit and wait for a new pal to approach them.
Design Challenge winners
D51 students have great ideas, and they get to show them off each year in the D51 Design Challenge! Learn more about the competition, who won, and how students plan to shape the community around them here.
Teachers at Pomona get covered in silly string while wearing superhero costumes.
Pomona students reach reading goals, have super time
Pomona Elementary students read 136,545 minutes and raised more than $9,000 in this year's Read-a-Thon fundraiser. As a reward, they were treated to an assembly with teachers dressed as superheroes getting messy with eggs and silly string!
GJHS team takes second place at regional competition
One of Grand Junction High School's mock trial teams finished second in the Western Slope Mock Trial Regional in Glenwood Springs earlier this month! The win qualified them for the state competition. See more here.

Student Fees for 2020-21

D51 School Board members adopted the Student Fee Schedule for 2020-21 at a board business meeting this Tuesday. See the fees for next school year here.
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