JANUARY 7, 2021

Update on Safe Return to Schools

As of today, a plan to bring students back for in-person learning in January is underway as scheduled.
The plan/dates are available by clicking here.

As we continue to plan for the safe return of Colonial students, please remember the factors that impact this decision include:    
  • Positive staff cases and close contacts that impact the operations of the district.
    • In-person instruction cannot operate unless there is an adequate level of personnel available.  This includes administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians, nutrition services workers, bus drivers, and other support staff.
  • Positive student cases and DPH quarantines which necessitate pausing in-person classroom instruction. 
  • A potential spike in positive COVID-19 cases in early January which may occur following the winter break.
  • The guidance and data coming from DPH and other State agencies that we use to make planning decisions which continues to be refined and updated.
The factors stated above could cause the district to return to virtual learning for classes, schools, or even the entire district.  Often, these decisions are made at a moment’s notice; therefore, all employees, parents, and students should be prepared daily to be either in-person or virtual.
 
Among the things families should consider as they return to in-person school:
  • Families should conduct a self-screener checklist before sending children to school
  • Any child not feeling well should remain at home, and all children not feeling well during school will be sent home, especially if they have a fever. 
  • Students in grades K-8 must wear a face mask on buses and in the classroom throughout the day, except when eating and drinking. Children in Pre-K are recommended to wear a face mask
  • Children must bring their own labeled, filled water bottles. Extra water will be provided if needed and milk will be served with breakfast and lunch.  Water fountains will not be operational.
  • Students will remain in the same classroom throughout the day.

Colonial's Response to the Attack on the Capitol

Historic events continue to unfold in alarming and troubling ways and yesterday was no exception.  Democracy itself was under attack as the revered place where generations of elected officials have met to serve as the voice of the American people was stormed by rioters.  We strongly condemn the attack that took place and believe this action does not represent what America is supposed to stand for or the ideals on which this country was founded. 

Many in our community are confused, angry, and cannot help but question why Black Lives Matter protestors were treated so differently at the Capitol just months ago.  We see you - we hear you - we stand with you.  Colonial remains committed to engaging in the work of anti-racism and fostering a more just and equitable community. #PowerofWECSD

Calendar Dates to Remember


January 13 - School choice application Deadline for 2021-22 school year
January 13 -
Parent University: Accessing Your Colonial Home Access Center Parent Account
January 15 - Staff Development Day: Self-paced remote learning for students
January 18 - MLK Holiday - Schools  and offices closed
January 20 - Parent University: Accessing Your Colonial Student Gradebook for K-5 Families 
January 27 - Parent University: Keeping Your Colonial Student Safe ONLINE!

School Updates

Elementary Schools:
The Chinese Immersion Program will be transitioning to Pleasantville Elementary for the 2021-2022 school year. There are seats available for Kindergarten and First graders for the 2021-2022 school year. All interested families must complete the School Choice form located at http://www.colonialschooldistrict.org/registration/school-choice/.  Questions related to the choice process can be addressed by Ahtiya Johnson, Choice Administrative Specialist at (ahtiya.johnson@colonial.k12.de.us).

Questions related to the program can be addressed by Amina Baaith, Principal of Pleasantville Elementary (amina.baaith@colonial.k12.de.us) or Nneka M. Jones, Director of Schools (nneka.jones@colonial.k12.de.us)

More information can be found at http://www.colonialschooldistrict.org/pleasantville/language-page/
Middle Schools:
We are currently finalizing our in-person learning options for middle schools.  Several calendar adjustments have been made.  Middle school principals will provide more detailed information to families.  
  • Week of January 22: Families who selected in-person learning and requested transportation will receive a mailer with bus information the week of January 2
  • January 27-January 29: Students will have asynchronous  (self-paced) work.  These will be professional development and classroom set up days for teachers
  • February 1- February 5th: All middle schools be virtual the first week of the 3rd marking period.
  • February 8:  In-person learning will begin for families who selected that option.
High Schools:
  • We are currently finalizing our planning for our learning options for the 2nd semester at William Penn and the Wallin School.  Thank you to the over 1,800 families who responded to our surveys, phone calls, and emails with your children’s selection for the 2nd semester.  
  • If you have not responded, our deadline is tomorrow, Friday, January 8th.  Please contact the main office or your child’s school counselor.  We will not be able to plan for transportation or guarantee your spot for in-person learning if we have not heard from you by tomorrow: Contact Us - William Penn High School at 323-2800

Winter Sports Update


All home events, boys basketball, girls basketball, and wrestling events will be streamed online.  Links for each game will be available on www.ColonialsSports.com

WE Feed

On Thursday, January 14th, students will be receiving a box of 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches (no hot meal on this day).  Boxes will be delivered on the bus meal distribution routes, and are available at the drive-ups at William Penn, McCullough, and Wilbur from 11:00-12:30.  There is NO sign up required.   

There will be NO meal distribution on Friday, January 15, or Monday, January 18. Daily hot meal distribution will resume on Tuesday, January, 19th.

Equity Update

Racial equity continues to be a major focus in the Colonial School District. Employees in all divisions meet regularly to have open and often uncomfortable conversations about racially unequal systems in education, housing, criminal justice, and more that affect our students, families, and communities. With the goal of changing the odds for all, employees like Devon Stockton, a licensed therapist at George Read who is also a co-leader on the district’s equity team, facilitates many professional development sessions with fellow employees. “It is also extremely important that facilitators of this work create safe spaces for difficult conversations, as this work can take you out of your comfort zone quickly!  It is in this zone of discomfort that we see so much growth in individuals, adjusting to learning, and unlearning new and old ideas,” Stockton said. She hopes the focus on equity will shift the mindsets of teachers and staff by helping them peel away unconscious biases through book studies and activities like writing personal racial autobiographies. “I am beyond proud to be part of this work and part of the district that considers equity work as a foundation for all other initiatives.  It is apparent that the Colonial School District understands the need to examine the systems in place and create necessary changes.” A book entitled White Fragility by Dr. Robin D’Angelo will be the focus of conversations co-facilitated by Stockton in two upcoming Professional Development sessions for teachers and staff.

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