Denver South High School

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Weekly Communication – May 10, 2020

Posted: May 11, 2020

May 10, 2020

Dear Denver South High School Community:

I hope you all had a restful weekend and for those that celebrate Mother’s Day, I hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day.  This past week was filled with many highlights that reminded me of how much I missed the daily interactions with students, staff, and families.  This week included South staff hand-delivering yard signs to senior’s homes, seeing all of the wonderful Culture Fest submissions, cheering on student athletes at virtual signing day, celebrating teacher appreciation,  and the continued engagement of our students through remote learning. This week also included the hiring of new staff, participating in district meetings about budget and what potentially next school year could like.  

Change is inevitable and although change can be hard, it can also provide new opportunities for others.  As a school community a strength we have is to support one another when we need it the most.  With that being said, I wanted to announce a change for next year that involves Student Voice and Engagement at South and support for the staff members involved, is going to need the support of our community as they transition to their new roles.  As we have been forced to face tough budget decisions for the upcoming school year, we have also had to look closely at our Student Voice and Engagement Programs overall in regard to sustainability, student voice and program leadership.  Moving forward we will be making the following changes to South’s Senate Program:

  • Mr. Brookes will rejoin the English Department and provide classroom teaching support.
  • Senate classes will be reduced to two course offerings: 9th/10th grade Senate and 11th/12th Senate.  More details to come in regard to the application/selection process. 
  • The Student Board of Education will continue as a class offering. More details to come in regard to the application/selection process.  More details to come in regard to the application/selection process. 
  • Meredith Barrow, Student Activities Director, will now lead the South’s Student Senate Program.  More details to come about class periods offered.
  • Diana Bustamante and Malik Fletcher will lead South’s Student Board of Education.  More details to come about when the class will be offered.. 

We know and acknowledge that this is a big change to South’s Senate Program and Student Board.  Change can be a difficult process and we hope to move forward in a positive direction with this important program.  Student voice at South has been and will continue to be a priority within our school community.  There will be a range of emotions experienced by current and former Senate and Student Board students about these changes.  Understand that Mr. Brookes, Ms. Barrow, Mr. Fletcher, and Ms. Bustamante are committed to working together and supporting either other through this transition and we ask that each of you do the same.  Again, the ultimate focus will continue to be Student Engagement and Student Voice.

We want to thank Jason Brookes for many years of leadership within the Senate Program.  His dedication to building the Senate Program and passion for facilitating Student Voice is greatly appreciated by our entire school community.  

Moving forward, details on the organization of the Senate and Student Board will be shared with the school community at a later date.  Thank you for your understanding and continued support for not only Mr. Brookes, but also Ms. Barrow, Mr. Fletcher, and Ms. Bustamante 

Please see below for important updates from the district, information about our Town Halls, upcoming dates, and other end of year specifics. As always, I am grateful to be the principal of such an amazing school community and know we will emerge from this crisis stronger because We Are Denver South!

Weekly Town Halls 

  • Students 
    • Seniors: Friday, 5/1 at 10:00AM
    • All students: Friday, 5/1 at 10:30AM
  • Families
    • Due to technology limitations, our weekly Family Town Halls will be pre recorded and posted to our Denver South webpage on Monday of each week. This link can be found under the Remote Learning tab on our Denver South website, where families can find current and past town halls.  We will be accepting questions and feedback from families throughout the week on this Google Form, and we will address frequently asked questions in our weekly recording.

 District Updates

  • All in-person summer school programs and all summer camps have been cancelled. 
  • DPS Planning for 20-21
  • Our overriding priority remains the health and well-being of our students and staff. We remain committed to following the guidance of health experts in developing our plans.
  • We do not want to delay the start of next school year. Our health experts have strongly advised us to begin school again in August. The warmer weather of late summer and early fall brings a reduced likelihood of needing to interrupt school schedules because of a spike in COVID-19 infection rates or outbreaks of flu or other common winter illnesses.
  • Schools will continue to operate differently when we reopen. Exactly what that will look like is the work we need to do together, in concert with health officials, over the next two months. But we do know that it will most likely mean some combination of in-person school and remote learning, in order to prioritize health and safety.
  • We will need to continue to be agile and make adjustments in how students and teachers are connecting. Until health officials give clearance for a return to normal school operations, we will need to adhere to social-distancing guidelines and will likely offer a mix of in-person and remote learning. We will also likely need to make schedule adjustments periodically during the school year depending on how successful our community is in containing the virus.

More information coming end of May

Important Dates

  • Class of 2020 Prom Court- May 16 @ 7:00 pm
    • Voting will begin Monday, May 11 in the Class of 2020 Schoology group.
  • Senior Awards Night-May 20 @ 6:00 pm
  • Seniors last day- May 20
  • Senior Checkout & Pick-up- May 22 from 10:00-3:00 pm
    • Chromebooks/tablets
    • Calculators other school supplies 
    • Athletic Jerseys 
    • Textbooks 
    • Library Books
  • Senior Graduation Parade- May 26 at 6:00 pm
    • More information will go out to seniors next week. Do not have a car? We have options available.
  • May 11-22 with make-ups June 1-5. Portfolios due May 26th. 

Social Emotional Updates

Attention Rebels! Please click on the link below to take the BESS survey. You will be asked to enter your student ID and then you can begin answering the questions. The BESS is a survey that asks questions about your social and emotional health. Please take 15 minutes to fill this out!
bit.ly/BESS20

Sincerely,

Mr.  Thomas
Principal