Administration Messages...

Full time in-person learning will continue for all K-8 students beginning January 5, 2020.



As we plan for the 2020-2021 school year with the possibility of resuming in-person learning, we have kept our mission at the forefront of our decision-making, particularly the key elements of providing an academically rigorous and safe environment for our students.  The safety and well-being of our students, staff, and community has been our priority in planning.  To that end, we have been closely following the guidance set forth by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), and have been working closely with Weld County Department of Health and Environment, as well as our school nurse, Molly Orlando.     


Due to the evolving nature of this pandemic, we ask for your understanding and flexibility.  This document contains the most up-to-date information, but we will be continuing to revise and update our plan as necessary to be consistent with orders and guidance from the Governor’s office, and/or state or local health departments.  Any changes or updates will be communicated directly to families and students if or when they occur.


**The student learning model we are able to engage in will be determined in partnership with the local health department, state health department, and/or the Governor’s executive order.**


Traditional Learning

In this model, we would have face-to-face instruction with our traditional schedule, as well as increased health and safety precautions.  For families not comfortable sending their students or if their students have significant underlying medical conditions which put them at higher risk for COVID-19, there will be an online learning option available (expectations for online learning will be communicated at a later time).


Cohort Based Learning

In this model, we would still have face-to-face instruction but with increased limitations on group numbers and/or no mixing of student groups, as well as increased health and safety precautions.  This would be the option we will pursue in the event that a Governor’s Executive Order requires us to maintain social distance, to limit the number of people in groups, etc.

  • Depending on orders around group sizes, this may mean
    • Preschool - possible scenarios
    • K-8 on an A/B schedule
      • A group: Monday and Wednesday
      • B group: Tuesday and Thursday
      • Fridays would alternate between A and B groups each week
    • Groups of 25 or less for full-time instruction
    • Smaller groups of 10-15 (depending on local or state health orders)
  • As in the traditional learning model, for families not comfortable sending their students or if their students have significant underlying medical conditions which put them at higher risk for COVID-19, there will be an online learning option available.


Remote Learning

In this model, students would be receiving full time online instruction.  This would be the option we will pursue in the event that a Governor's Executive Order requires it, or if the local health department requires our school to be closed due to cases of Covid in our building or the larger community.


**Health and safety precautions may be eased or limited depending on guidance from the local health department, state health department, and/or the Governor’s executive order.**


General Health and Hygiene


Face coverings 

  • We will remain in compliance with applicable state and local orders
  • All staff are required to wear while on site, except where medically unable
  • All students are required to wear Masks/Face Coverings inside the building except where medically unable, unless social distancing guidelines allow removal
    • No masks while napping/sleeping
  • School will provide teachers with surgical and N-95 masks, and other PPE as necessary


Daily Health Screening

  • Families should screen students at home prior to sending to school
  • Staff will complete self-screening at home
  • Staff and students should stay home if they have a temperature of 100.4ºF or higher, or are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or any other communicable disease
    • In order to return, the individual should be fever free or without medication for 48 hours and ten days have passed since first symptom, unless they have a clear alternative diagnosis from a medical provider
  • Students and staff monitored for COVID-19 symptoms
  • Screening Tool:


Student Pick-Up/Drop-off

  • Preschool - students will be picked up in driveline from their vehicle by a preschool teacher.
  • K-8 - students will line up at a designated spot and be walked into the building by their teacher at 8:05.  Students arriving after 8:05 can come in through the front door, but will need to maintain social distancing using marked spaces for a line. 



  • No shared supplies in classrooms
    • For teacher provided class set materials - must be sanitized and disinfected between uses
  • Seating plans that encourage physical distance between students - desks spaced apart and facing the same direction



  • Using restrooms at designated times to minimize mixing of students from different cohort groups
  • Scheduling of classes to minimize mixing of different cohorts (no electives)
    • Partner teachers will go to classrooms
    • 5-8 class transitions - students will remain in their cohort classroom and teachers will travel to their classrooms
  • Students will remain with their cohorts, including recess and lunch
    • Students will eat in the classroom
    • Students who receive hot lunch will walk through the line - classes will be scheduled such that cohorts will not mix within the lunch line
    • Hot lunch will be served on disposable food service items
    • Classes will alternate between different recess zones 
    • Each class to have their own recess equipment, which will be cleaned and disinfected between use
    • Students encouraged to play hands-free activities such as soccer, shadow tag, jump rope, hopscotch, and running
    • Students will be encouraged to wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer before and after recess


  • Only employees and essential visitors (such as service professionals) will be allowed in the building at this time
  • School events such as assemblies, plays, dances, concerts, back-to-school night, sporting events, etc. will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether or not they can safely be held
  • All field trips and/or other activities outside of school will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis


Cleaning Protocols

  • Restroom facilities will be disinfected frequently
  • All rooms throughout the school will be disinfected nightly with additional cleaning protocols
  • Increased sanitation/cleaning of facilities
  • Updates to our HVAC system
    • Enhanced filtration
    • Increased outside air


  • Distribute devices as needed
  • Provide scaffolding for students to address individual needs
    • IEP, ELL, 504, MTSS, etc.
  • Sustain online platform (G-Suite) and supports and tools to improve academic outcomes for all students
    • Teacher training/teacher leaders
  • Teachers will communicate grading and assessment guidelines
    • In-person learning
    • Virtual learners
  • Teachers will communicate online learning expectations


  • Continue Restorative Practices
    • community building - connection circles
    • Love & Logic - building positive teacher/student relationships - minimize classroom disruptions/behaviors
  • Utilize character lesson time to encourage and provide social emotional tools for all age learners
  • Continue to teach/encourage appropriate online behaviors to students


  • Review attendance and encourage students and staff to stay home when sick
    • Attendance will be closely monitored to understand trends that may signal the beginning of an outbreak
    • In the case of illness, families still need to call the school to excuse their child’s absence
  • Grading Policies
    • Teachers will communicate grading policies at the beginning of the school year
  • Provide information to parents in the parent student handbook regarding COVID-19
    • The potential risks associated with students attending in-person learning
    • Daily health screening information
  • Traveling
    • During this time, all travel outside of Colorado needs to be shared with the school.  Depending on where you are traveling, as well as your mode of travel, you may be asked to keep your student home for 4-7 days to monitor for symptoms before they can return to school.  Students can be virtual learners during that time at home.  We highly advise not traveling outside of the United States at this time.  Please see Coronavirus and Travel in the United States for additional information.


  • Teacher expectations and resources for supporting online learning 
  • Systems, policies, and procedures
    • Monitoring for symptoms
    • Cleaning Protocols


Jessica Cervantes, Principal

Lauren Wheaton, Preschool Director

Sarah Hotchkiss, Assistant Principal (*vortex for school, Orlando, and Weld County)

Lori Olson, Business Manager & Facilities

Molly Orlando, Nurse


CDPHE - Coronavirus Disease

CDC - Coronavirus

Weld County - COVID

  • Weld County - COVID 19 Hotline (970) 400-2111

2-1-1 Colorado 

Colorado Office of Early Childhood: “Supporting Young Children During Covid”

Mask "How Tos"


CDE (Colorado Department of Education)- Planning Toolkit

CDE - Online Learning guidance for 20-21

CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) - COVID 19 Guidance: Cases and Outbreaks in Schools

CDPHE - Reopening Schools: Health Guidance by Phase

COEC (Colorado Office of Early Childhood)- Resource Guide for Childcare Providers During Covid

Weld County - COVID

CDC - Planning Toolkit

AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) - AAP Interim Guidance on School Re-entry Focuses on Mitigating CVOID-19 Risks


Dear Parents and Students, 


Welcome to the 2020/2021 school year! Our vision for this year is that leaders and teachers will build an engaging, academically rich and socially responsible school culture that encourages students to take responsibility for their own education with a specific focus on writing, formative assessment, social emotional health and restorative practices, as determined by data analysis.

We recognize that the student’s job is to take responsibility for their own learning. However, we also know that this requires support. We are focused on building an environment that celebrates student strengths, fostering their creativity and curiosity. 


So how do students take responsibility for their learning efforts? They must...

Understand expectations.

Set goals with guidance.

Persevere through challenges with support.

Try new approaches (new iterations.)

Assess progress.

Set new goals.


And how do you support your child as you partner with the school? You....

Choose our mission.

Choose a  rigorous, content-rich curriculum. 

Choose a focus on both academics and character.

Choose a belief that children grow by being challenged in a nurturing environment.

Partner by modeling respectful interactions, including in social media.

Partner by going directly to the person with whom you have a concern.

Partner by following your child(ren)’s progress using the website, Google calendar and  Infinite Campus.


As Firestone Charter Academy leaders, we are passionate about our job of supporting and facilitating our school mission. Our guiding vision for the year is built on an analysis of our school data. We are passionate to move our school forward in the areas of academic growth and character development for all students, and are excited to incorporate more restorative practices into our community to better meet these goals. We take seriously our job of partnering with each of you. It is an honor to serve you.


Your Leadership Team,


Jessica Cervantes, Principal



Sarah Hotchkiss, Assistant Principal