COVID-19 Updates and Information
Dear War Eagle Family,
We have accomplished amazing things this year and have been open since August! We have successfully overcome many obstacles along the way! I appreciate each one of you for not giving up and the support that you have provided this year. This has not been an easy road for anyone. Our LTA staff is the BEST around and has truly taken the mission and vision of this school to heart. They do not let hard things get in their way, just as you do not. Thank you for persevering through this time with us.
Starting tomorrow, April 21st, we will move to e-learning until May 3rd giving everyone a chance to get healthy and finish the year out strong. All students will be e-learning through the end of April and may return on May 3rd. Monday, April 26th there will be no assignments, this is still a day off! This means there are ONLY 7 e-learning days! We can do this! This closure is not only for the illnesses that are in our building, but the staffing issues this is causing. We have been in direct consultation with El Paso County Health Officials with making this decision.
The PSAT tests will still take place on April 27th for 9th grade and the 28th for 10th grade. They will take their test on the corresponding day and be released at noon. Please only come on your test day. They may bring a snack and drink with them to partake during the scheduled break times. Please bring your student to the school by 7:40, doors open at 7:30.
As always, please only send your student if they are symptom-free. We plan to screen the students upon arrival and make adjustments to allow for extra physical distancing during the testing period.
I would also mention to look for another email towards the end of next week with important information regarding illness and expectations for the remainder of the year.
Fine Arts Night will be rescheduled. Please look for more information coming soon.
If your student(s) has received notification of the need to quarantine prior to receiving this closure notification, please follow the guidance/dates you received in those letters. If you HAVE NOT received notification for your student(s) class specifically, this means that the class was not identified to have been in close contact with a positive Covid case. You DO NOT need to quarantine from other activities, but please continue to symptom monitor very closely and seek medical advice if your student(s) should become ill.
A few important notes regarding those on active quarantines
- Please refrain from allowing your quarantined student(s) to engage in out-of-school activities with other students who are also on quarantine.
- If you have a non-quarantined student who is a sibling of a student who has been advised to quarantine, please monitor all students for symptoms. If the quarantined student develops symptoms, they are presumed to have Covid. All other household members should quarantine and seek advice from a medical provider regarding symptoms and testing.
Should I have my student(s) tested? (This is OPTIONAL)
-CDC/School guidance suggests testing on or about day 7 following exposure to a confirmed case of Covid-19. Testing your student with or without the presence of symptoms is also supported when trying to identify asymptomatic spread and mitigating the transmission at school.
If you should choose to have testing performed and identify a positive test or if you are uncertain at any time regarding protocol, please notify the health office team; we are happy to help!
Erin Kliniske, RN School Nurse or Tina Allen, LTA Health Assistant
What are my options for testing sites?
El Paso County Health continues to run free, drive-up testing sites. Use the link below to find one that works best for you and to pre-register prior to your arrival.
We do have one county testing site here locally in Falcon, but it is only open 09-2 pm on Tuesday and Thursday. Additional sites across Colorado Springs have more availability.
You may also use your own provider, just be sure to request only a PCR Covid test.
Your LTA staff loves you and appreciates you! We will make it through this!
Please watch for an email towards the end of next week with important information regarding expectations upon returning to in-person learning so we can finish the year strong.
Dear LTA Family,
Today Liberty Tree Academy was informed that a student in Upper School was presumed positive for COVID-19 because of symptoms. While the results have not yet been confirmed, LTA must have students in upper school go on e-learning starting March 9th until March 19th. This is because we have upper-school teachers that must quarantine, so we will not have teachers available for in-person learning. This will bring us to Spring Break, giving these students 3 weeks away from our building. Upper School students can return on March 29th.
Only the students in Mrs. Kittle’s SA class are on quarantine.
Students who are not in Mrs. Kittle’s SA class may still participate in sports.
If your child is not on quarantine but must move to online learning because we do not have enough teachers for in-person learning, please have your student come by the school tomorrow before 2:00 to get items out of their locker so they can continue with online learning.
Thank you for your patience. We will keep you updated as quickly as possible and try our best to be clear. We Are War Eagles, and we will succeed!
Thank you for all of your support during this time, and we hope nothing but the best for our students and families. If there are any questions, please email Mrs. Kliniske, our school nurse. Her email is email@example.com.
Liberty Tree Academy
Dear War Eagle Family,
We hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving break and took time to relax and enjoy some good food. Remembering what we are thankful for always helps during times like these. As we move forward into the Christmas season, we want to get in as much learning as possible. This will require more diligence on our part with cleaning, mask-wearing, and distancing.
Because we are moving to the RED STATUS, the threshold to quarantine is much lower. Restrictions for students to return when out with any illness will be monitored much more closely. If your student is out because of any illness, you may receive more follow-up before the student(s) can return to in-person learning. Please give us grace and patience with this communication as we are trying to keep everyone safe while following the ever-changing rules.
Our goal at LTA is to stay open as long as possible. However, if specific classes move into quarantine, this may cause staffing issues as it previously did for Upper School. This could result in larger groups than just the impacted classrooms going to online learning.
Liberty Tree Academy will resume online and in-person classes on November 30th. All 5th-10th grade students are still required to wear masks. We are asking/suggesting that K-4th grade students wear masks during the day as much as possible. Because of the ‘Red’ status, we cannot have intermural sports nor host any dances at this time. This frustrated me greatly because our students need activities and social interaction. Our leadership team will continue to brainstorm ways to keep as many options open as possible.
Please be on the lookout for more information regarding the Christmas concert. We will be recording the concerts in the second week of December and having watch parties during the evenings. The students and our music teachers have been working so hard, and we are excited to still be able to show off what they have been learning.
The choice to keep students home for e-learning is still an option. Please contact your student’s teacher if you want to switch from in-person to e-learning. Please also email Mrs. Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lunch will continue to be provided by the district for both in-person students and e-learners. You can find the December lunch menu here and on our website.
During times like this, let’s remember to stay strong and focus on the things that we have control over. Let’s continue learning and enjoying the time that we do get to spend together.
We Are War Eagles!
Liberty Tree Academy
Dear War Eagle Family,
We are beginning to see a rise in symptoms in our building. Our admin team is making a decision to help make sure that everyone is safe and healthy and not react if and when numbers rise. Liberty Tree Academy will go to all online learning starting Monday, November 16th. The rationale has many layers and complexities, but the most important factor is to keep everyone safe. By closing the building next week, we are hoping that the 2 weeks away from the building will help minimize the contact among our students.
During this time of online learning, we will be doing true e-learning where students check in every day for attendance on Microsoft Teams. They will watch videos for every subject and complete the aligned assignments. This is different than the learning that happened in the spring. If you have questions, please email your teacher.
LTA is unwilling to wait until there is a crisis to make a decision. We are choosing to follow the guidelines at this time to minimize health risks.
Basketball next week will also be canceled. We will try and resume practice the week after Thanksgiving break. Ms. Allen will be sending out an email to basketball families about the games scheduled for tomorrow evening.
If you are in Mrs. McCullough’s 4th-grade class, you will need to be quarantined for 14 days because a student in that class tested positive today. This also means, no after school activities. Your quarantine starts tomorrow November 13, 2020.
We will attempt to come back to in-person learning on November 30th. Again, I appreciate your understanding. Know that we want to be in school but at this time, we believe this is what’s best.
Keep checking our website and FB for updated information.
We hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Stay safe and healthy.
See you soon! We Are War Eagles!
As many of you know, we were required to place 2 cohorts on precautionary quarantine due to a student(s) meeting the criteria to classify them as a presumed positive case. We knew going into this that regardless of any subsequent lab testing, this scenario would require a mandatory 14-day quarantine, and therefore it was not required that the students test. However, the parent(s) of these students made the decision to have the tests performed, and we are relieved to learn these were both negative!
We have engaged in additional follow up today with the county, and we regret to confirm that this does not change the plan for in-person learning or the need for those 2 classes to quarantine for 14 days.
The rationale per the county is that certain criteria are so critical to treat as positive regardless of a negative test. This is considered even more crucial when attempting to mitigate the spread of communicable diseases in the school setting.
Again, should you need further explanation regarding this decision, you can continue to reach out to El Paso County Public Health @ 719-578-3220.
On November 8th Liberty Tree Academy was informed that a student was tested positive for COVID-19.
Kindergarten and 6th-10th grades are now all on e-learning starting November 9th until November 20th. Students will be able to return on November 30, 2020.
Dear LTA Family,
On November 6th Liberty Tree Academy was informed that a student in 6th grade and a student in 8th grade were tested for COVID-19. While the results have not yet been confirmed, LTA must have ALL students in 6th grade, and ALL Upper School students go to e-learning starting November 9th until November 20th. 6th-grade teachers and Upper School teachers must quarantine, so we will not have teachers available for in-person learning. This will bring us to Thanksgiving break, giving these students 3 weeks away from our building. 6th grade and Upper School students can return on November 30th.
We only have two quarantine classes, but more students are out because we have teachers that need to be quarantined and cannot come in to teach.
If your child is in Mrs. Newburn’s 8th grade SA class or Mrs. Rieke’s 6th-grade class, they will need to quarantine for 14 days. There is not a positive case, but a presumed positive because they have one major symptom, and we are at a level 2 on the Covid scale. Even if the test comes back negative, we still need to quarantine for 14 days. This is, according to Mrs. Kliniske, our district school nurse. Please have someone in your household come to the school Monday to pick up their books so they can continue learning.
If your child is not being quarantined but staying home from 6th -10th grade due to lack of teachers being out, they need to come to the school on Monday before 2:00 pm to get items out of their lockers for online learning. You do not need to schedule a time, just come by the school, and we will let them in.
All of K-5th grade is on a regular schedule and may attend school, even if you have a sibling that is being quarantined or having to stay home because of the lack of teachers. It is up to each family’s discretion whether you choose to keep your k-5th grader home on e-learning or keep them in-person learning.
Basketball will still occur for all students except those in Mrs. Rieke’s 6th-grade class or Mrs. Newburn’s SA class. Ms. Allen will send out an email later with more details.
Other after school activities:
There are several other after school activities such as theater or band. If your child is in Mrs. Rieke’s class or Mrs. Newburn’s 8th grade SA class, you cannot attend until after Thanksgiving. All other students can still attend as usual.
Reminder: since D49 is e-learning, there will be no lunches or buses.
Thank you for being gracious as we are all walking through uncharted waters. We will keep you updated as quickly as possible and try our best to be clear. We Are War Eagles, and we will succeed!
Thank you for all of your support during this time, and we hope nothing but the best for our students and families. If there are any questions, please email Mrs. Kliniske, our school nurse. Her email is email@example.com.
Mrs. Wilson and LTA Administration
- K-5 families, pull into the left lane (inside) for morning drop off only.
- 6-10 families, pull into the right (outside) lane for morning drop off only.
- Lower and Upper School, families pull into the left (inside) lane.
- Please stay in the SAME lane all the way around the school.
New Morning Drop Off Procedure
- To practice better social distancing, we are asking families of K-5 students to drop off at the doors on the southeast side of the building by the playground.
- 6th -10th grade students will continue to use the doors located on the northeast side of the building at the top of the ramp.
- This applies to every student entering the building.
Here are a few things to remember as we return:
- We ask that every family take their student’s temperature before school every day. If your student is running a temperature, please keep them home and notify the school.
- Please send a water bottle or two with your child every day. The water fountains will be turned off until further notice.
- There will be NO BUS SERVICES while D49 is online learning only.
- If you are doing online learning, your teacher will send you instructions on how and when to receive books. Remember that online learning is five days a week.
- If you want your student(s) to come back to in-person learning, please email the teacher by Thursday that you wish to return the following Monday. All online assignments will need to be completed before coming back to in-person learning.
Liberty Tree Academy’s 2020-21 Plan for Learning
Download the 2020-21 Liberty Tree Academy Plan for Learning here.
The guidance in this plan may be adjusted and/or rewritten to comply with new state standards as new COVID-19 information becomes available.
The school calendar approved by Liberty Tree Academy Board of Directors will remain the same for 2020-2021 school year.
Liberty Tree Academy will be in session five days a week, full schedule, with in-person learning in the building.
The K-10 Back to School night, scheduled for families and students on August 20, 2020, will be held virtually and sent to families via email. A video presentation and informational packet will be sent home via email.
Students will need to bring school supplies on the first day of school. Orders placed online for school supplies will be available for pick up on the first day of school if the student chooses online learning.
Student drop off and carpool procedures will remain the same for the 2020-2021 school year. We will encourage families to drop off upper school students from 7:30-7:40 with a face covering and lower school students after 7:40 with a face covering for best safety practice. If a family has an upper and lower school student they may drop them both off at 7:30 am.
Recess and playground activity is an important part of the school day and something we will monitor and maintain throughout the year. Students will still have their allotted recess times. We will offer two locations for recess and physical activities for teachers to split their cohorts for better monitoring of social distancing to the best of our abilities. We will ensure best practices in cleaning playground equipment.
As a charter school, we have more flexibility than traditional public school. However, we are required to follow the criteria set by the state and El Paso Count Health Department when preparing for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
The block schedule, should we need to implement it, will have students grouped into 2 cohorts. Half will attend in-school learning on Tuesday/Thursday and the other half Wednesday/Friday. Siblings and carpool families will be group together. Mondays will be reserved for tutoring. If a student has a 69% or lower grades in any class, the student will be required to tutor on Mondays.
Liberty Tree Academy recognizes and understands that for some families, learning in person isn’t possible in August. Colorado Department of Education is allowing us to continue online learning during this crisis. We believe that our students do best in our classrooms but we recognize that it isn’t possible for some families due to vulnerable populations, immunity concerns, and overall fear of the virus. Online learning will be available for those families or situations included in the remote learning accommodations.
K-10 grades will use Schoology to complete online learning. Teachers will record lectures and instruction throughout the day and upload to Schoology as time allows. This may create up to a day delay.
Online learning can occur in a variety of ways:
On an “as needed” basis when in-person instruction is suspended due to outbreaks, governor’s executive order
100% of the time when Liberty Tree Academy has provided the opportunity to families who, because of public health and safety measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, do not want their student(s) to receive in-person learning for the entirety of Fall 2020.
Students can return to in-school learning any Monday from on-line learning. The decision will need to be communicated to both the school and teacher the Thursday prior to returning. All on-line learning assignments will need to be completed before returning to in-school learning. Families cannot pick or choose which days to come to school. They are either in-person or online learning.
Online learning will have the flexibility to demonstrate that a student is engaged in the educational process.
Accessing assignments through Schoology
Watching and participating in Zoom meetings
Watching prerecorded instructional videos created by teacher
Accessing online platforms that are provided by teacher
Completing education paper packets after watching instructional video
Students will be provided with the same instruction via video as the in-person student would receive from the teacher
The Liberty Tree Academy board has adopted the addendum to specifically address the implementation of remote learning during the 2020-2021 academic year. This will provide LTA the flexibility needed to include online learning in the determination for funding if such learning becomes necessary or required by COVID-19. Liberty Tree Academy will do their due diligence by providing our families with the same in class instructional hours per video for the online learners.
Acceptable documentation evidencing attendance during online learning:
Marked present in online attendance platform provided by district after student has logged into Schoology and onto their teacher attendance link to answer the daily question
Student needs to complete at least two assignments to be marked present per day. For example, teachers will tape their lessons per day and upload, this will cause students to be a day behind but attendance will be given for the day the lesson was recorded, as long as assignments are completed.
LTA staff will call students daily if they have not checked in by end of day
Students that are provided packets due to not being able to log into Schoology daily, will have specific dates on the pages for completion and turned in weekly for attendance purpose
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
For the 2020 Student October Count, in instances where the district will be providing an IEP to evidence a student has met one of the requirements for funding the IEP must be current and include services that encompass the pupil enrollment count date.
No flexibilities, beyond what is described below, will be provided for during the 2020 Student October Count in situations where the IEP annual review does not occur within the normal timeframe.
If the IEP is overdue but LTA has a written agreement between the parent and school to extend the existing IEP, the LTA should be prepared to provide the extended IEO and written agreement.
If the IEP being extended does not accurately reflect the services being provided to the student as of the pupil enrollment count date (10/1), LTA must also provide an accurate schedule.
For information, please visit “Special Education & COVID-19 FAQs” which can be found at the following location: http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/special_education_faqs
All staff will teach and reinforce the appropriate use of cloth face coverings among staff and students when in the vicinity of others. Staff will be instructed to wear masks when feasible.
Students are encouraged but not mandated to wear masks while in the building. Face coverings will be school approved uniform colors so they are not distracting to the learning environment.
All staff will teach appropriate hand washing techniques and reinforce covering coughs and sneezes while among children and staff. Scheduled breaks will occur during the day for hand hygiene.
Students will have a daily temperature check upon arrival to the school that will be logged. Any student dropped off at school should be symptom and temperature free.
Teachers will monitor students’ behavior and wellness throughout the day. If any symptoms arise student will be sent to the nurse for a full temperature and wellness check with a consultation with the parent. Students exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated with a staff member until a parent can pick up for further examination.
All visitors to the LTA building will be required to wear a mask.
Staff will avoid physical contact with other staff members and students as much as possible.
LTA facility manager will check ventilation systems to maintain proper air circulation and regularly during the day clean and sanitize facility.
LTA facility manager will provide and maintain cleaning supplies to ensure the facility is as clean as possible to support healthy hygiene practices.
Water fountains will be turned off during the pandemic to control the spread of germs. Each classroom will be provided with water to distribute to students as needed. Students and families will be encouraged to bring a bottle filled with water with students’ names written on it.
All classrooms will implement physical distances at all times to the greatest extent possible wherever and whenever possible. Staff and students will wear face coverings in school whenever possible, hallways, before and after school, when using facilities.
All classrooms will be cleaned and sanitized frequently throughout the day. Staff will teach students to clean and sanitize their own spaces and to keep areas around them orderly. Common areas will be cleaned and sanitized as much as possible between uses.
Staff will clean and sanitize all educational tools throughout the day: whiteboards, writing utensils, books, and any items students use.
Personal belongings will be separated as much as possible with individual labels.
Lower school classrooms will be in a cohort together, to include the same group each day, to minimize the mixing of classes/cohorts as much as feasible.
Upper school classrooms will clean and sanitize between class rotations with an adequate spacing of students in the hallway as much as feasible. Staff will limit gatherings and support proper hand hygiene.
Students will have lunch with their cohorts in their classrooms. We will utilize outdoor options for upper school students when appropriate to help maximize social distancing. All touchable surfaces will be cleaned before the lunchtime and between the next cohort’s use. All touchable surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized between and after lunch with all trashed disposed of in an outdoor trash receptacle.
Attendance will be taken everyday both in school and through online learning. Parents will need to notify the school and the teacher if a student will miss class due to an illness.
Illness absences will not count toward truancy. The school may ask for documentation after several missed days.
If a student has symptoms of COVID-19 while in the building they will be isolated and parents will be contacted. Then all parents will be contacted in that student’s cohort if the student test positive. Student’s will not be allowed into the building if they have a fever and say yes to any of the COVID-19 symptoms questions.
If a student has been exposed to COVID-19 they will need to be quarantined for 14 days while doing the online learning. If a student has COVID-19 they will have the option of doing the online learning while ill or after they have recovered. Students will still be required to complete the missing work during their illness.
LTA will provide clear guidance for staff members and parents on self-screening: temperature checks, home hygiene, and attendance. Parents will be required to check that students are symptoms and temperatures free before leaving their homes to attend school.
LTA will encourage both students and staff to stay home if they are a family member experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
LTA will create a communication process for staff and families to report symptoms and notifications of exposures.
LTA will establish a protocol specifically to report COVID-19 absences.
LTA will follow the state ordered closure criteria per the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Any school in Colorado with a single confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff or student will close for a minimum of 72 hours for cleaning and social distancing
Any schools that are closed will partner with their local public health agency to conduct contact tracing and further COVID-19 testing.
Any school with a second confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff or student within a 30 day period requires a second minimum 72 hour closure for cleaning, testing and public health investigation.
Any school with 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in staff or students within a 30 day period requires a closure for a minimum of 14 days.
If 3 schools in a district have confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a 30 day period, all schools within the district are required to close for a minimum of 14 days for cleaning, testing and public health investigation.
Face Mask Guidelines
It is our goal at LTA to make students and staff safety our top priority as we prepare to return to in-school learning. For this reason, ALL students will be required to wear a mask when entering the school at the beginning of the day and in the afternoon when leaving classrooms to go home. Grades K-4 may take their masks off in the morning when they get to their classrooms.
Grades 5-10 will be required to wear a mask per the state policy of every person above 10 years of age must wear a mask. We are asking parents of 5th and/or 6th graders who are still 10, to comply with this change, so teachers aren’t having to keep track of who has to wear a mask and who doesn’t.
These mask requirements will stay in effect until the state or country issues new requirements or loosens restrictions. Please watch for communication directly from LTA as our policies may differ from the rest of D49.
Liberty Tree Academy will continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the state of Colorado. As of 7/16/2020, Gov. Polis announced all individuals over the age of 10, will be required to wear a face-covering when entering or moving around in a public space.
Click here, to read the full executive order.
LTA Lower School Face Mask Guidelines – NOT MANDITORY
Masks are NOT MANDATORY for ages 10 and under. If you choose to have your student wear a mask to school, the only acceptable colors for lower school are solid red, solid navy, solid white, or solid black. Masks are not to have writing, patterns, symbols, or words on the outside. Please write or sew your student(s) name on the inside of the mask. Disposable masks, N-95 masks, face shields, and neck gaiters (approved colors only) are acceptable as long as they are new or washed daily.
LTA Upper School Face Mask Guidelines – MANDATORY
Masks are MANDATORY for ages 11 and above. Mask colors can be any solid color (no neon), similar to polo shirt colors. Masks are not to have writing, patterns, symbols, or words on the outside. Please write or sew your student(s) name on the inside of the mask. Disposable masks, N-95 masks, face shields, and neck gaiters (approved colors only) are acceptable as long as they are new or washed daily.