GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — District 51 is the largest school district in Colorado to remain open and in-person throughout the 2020-21 school year with some brief closures by grade, school, or level. Still, the past year has been challenging and unlike any other. There are concerns about learning gaps and dips in credits earned by students with numerous absences, students who were quarantined, and students in remote learning during the fourth quarter of last school year, which worked for some students but not for others.

In an effort to help these students get back on track, schools are using data to identify gaps daily, offering social-emotional support for all students, using problem-solving models to add supports, offering tutoring programs, adding high school classes for math and reading support, and offering credit recovery programs, including the D51 Online Credit Camp. There’s about a 5% increase this year of seniors across the district who are potentially off-track to graduate this spring. Schools continue to operate student learning centers to help students earn credits. In addition, D51 Online counselors and administrators meet with students in Credit Camp to go through their transcripts and talk about graduation plans; recover credits through OdysseyWare, GradPoint, and Schoology; receive tutoring; and foster relationships and connection, including mental health support. Data determines which students need help through the Credit Camp; current enrollment is about 20 students.

A High School Credit Work Group has also formed to look at problem-solving on credit loss, plans are being made for Extended Learning this summer, and the district is trying to expand systemic supports to stay on top of gaps and interventions. The MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support) team is supporting schools, and attendance and truancy support personnel are reaching out to families of students who are not going to school or logging on.