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Challenger Middle School

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CMS Reopening Plan

Challenger Community,

I hope that everyone is well and families have had a restful summer.

This email is being sent to the entire Challenger Community in hopes of explaining our specific school opening plan for the 2020-21 school year and giving you and your family enough information to make the right decision for your student(s). Challenger’s administrative team and teachers have been working hard to put together a plan that first and foremost maximizes safety, and secondly provides for a high level of instruction and learning. Thank you for your continued grace and understanding as we push through this school year and know that things could change at any time.

If you have not read the district’s re-opening plan that was sent out yesterday, I would encourage you to do so. It provides a considerable amount of information in detail about the choices that families have about returning to school.

As explained in the district document, a student at the middle level has three choices.

  1. Total on-line curriculum.

Student will need to dis-enroll from Challenger and enroll in the Journey K8 program.

  1. Synchronous learning.

Families need to contact Challenger’s registrar Shelly Burson, (234-3030) or shelly.burson@asd20.org, by Monday, August 10th to let her know that is your intention.

  1. Hybrid learning.

Any student who has not chosen either the on-line program or the synchronous option will be enrolled in the hybrid model.

Challenger’s hybrid model (see attached graphic):

  • Students will be placed on teams and will have two core classes and one exploratory class per day. The two core teachers will be paired as Language Arts/Science and Math/Social Studies. Students will be further divided into “A” and “B” groups and will attend face to face instruction on their given days (“A” group attending on Monday and Tuesday, “B” group attending on Thursday and Fridays).
  • Students will have the same three teachers (LA/Science or Math/SS plus the exploratory teacher) each day for three weeks, then they will have the other two core classes and a different exploratory teacher for the next three weeks. This rotation will continue for the school year. This grouping of three teachers and half of a team will be the student’s cohort for the school year. We will make every reasonable effort to never mix cohorts.
  • A core teacher will have a two hour and fifteen-minute block to deliver their content, provide interventions and enrichment, and give students breaks.
  • Exploratory teachers will provide two hours of instruction per day. A very important change for this year is that there will not be any selection of exploratory classes as we have done with eighth graders in the past. All students will go through a rotation of exploratory classes being exposed to a variety of different offerings. Many of the traditional exploratory classes will look considerably different than in years past (no traditional band, limited vocal music, no French I and Spanish I, etc.).   
  • Students will be kept in cohort groups for breaks, lunch, and passing to the greatest extent possible.
  • We will not be using lockers this school year.

Just for clarification, students will have instruction for five days of the week. Face- to-face instruction will occur two days a week depending on your “A” or “B” group designation. Wednesday, all students will be involved with synchronous learning as they will log in from home for live instruction. This synchronous learning also occurs on the student’s days that they do not have face-to-face instruction. Be aware that synchronous learning requires the student to join the class at the regular scheduled class time to be involved with the instruction that is occurring. Attendance will be taken for all synchronous learners.

This plan limits class sizes which allows for additional social distancing, reduces mixing of students, and follows the CDC’s recommendation of having only three points of contact with adults. This plan also allows for an easy pivot if all on-line instruction is required. Mask wearing will be required by students and staff, and all students will be expected to abide by all the safety precautions put in place to not mix cohorts.

More information, including student’s A/B designations, will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Once again, I would like to thank our community for their continued support and patience during these unprecedented times.

Mr. Scott

Challenger Middle School is a sixth through eighth grade school within Academy 20 School District. The district services the north end of Colorado Springs and students on the United States Air Force Academy. Challenger has a rich history of academic excellence and continues to be one of the highest academic performing middle schools in the district. Challenger is the proud recipient of the John Irwin School of Excellence Award. This state level award is awarded to schools who demonstrate significant academic performance throughout the school year. Challenger, in conjunction with Mountain View Elementary and Pine Creek High School, makes up the middle level portion of the "Schools of Innovative Learning and Technology". Instruction is delivered through one to one iPad implementation for all students.  

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