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Important Update from Start of the 2020-2021 School Year

By Patrick Motter, Development and Communications Assistant
Mullen High School has determined that we will open in Phase 3 - Distance Learning. 
 
Welcome and Orientations begin Monday, August 17, 2020. 

The first day of classes will be Monday, August 31, 2020. 
 
Decision & Data
We have continuously prayed, deliberated and reflected over the course of the entire summer and, heeding the advice from our founder St. John Baptist De la Salle to “take care that your school runs well,” we have arrived at this challenging decision. In-person learning is our first priority, but we have to be sure we conduct it safely. For the time being, opening in Phase 3 - Distance Learning is the safest posture.

We very much want to be back with our students. We are built to be with them and we cannot wait to be with them. However, even with our tireless planning for the school year, we do not believe opening in Phase 1 or 2 is in the overall best interest of the community. Following the Gold and Blueprint published on July 8, 2020, and incorporating the latest information from federal, state and local officials, we are confident opening in Phase 3 is the best way to protect the health and safety of our community - students, faculty and staff and families. 

The schedule for Phase 3 is delineated later in this document. 

The rationale for our determination to open in Phase 3 is based on current guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and the Colorado Department of Education and Health. As you know, as of this writing, Colorado remains under Safer at Home guidance. While we have done a great deal in preparation for in-person learning during the pandemic by creating passive screening protocols for students and active screening protocols for adults, closing the campus to visitors, developing procedures to address positive cases, working on ventilation, social distancing our classrooms as much as possible, planning release times into the hallways, considering lunch plans, designing new cleaning and sanitizing protocols, purchasing personal protective equipment for faculty and staff and implementing all manner of other alterations, we have simultaneously paid close attention to the changing circumstances.  

Current benchmarks in public health data have influenced our decision making. They will continue to do so. Infection rates for children aged 10 to 19 are similar to infection rates for adults 20 to 49 (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland). This is of significant concern to us. Further, we note from the recent CDC guidelines, schools cannot be opened safely for in-person instruction if the virus is not contained in the local community and the decision to open schools has to be a local decision based on the latest available, local scientific data.A local daily infection rate of less than 5 percent is an indicator that the community has the virus in check. CDC guidance calls for a downward trend for 14 days. As we determine to move from one Phase to another, we will be following, first, orders of the Governor of Colorado and the Colorado Department of Public Health then the Mayor of Denver and the Denver County Health Department.  If either entity changes recommendations on the number of people who can be in buildings safely, we change Phases. 

These weeks of online learning will only be a part of the experience of our students. They will not be the full experience. You did not select Mullen as an online school and we know that. You selected Mullen to be a part of a college prep, Lasallian, Catholic community. You selected Mullen to have your students be together with their teachers and coaches and moderators and classmates. Our weeks in Distance Learning will be the exceptions to that reality. 

Online Option
Finally, families may choose to have their students attend school entirely online by selecting the Online Trimester option. If that is what your family wishes, please read and complete the forms for that option as soon as possible. Students will remain in the Online Trimester for the full trimester. There is no change in tuition for the Online Trimester Option.

Phase 3 - Distance Learning
During any weeks of Phase 3 - Distance Learning, we will connect your students to their  coaches and counselors, moderators and mentors. No matter the Phase we are in, our students will be empowered to participate in all Colorado High School Activities Association sponsored events and practices both on campus and off that are deemed safe by the State of Colorado and CHSAA. We will continue to support these critical activities. We will continue to inspire the spiritual life of our students while we are away with virtual prayer and service opportunities and more. We will celebrate our school with online communal events. Our Distance Learning program will be superior to what it was last spring when we were in Emergency Remote Learning. We will incorporate all that we have learned from those weeks, and will provide temporary instruction for our community. We have a set schedule with synchronous classes daily, with access to counselors and advisors and with the aforementioned participation in sports and activities. As soon as conditions allow, we will return to school in either Phase 1 or Phase 2. 

Two Week Intervals
We have also determined that analyzing our situation in 2 week intervals is in the best interest of the community. Therefore, Mullen will be in Phase 3 until Friday, September 11, 2020. We will continue to monitor health conditions and recommendations to determine when it is safe to change to a different Phase. An announcement about what Phase we will be in for the two week period Monday, September 14, 2020 - Friday, September 25, 2020, will be made on Friday, September 4, 2020. 

Schedule
The Phase 3 - Distance Learning schedule is as follows:
 
 
Students Return to Campus
The days before the start of classes on August 31 will not go idly by. Rather, we will bring our students together for Welcome and Orientation. These events will be conducted at social distance and in small group cohorts. Everyone present on campus will be required to wear masks. All students will meet their teachers, learn about our Phases for the year, have their school photos taken, engage in technology instruction and pray together. Students must be in full dress code for Welcome and Orientation Days. School begins for cohort groups on Monday, August 17, 2020. 

See the schedule below and please note that attendance is critical and mandatory.

Monday, August 17, 2020 - 10th Grade |Welcome, Photos, Technology Training, etc.
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 - 11th Grade |Welcome, Photos, Technology Training, etc.
Wed., August 19, 2020 - 12th Grade |Welcome, Photos, Technology Training, etc.
Thursday, August 20, 2020 - 9th Grade Orientation
Friday, August 21, 2020 - 9th Grade |Welcome, Photos, Technology Training, etc.

Monday, August 24, 2020 - 12th Grade | Syllabus & Meet Teachers
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 11th Grade | Syllabus & Meet Teachers
Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - 10th Grade | Syllabus & Meet Teachers
Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 9th Grade | Syllabus & Meet Teachers

 
Welcome and Orientation
The Fall Welcome and Orientation Days Schedules is as follows
 
 

Thursday, August 20, 2020 9th Grade Orientation
Details to follow
  
 
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever!

Sincerely,

 
Raul Cardenas, PhD
President & Chief Executive Officer



Jeffrey M. Howard
Principal & Chief Academic Officer
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