Dear LFS Families,
As some of you may already know, late last week the Chester County Health Department (CCHD) made a formal recommendation that all public and private K-12 schools in both Chester and Delaware Counties remain in virtual mode through at least Friday, October 9. Thus, we will begin our school year teaching virtually in grades K to 6.
At the same time, because this recommendation does not apply to Pre-K, and after discussion with our CCHD representative and their approval of our Pre-K plan, we are going to begin the year with in-person Pre-K instruction. We understand that our youngest students are least able to benefit from a solely virtual teaching environment-and are a small group that we can most easily teach and isolate in their own building and playground.
While we had been planning for a full return to campus for all students, and while we are deeply committed to in-person learning, we also are mindful of the significant risks of COVID-19 transmission. We want to make sure that we are not only keeping the LFS community as safe as possible, but that we are faithfully contributing to the overall health of the wider community during this health crisis.
Two weeks ago, we sent you a great deal of information about school re-opening (Find it HERE). We intend for these careful return-to-campus health and safety plans not only to guide our in-person Pre-K opening this September, but also to inform our work with you and your children when we ultimately are able to open our campus to all students. We hope that that will be as soon after October 9 as possible.
Fortunately, our faculty and staff have been working all summer also to prepare for virtual/distance learning. In fact, we met this morning as a full group to fine-tune a few final details related to our distance learning program, including the weekly schedule, the approaches to teaching remotely, the use of technology, and school-home communication. Now that we know that we will begin the school year for grades K-6 in virtual mode, we will be sending you all of this information next week. This will include a weekly schedule for your child, what you can expect in terms of teaching practices and assessment, how laptops and other supplies will be distributed, and how we will be communicating with you and your child while in distance mode. We also will include a detailed Q/A document, based on many of the questions we have received from parents already this summer. Next week's communication will also include invitations to parent "Town Hall" Zoom meetings, where we can address any questions directly prior to the start of the school year on Thursday, September 10.
While last week's recommendation from CCHD came somewhat unexpectedly, we at least now appear to have more clarity and less uncertainty about the beginning of school. Please be on the lookout for next week's more detailed communication about our distance learning program, as well as class-specific communications from your child's teachers in the days to follow. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out. We welcome all questions and suggestions, particularly as we all work together to balance safety with children's needs to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.
Neal M. Brown, Ed.D.
Interim Head of School