BACK TO SCHOOL INFORMATION
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Dear LFS Families,
In early August, we were all set with detailed plans to have all students return to campus to start the school year. Then the Chester County Health Department (CCHD) formally recommended that all public and private K-12 school campuses remain closed through October 9. We opted with an abundance of caution to follow that recommendation by implementing our distance learning program in grades K-6. In consultation with our liaison at CCHD, we also chose to welcome our nine Pre-K students to campus. For the past four weeks, we’ve been hard at work both engaging our Pre-K children (with strict health and safety protocols in place) here on campus and delivering meaningful learning, albeit remotely, to the rest of our students in grades K-6. While neither teaching remotely nor teaching on campus with social distancing measures in place are ideal, we feel pleased that we spent so much time last summer planning for both of these scenarios and also proud of what we have accomplished so far this fall.
As we now turn the calendar to October, we are on schedule to return all students to campus. We know how beneficial it will be to have our students on campus with their teachers and with their peers. At the same time, we are acutely aware that for us to teach your children on campus, all of us at school and at home will need to follow strict health and safety guidelines. This won't necessarily come easily or naturally to any of us, but we have learned a great deal from our experience this month with Pre-K, and we’ve had even more time to fine-tune our return-to-campus health and safety plans.
Making the transition, though, from distance teaching to on-campus teaching will take some adjustment and final preparation on the part of the faculty and staff. Teachers in particular need time to get into their classrooms, and to work together with administrators on protocols for morning drop off, afternoon pick up, lunch, recess, and classroom configurations that enable us to maintain social distancing throughout the day. Having the opportunity for us to try out these protocols without all students on campus also increases the likelihood of a smooth and safe transition to in-person teaching.
Thus, our plan is to observe the following schedule for the week of Monday, October 12.
Monday: No School (Holiday)
Tuesday: No School for Grades K-6 (Pre-K on Campus): Transition Day for K-6 Faculty and Staff
Wednesday: Grades K, 5, and 6 on Campus (with Pre-K): Distance Learning for Grades 1,2,3, and 4
Thursday: Grades 3 and 4 join Grades Pre-K, K, 5, and 6 on Campus: Distance Learning for Grades 1 and 2.
Friday: Grades 1 and 2 join the rest of the students on campus. Distance Learning program ends (for now).
Back in August, we shared an earlier version of our health and safety protocols. Please take a moment to review them. Our shared commitment to following these protocols will be the key to our community’s safety--and to our successful return to campus overall.
To that end, we also invite you to attend a this coming Wednesday, October 7 at 7PM. There we will overview the health and safety protocols and address any and all questions. Please use this link to access the Zoom orientation
We recognize, understandably, that there will be a range of parent reactions to this decision to return to campus. We also acknowledge the weighty challenge for families to manage yet another transition in this year already so full of transitions and uncertainty. We also are aware that new information and circumstances related to COVID could quickly alter these plans, so we’re hesitant to say what will definitely be in the weeks to come.
As I mentioned this summer and again at last week’s Back to School Night, we are deeply committed to teaching your children as safely as possible, and in a way that reflects our school's vision and approach, despite the pandemic.
We look forward to speaking with you at next Wednesday evening’s Return to Campus Parent Orientation. As always, please reach out to me with any questions, suggestions, and/or concerns. Our home/school partnership is more important than ever.
Neal M. Brown, Ed.D.
Interim Head of School