old town

Back to School 5 Days a Week

As most of you have heard, LMS will return to in-person learning. 6th grade will return 5 days a week on April 26, 7th grade will return on May 3, and 8th grade will return on May 10. There are some common questions that I will answer.

What allows us to come back?

A few key events and changes have happened over the past few weeks. Guidance has changed so that the deep cleaning is no longer necessary, since spread of the coronavirus doesn’t happen through contact with surfaces. This makes the Wednesdays of deep cleaning unnecessary. Also, although federal guidelines still recommend 6-foot distancing, state guidelines are more flexible. Just a foot of distance allows more students in each room.

Just last week, teachers were moved to the front of the vaccination line, recognizing and protecting us as essential workers. Nurse Vanessa and Molly Slauenwhite (from PCHC) arranged for all teachers (who wished to do so) to be vaccinated with the first shot this week. The second shot will be in 4 weeks, and it will take full effect for everyone by April 23.

How did we choose the dates of return?

6th grade returns the very first school day after teachers are fully vaccinated. Although we are truly excited to have all of our students back—as we know most kids are—we also realize it will be an adjustment for our students. We know that we will have to build routines, also. We can provide more support and be more successful in this transition if we focus on one grade level at a time. We allowed a week for each new grade to adjust before bringing back the next group.

In addition to the above considerations, there are many details we have to work out—including schedules, breakfast and lunch, use of rooms, and bussing.

What are the conditions of coming back?

Although guidance on cleaning surfaces and distancing while masked has been adjusted, there remain some very important requirements.

1)   Everyone must continue to wear masks while in school.

2)   We do still have to keep the greatest distance between people as possible.

3)   When students are eating, they have to maintain the 6-foot distance and may not talk.

Is fully remote still an option?

Yes! Any family may choose in-person or fully remote for the rest of the year, regardless of how their current choice. That choice will have to be final. Our school will be filled to capacity, and numbers are critical. We will create our plan around those numbers, and will not have much room for adjustments after the plan is made.

Fully remote will look a little bit different than it has. We will have specific teachers dedicated to working with those fully remote students all the time. They will, essentially, be a team of their own. This will allow focused attention for those remote learners and also allow in-person teachers to focus on the students in school. Remote students will follow the same curriculum as the in-person learners and their teachers will coordinate many of the activities with the in-person teachers.

If you have questions about either option, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher.

When your family has made your decision, please let us know by doing one of the following:

1)   Fill out the paper survey that you receive with your child’s report card.

      OR

2)   Fill out this online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FHV7GZZ

Every family will get their choice, but will not be able to change after that request is made (except, of course, for unforeseen and extenuating circumstances).