Important Updates to LSRLA & Staffing

Important Updates to LSRLA & Staffing
Posted on 08/28/2020
Dear L-S Families,


Many L-S Staff, Administrators and teachers have worked through the summer to do professional development and plan for the new school year. The focus of the summer planning was to create a viable learning model for the start of school, revise curriculum to adjust for what was not taught last spring and an anticipated shortened new school year, enhance technological supports and skills for remote learning, update safety equipment needs, and develop safety protocols.


This Monday all L-S staff will return in its entirety to commence two weeks of additional intensive training and preparation to receive all students on September 15. During this same time, there will be an in-school orientation for grade 10, 11, and 12 students who are new to L-S on September 8. On the following day we plan to receive grade 9 students for their orientation to L-S. Orientations to safety protocols for all students will be done during school the week of September 15.


Due to safety precautions for the staff that work in person during the summer, the school building was closed to all other staff with limited exceptions. The furnishings in all classrooms have been rearranged to reinforce social distancing. Delivery of instruction has been reconsidered to limit the sharing of materials. Accordingly, all staff returning to school this Monday will be re-orienting themselves to altered spaces, revised curriculum and instruction and new safety protocols.


Most significantly, teachers will be preparing to implement a brand new hybrid learning plan uniquely developed to support student learning and safety for all members of our school community. Our learning model for this school year has undergone a significant evolution of development led by the Learning Continuity Committee over the summer. The schedule of classes for the hybrid plan can be found at this link.


I also want you to know we are planning for 29 out of 160 L-S faculty to be working entirely remote. 9 of the 29 faculty working remotely are not classroom subject teachers. In the L-S hybrid plan the schedule allows each class to meet in-person one block a week. In this case, the 20 remote subject teachers will broadcast on a screen into the classroom to students who are present in-person. Instructional aides will support students in-person at the direction of the teacher who is broadcasting into the classroom.


Additionally 170 out of 1530 L-S students enrolled in LSRLA to be entirely remote. We initially thought we could create autonomous sections for the LSRLA that would meet the needs and interests of the students as reflected by the courses they had selected. Once we finalized our LSRLA student enrollment we found we lacked sufficient critical mass to create stand alone sections to match the diversity of the course options students had picked.


We have determined that a more equitable option is to embed all LSRLA students into the schedule of classes as described in the hybrid plan.

• Schedules of the LSRLA students will reflect what they had chosen originally.

• They will have the access to the same teachers as any other student will be.

• This allows them a better opportunity to stay connected with their classmates.

• It allows a smoother transition if we all switch from hybrid into 100% remote learning.

They will share all of the same remote sessions as the other students in their class. The only difference is that they will miss the once a week in-person block. We will continue to develop ways to bridge this difference over the next two weeks.


I appreciate your flexibility as we continue to find ways to adapt our program to support the needs of all our students under these variable circumstances. We have had to make several adjustments to our models over the summer including having to abandon one approach for another. What may work in theory we don’t know doesn’t work in reality until we apply real schedules representing real students to the models. We are committed to making sure we are equitably addressing the academic needs of all our students.


We did imagine from the start that this would be a taxing endeavor and it has been! In anticipation, we started immediately after the last school year ended. However, I do not think we thought it would entail this non-stop effort throughout the summer. I am incredibly proud of the dedication and care to which staff has brought to this effort. This includes our buildings and grounds, all support staff as well as our teachers and administrators plus the members of the School Committee who have met weekly this summer. Have no doubt how much we are looking forward to bringing our students back to school this fall!


Sincerely,

Bella Wong