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July 28, 2020, Update from Supt. Copeland on Reopening
July 28, 2020, Update from Supt. Copeland on Reopening

Dear LMSD Families,

Thank you to everyone who has filled out our Family Survey thus far. If you have not yet answered the survey, please do so before noon on Thursday. Thanks also to the hundreds of you who have shared your thoughts on reopening by emailing 2020ReopeningComments@lmsd.org.

In reviewing the emails, survey responses thus far and feedback from the LMVA Information sessions, it is clear that many families want to keep their children home to engage in fully virtual learning for the upcoming year. It is also clear that those families would prefer a fully virtual learning option that offers LMSD curriculum delivered by LMSD staff.

Therefore, I would like to let you know that early indications are that enough families are interested in a fully virtual model that we are working on plans to provide a virtual academy staffed by LMSD educators and using LMSD curriculum.

This option – similar to what we will offer if our schools go fully remote – will include both synchronous and asynchronous instruction. The amount of synchronous instruction will vary depending on grade level and course. At the high school level, some synchronous instruction may be provided via livestreaming.

To summarize, at this time, scenarios under consideration are:

  • Full opening (with face coverings, increased hygiene and social distancing to the extent feasible),
  • Hybrid reopening (with half the students in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays and half on Thursdays and Fridays, with remote instruction on the non-in-person days and deep cleanings on Wednesdays between cohorts)
    • As a consideration of this model, some students needing support and/or possibly kindergarten students may be in school four days each week
  • Schools closed/all remote instruction
    • Instruction will be a combination of synchronous/asynchronous
    • As a consideration of this model some students needing support might be brought into school for small group instruction for some partial days

PLUS:

  • Virtual Academy/remote instruction regardless of whether schools are open, in hybrid or closed
    • Enrollment decision for a semester at a time
    • Instruction will be a combination of synchronous/asynchronous

The Lower Merion Board of School Directors plans to hold an Informational Session about these options on August 3, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. The Board will vote on a Reopening Plan at a Special Board Meeting on August 5, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. Zoom information will be shared in a future update.

I hope this email has helped to clarify some ongoing issues and concerns. This remains a complicated planning process and we appreciate your input and support as we continue to work to provide the best options for our students, staff and community.

Sincerely,

Robert Copeland
Superintendent

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