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Lower Merion School District


March 5, 2021, Update from Supt. Copeland
March 5, 2021, Update from Supt. Copeland

At Monday's Education Committee/Supplemental Meeting of the Lower Merion Board of School Directors, I will make a recommendation that we begin to move out of our hybrid model and move students to more in-person instruction starting the week of March 22, 2021. Exact schedules for this phased-in process will vary by grade level. I have opted to make the recommendation with this timing for a few reasons.

  • First, we continue to see lower positivity numbers in our schools and community. The District had no positive cases in our schools Tuesday through Friday this week – none reported to us by the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, none reported by families to our COVID Healthline and none revealed through our ACE-IT assurance testing program.
  • Next, Governor Wolf has announced that all educators will be able to receive the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine by the end of the month. We anticipate that our staff who have not already been vaccinated will begin receiving these vaccines as soon as next week.
  • Also, I have been comparing notes with my fellow superintendents who have begun this process in nearby districts. While there is no risk-free way to fully reopen our schools, they are not reporting significant in-school transmission.
  • Finally, starting additional in-person instruction prior to Spring Break will give us time over the Break to evaluate what is working and what isn't and to make any necessary adjustments.

We know that you have a lot of questions about this proposal. Therefore, I urge you to take note of the following information regarding next steps in this process.

  • Presentation to the Board
    • Monday, March 8, 2021, at 8:00 p.m.
    • The meeting will be livestreamed on the District website,
  • Informational Meetings (March 9, 10 & 11)
    • Each principal will hold an informational meeting this week (via Zoom) to share specific details with parents/guardians about what the return to more in-person instruction will look like in their building.
    • Zoom links are provided at the end of this letter
  • FAQs
    • A list of frequently asked questions about the return to more in-person instruction plan will be available on the District website after the presentation to the Board.
  • Spring Pathway Change Request Form
    • Families of students in LMSD@Home or the hybrid model (including Flex) who want to switch their student from their current pathway for the remainder of the year may be able to do so. (Note: LMVA students who have committed to LMVA must remain in the program for the semester.)
    • Tuesday, March 9, 2021, a link will be shared with families and the Spring Pathway Change Request Form will go live.
    • All Spring Pathway Change Requests are due by midnight Sunday, March 14, 2021.
  • Transportation
    • The return to more in-person instruction will necessitate changes in bus stop locations and times
    • Check the PowerSchool Parent Portal the weekend of March 20-21, 2021, to confirm bus stop location and time for your student(s).

As we work to safely return students to more in-person instruction, it is vitally important that all families continue to follow the health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Remember that all students must be screened every day before coming to school and that any student exhibiting symptoms must be kept home. We suggest printing out or bookmarking the screening tool, which can be found here, for easy reference.

Thank you for your continuing commitment to keeping our students, staff and community safe.


Robert L. Copeland

Parent/Guardian Information Sessions

Spring 2021 Return to full in-person

Elementary Schools

Wednesday, March 10, at 6:00 p.m.

Belmont Hills

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Meeting ID: 811 145 3926

Passcode: BHES


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

6:00 p.m.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

6:00 p.m.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

6:00 p.m.
Meeting ID: 984 5270 6487
Passcode: 409032

Penn Valley

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
6:00 p.m.

Penn Wynne

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
6:00 p.m.

Meeting ID: 930 5137 9618

Passcode: 511452

Middle Schools

Thursday, March 11, 2021, 6:00 p.m.

Bala Cynwyd

Thursday, March 11, 2021

6:00 p.m.
Meeting ID: 920 7563 7509
Passcode: BCMS

Welsh Valley

Thursday, March 11, 2021

6:00 p.m.

High Schools

Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 7:00 p.m.


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

7:00 p.m.

Register: to receive the Zoom coordinates

Lower Merion

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

7:00 p.m.

Passcode: 181380

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