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Lower Merion School District

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Return to Full In-Person Instruction after MLK Day
Return to Full In-Person Instruction after MLK Day

UPDATE ON VIRTUAL LEARNING OPTION

Dear LMSD Families,

I hope you are doing well. After careful consideration, data analysis and collaboration with various stakeholders, I wanted to let you know that the District will be returning to "normal" in-person learning after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.

Starting Tuesday, Jan. 18, the option to join classes virtually will only be available to students who are quarantined or in isolation due to confirmed or presumed positive cases of COVID-19. Students who are not quarantined or isolated, but who choose to stay home, will be marked absent, as they usually are in cases of illness.

As a reminder, parents/guardians can excuse up to 15 absences during this school year. If a student is feeling ill or exhibiting symptoms as indicated in the Daily Screening Tool, they should stay home and that illness should be noted in the LMSD Safe Arrival System or in the note sent into school when the child returns. If an individual student is facing extenuating circumstances that prevent their attendance in school, parents/guardians should reach out to the building principal.

I want to thank the students, families and staff, who have been extremely flexible in the days since the end of Winter Break. This flexibility is indicative of the demonstrated patience and support of the students and families, while staff provided expert instruction to both "roomies" and "zoomies," despite multiple challenges. However, it is important to note that the dual instructional model is not sustainable for the long term. Not only is it extremely difficult to manage, it does not deliver the optimal educational or social-emotional learning experience that our children need. Schools remain one of the safest places for children, thanks to our ongoing mitigation efforts, and in-person instruction remains the best way to support our children's academic success and mental health.

The District's Health and Safety team is currently reviewing new guidance on testing, isolation and quarantines from the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH). Additional information about that guidance and its impact on our protocols will be forthcoming in a communication later this week.

In the meantime, masks continue to be required on buses and in all LMSD buildings. Staff will continue to encourage proper mask-wearing, along with frequent hand-washing and distancing to the extent possible in schools. And we continue to urge all eligible students and staff to get their full course of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. We are also reopening our facilities for community use (MLGBA, PVJSA, Aquatics, etc.) as of Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to keep our students, staff and community safe.

Sincerely,

Khalid N. Mumin, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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