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Lower Merion School District


Supt. Copeland's Update for Elementary Families
Supt. Copeland's Update for Elementary Families

Dear LMSD Elementary School Families,

As you know, students will be returning to in-person hybrid instruction on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. I wanted to let you know that we do anticipate resuming LMSD Transportation Monday morning. In addition to the Health and Safety measure already in place, I wanted to make you aware of some changes recommended by our Health and Safety Committee that will be implemented upon students' return.


In-school snack breaks will no longer occur. Personal water bottles will still be permitted.

In light of the shortened student day in our hybrid model and the heightened risk of transmission whenever masks are removed, students will not be eating snacks in school. Families of students who need to eat while in school due to a medical issue/504 Plan should contact the school nurse for accommodations. Full-day Special Education students will be able to eat lunch at school.

Mask Breaks

Indoor mask breaks will no longer occur. If the weather is temperate and teachers determine there is adequate time, classes may take short, physically distanced mask breaks outside.

In addition, we have received numerous questions regarding post-travel quarantines and how students can access instruction if they cannot or choose not to attend in-person instruction in the coming weeks.

Quarantine After Travel

The Pa. Secretary of Health issued an order requiring all travelers who have reached their 11th birthday to produce a negative COVID-19 test result or quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Pennsylvania from out-of-state. This does not apply to children who have not yet reached age 11. LMSD can exclude children over age 11 from school if they do not follow this order.


If you have an elementary child who cannot return to in-person instruction, or if you choose not to have your elementary child return to in-person instruction, report your child's absence using the LMSD Safe Arrival system. Any parent/guardian can excuse 14 absences this year (an increase over years past due to the pandemic).

In addition to reporting the absence as indicated above, please notify your child's teacher that they will not be attending in-person instruction with their hybrid cohort. Students will be expected to complete all assigned work. Students who do not attend in-person instruction with their hybrid cohort will be marked absent. However, if those students engage in remote instruction when they are not physically in school between now and winter break, they will not be penalized as the absence is excused. Please note: teachers will be working primarily with students who are attending school.

We are hopeful that with everyone's continued vigilance and cooperation, we will be able to continue in-person hybrid instruction until the upcoming winter break. However, as mentioned in my previous update, we may have to close schools if the COVID-19 case counts reach set thresholds over a 14-day period or if we experience operational issues, such as a lack of adequate staffing.


Robert Copeland

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