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Belmont Hills Elementary School

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Supt. Copeland Welcomes Family to the 2021-2022 School Year
Supt. Copeland Welcomes Family to the 2021-2022 School Year

August 2021

Dear LMSD Families,

I hope you enjoyed a restful summer and I'm pleased to welcome you for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Our staff are all looking forward to welcoming students back to school two weeks from today on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 (Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, for Kindergarten).

I had hoped that I would be welcoming you back to a "normal" school year, without masks, contact-tracing, quarantines, social distancing and the many other challenges with which we have all become acquainted since March 2020. Unfortunately, we are facing yet another school year during which COVID-19 will have an impact.

The good news is that vaccines are widely available for everyone 12 and up. I remain hopeful that younger students will be able to begin receiving vaccines before the end of the calendar year or early in 2022. More than 90% of our staff are vaccinated and – while we are still receiving data – it appears that well over half of our eligible students are vaccinated as well. As a reminder, please send your child's proof of vaccination to healthservices@lmsd.org. If we reach vaccination rates of more than 90% in our schools, we may be able to lift some mask requirements.

We will continue to encourage and facilitate vaccination in our District and community. Health Services will be sharing information about a September vaccine clinic very soon. Higher vaccination rates and lower incidence and positivity rates are the strongest tools we have to reach our goal of safely keeping our schools open for fulltime in-person instruction for all students throughout the year.

As challenging as the past 18 months have been, they have produced positive impacts as well. Our students and staff have shown resilience, flexibility and creativity. Our staff and administration have identified some of what I'm calling "COVID Keepers." These include the creative and judicious use of additional technology in the classroom and at home to enhance learning, the weekly planners that you have told us you have found so helpful for time management, time-efficient virtual meetings that make it easier for staff to connect with each other and with you, and the development of more creative assessment tools that truly measure student understanding.

COVID has not been our only focus. Our K-4 and 5-8 committees continue their important work of reimagining our schools and curriculum as we move toward the opening of the new middle school and our grade reconfigurations in September 2022. Our staff has spent time in professional development working on their cultural proficiency skills to further the goals of our Equity Policy, which the Board approved in June. And we are working on providing a smooth transition for Dr. Khalid N. Mumin, as he prepares to take over as LMSD's next Superintendent later this fall.

As a final note, you can access important information on our website www.lmsd.org in the Parent tab under "Annual Notifications." Any family that would like paper copies of school and/or District communications can request them through the main office at their child's school.

I remain confident that in the coming months, and even after my tenure ends, no matter what the circumstances are or what changes we may have to make, our LMSD community will continue to work together to ensure that our children will have the skills they will need to succeed. I wish you the very best for this school year and I remain grateful for the opportunity to have served this District for these past six years.

Sincerely,

Robert Copeland
Superintendent