A Memo From Superintendent Tracy Wrend
April Break, School Calendar, and Attendance
Based on guidance from the Vermont Agency of Education, we expect to follow the published LSUU calendar for the rest of the school year. That means we will take a break as scheduled, from April 13-17, 2020.
Student meals will continue to be available for pick up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the April break.
We are taking daily student attendance in all schools. Provided students engage in distance learning on a daily basis, all days will count and we will end this school year in June as planned. That means that it is super important that we connect with every student every day. If your student is sick and unable to engage in learning on some days, we understand; please just let us know.
Details about the last days of school will be finalized later this spring. Additional guidance about traditional, end-of-year events is expected in the coming weeks and we will provide updates and information when we know more.
Thanks to all who responded to our request for feedback regarding distance learning. In less than 24 hours, over 600 parents replied! If you have not had a chance to provide feedback on how distance learning is going so far, you can access a brief survey here. We will be accepting responses until Monday morning.
Early parent feedback suggests a wide range of feelings about how distance learning is going for students and families, from feeling overwhelmed and frustrated to supported and pleased with progress students are making. A majority of parents indicate that the amount of work is just right, with some saying there is too little work and some saying there is too much. Some common challenges include the structure of the day and sustaining student engagement. Connections with teachers and the use of technology for “meetings’ are areas of success.
Principals will be reviewing the feedback for each school in order to help us improve. We know it is hard to work from home and support student learning and that every family is doing the very best they can. Thank you for your partnership and support!
We know some students and families do not have internet access. To help, we are working on a pilot, in partnership with Capstone Community Action and with the support of some generous donors, to provide 50 cell phones with wifi hot spots (and talk, text, and data) for families that need high-speed internet access. We will be reaching out to families to offer this opportunity next week. As we learn what works, we may expand this opportunity further. We are also pursuing other options to ensure all students have access to learning and all families have the tools they need for the wellbeing of all in the household.
Stay Home, Stay Safe
Better weather and more free time may be prompting more outdoor time. While we encourage people to get outside, we want to remind everyone to follow social distancing rules and stay six feet apart. We are hearing about students, especially older ones, who may need reminders about the stay home, stay safe order. Outdoor recreation is encouraged, provided people stay 6’ apart. Social gatherings are not allowed, even with social distancing. Sports and recreation equipment should not be shared. Frequent handwashing is still very important, including washing every time you come in from outdoors. Outdoor school facilities are open for student and public use, but if we continue to see use that is unsafe, they may be closed.