Dear Laurence Families,
I can hardly believe that it is already December! While this year most certainly looks different than most, there is still so much to be thankful for. And we at Laurence are grateful for the opportunities we have, both virtual and in-person, to safely spend time with your beautiful children. As the holidays approach and the shorter days set in, we look forward to spreading some holiday cheer with a Winter Spirit Week, starting on December 14th and culminating with an all-school Family Holiday Party on December 18th! You will find more details about these festivities below.
First, however, I want to address health and safety during the upcoming months.
December Health & Safety
As we continue to hear from local and state authorities, the number of cases of COVID-19 in our community and beyond are continuing to rise exponentially. In response, Los Angeles County is now under a targeted Health Officer Order, which, among other things, prohibits gatherings with any individuals outside of your household, and advises residents to stay home as much as possible and always wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when outside the house and around others.
Notably, the current order specifies that "all schools and day camps remain open adhering to re-opening protocols." As such, our Kindergarten through 2nd grade classes, along with our after-school sports conditioning, will resume as scheduled starting next Monday, December 7th. If there is any change to this plan, and we need to shift back to remote learning and/or cancel sports conditioning, we will promptly communicate those changes to you.
In our weekly phone calls with the LA County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), they are reporting that, despite the rate of COVID-19 in the county, they are seeing very few outbreaks in the many schools that have opened. We continue to follow or exceed the strict guidelines from LACDPH, with the support of our own medical task force. We have continued to take extra cleaning and disinfecting measures during this virtual learning week, and we are COVID testing our faculty and staff twice prior to the return of our students. We believe in the power of the in-person experience for our students, and we will be well-prepared to welcome your children back to campus next week.
While the school is taking important steps, the home-school partnership with our families is crucial to protecting the health and safety of your children and our employees. If you traveled over the Thanksgiving holiday break/virtual week or participated in gatherings outside of your household, we ask that you follow the county, state, and CDC guidance to self-quarantine prior to returning to campus, and have your child participate remotely/skip sports conditioning. These additional safety precautions will go a long way in keeping all of us as safe as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Nurse Anna or Melissa in our Health Office.
When we return from Winter Break, Monday, January 4th is an in-service day for our faculty and staff, and no school for our students. January 5th - 8th will be a virtual week for all, and we will be COVID testing our faculty and staff. Today, the CDC issued a strong warning against travel over the holidays. If you travel over Winter Break/virtual week, we request that you follow the county, state, and CDC guidance to self-quarantine prior to returning to campus, and have your child participate remotely/skip sports conditioning.
We intend to resume on-campus learning for our Kindergarten - 2nd grade students starting the week of January 11th. We are also planning expanded on-campus opportunities for our 3rd-6th graders in addition to sports conditioning, and pursuant to the county's 25% guidelines related to meeting our students' social-emotional learning needs. We are finalizing important details of our plans and will be in touch soon. We remain hopeful that the case numbers will start to come down in the new year, allowing for the county to lessen restrictions for our older students.
Holiday Joy for Our Laurence Family
Although we are surrounded with the sobering news of the pandemic and the many changes in all of our lives, we also recognize that we are fast approaching the winter holiday season. Our students (and all of us) need some positivity, joy, and fun now more than ever, and we believe it is important to preserve the feeling of merriment that typically comes along with this time of year for our students. Initially, we were planning to hold another holiday drive thru event, but given the current situation, we do not think it is prudent to hold an in-person (even distanced) event for our entire community. Instead, we are excited to lead into our Winter Break with a festive Winter Spirit Week! Here is a sneak peak at our plans… stay tuned for more details!
- Monday, 12/14 - A Long Winter's Nap: It's pajama day! Bring your favorite bedtime story to share with your class.
- Tuesday, 12/15 - Holiday Headwear: Don your festive headgear -- antlers, Frozen tiaras, beanies, etc.
- Wednesday, 12/16 - Winter Wonderland: Even though we don't have snow, we can still pretend! Dress head to toe in all white.
- Thursday, 12/17 - Tacky T-shirt/Sweater: Break out your craziest holiday garb!
- Friday, 12/18 - Festive Free-dress Friday:
- Wear your favorite holiday outfit … whether you choose to dress up like Santa and his elves, or wear your fanciest holiday attire, we can't wait to see what you choose!
- At 5:15 pm, join us for another all-school virtual community event! We will be joined by renowned NY magician, Harrison Kramer, followed by a holiday dance party with DJ Spider, and his hype man Jude!
Additionally, be sure to "join" us for our December 11th and 18th winter and holiday-themed Red, White, Blue & Green Assemblies!
Thank you for your continued support this year - our community is simply amazing and I am grateful for each of you! I cannot wait until we can all be together again. Until then, sending virtual hugs your way!