July 16, 2020
July 16, 2020

Dear Laurence Families,

I miss you all and hope to see you soon! As I mentioned in last week's email, the current rising trend of COVID-19 cases in the Los Angeles area is concerning, and we are closely and continuously monitoring guidance from and consulting with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and our medical task force. While we continue planning to return to campus for the 2020-21 school year, we are also keenly aware of the potential need to go remote. The health and safety of our students, staff, and families remain our top priorities.

As you have likely heard, the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District announced that, as of now, all public schools will start the school year in August with remote learning. We are not obligated to adhere to the decisions of our local school district; however, becoming educated about and understanding LAUSD's reasons for not opening is important and necessary for us to consider. Please know that we are seeking more information, as we continue reviewing and reflecting on our reopening plans.

Fortunately, we are small and nimble and have access to resources, as compared to a large school system of 75,000 employees, over 500,000 students, and thousands of campuses. We can pivot much faster than a large school district.  We have a full 8 weeks until our students are scheduled to return to campus. At this time, we will continue to watch the case numbers in our community, while moving full steam ahead with plans for both in-person and remote instruction. As we learned last spring, the orders and guidelines surrounding this pandemic evolve and change on an almost daily basis, and we need to be ready to shift between learning options in a moment's notice. Our faculty have learned a lot about remote teaching and learning, and are continuing with ongoing professional development throughout the summer. We are excited for the new year, and will be ready with a great program for our students.

We know that the uncertainty surrounding the start of the school year can be unsettling for you, as parents, as well as your children. Let's continue to monitor the local health conditions, and be hopeful that changes being made in our communities today will yield positive results over the next several weeks.  We will continue to be in touch regarding any changes to the start of our school year.

In the meantime, we continue to move forward with preparing our campus for the return of our staff and students. Throughout the summer, we are:

  • Reconfiguring classrooms and workspaces
  • Reducing furniture in classrooms to increase space for physical distancing, while reducing surfaces needing disinfecting
  • We continue to acquire:
    • Face masks
    • Face shields
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Portable sinks
    • State of the art cleaning equipment
  • We are also in contact with local schools that stayed open during the closures, or who have since reopened, to learn from their experiences and glean best practices to employ when we return to campus.
  • Additionally, we actively communicate with and work in concert with our peer schools as we share plans for practices that afford us the best chance to do what we do best - create a thriving campus learning experience for our students, families, and teachers.
  • Further, we are developing a comprehensive document that will outline return to school protocols and procedures, and safety measures.

We welcome you to join us next Wednesday, July 22nd, at 5:30 pm, to hear from our school administrators, trustees, medical task force, and Parent Association, as we share our overall thinking and steps being taken.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to any one of us. We are here for you anytime as we navigate this uniquely difficult time together.

Warmly,
Laurie