Greetings LCS Staff, Families, and Community Members,
Hopefully, you had an opportunity to watch Governor Northam’s press conference on Tuesday, June 9. During the conference, he provided guidance regarding using Phase One, Two, and Three approaches to reopening schools. Lynchburg City Schools (LCS) will enter Phase One and Two pending review of the guidance documents received on June 9 and the submission of mandatory plans. During Phase Two, priority for safe, in-person instruction will be limited to students in grades PreK-3, English Learners, students with disabilities, and students participating in summer camps. During Phase Three, all students may receive some in-person instruction. Schools most likely will use staggered schedules and blended/remote learning options while implementing social distancing practices on buses, in classrooms, and in communal use spaces such as gyms, hallways, playgrounds, auditoriums, restrooms, and cafeterias. A specific start date for Phase Three has not been provided by the Governor at this time.
1. What guidance did LCS receive for reopening schools?
Shortly after the Governor’s press conference on June 9, we received from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) the 135-page Recover, Redesign, and Restart document which provides guidance for reopening schools in Phases One, Two and Three. We also received the Governor’s Phase Guidance for Virginia Schools and are currently reading and reviewing the guidance that was provided. This guidance is available on the VDOE website.
2. Does LCS have a team or task force that is working to reopen schools?
Yes. LCS has formed the LCS Dream Team consisting of teachers, administrators, and health, counseling, transportation, facilities, and nutrition representatives. The LCS Dream Team will follow the guidance provided to develop our Health Mitigation Plan, a mandatory document that outlines our compliance with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for schools. The Health Mitigation Plan must be submitted to the VDOE prior to reopening schools and providing any in-person instruction or activities. The LCS Dream Team will also develop our 2020-21 Instructional Plan for both Phase Two and Three. The Instructional Plan must be submitted to the VDOE prior to starting school in the fall. These plans, when completed, will be posted on our website.
The LCS Dream Team has nine subcommittees:
- Organizational Subcommittee
- Safety & Response Subcommittee
- Athletics & Extra-Curricular Subcommittee
- Family & Community Engagement and Communication Subcommittee
- PreK-3rd Grade Teaching & Learning Subcommittee
- 4th-5th Grade Teaching & Learning Subcommittee
- 6th-8th Grade Teaching & Learning Subcommittee
- 9th-12th Grade Teaching & Learning Subcommittee
- Special Populations Teaching & Learning Subcommittee
3. Will staff, students, families, and community members be able to provide input, comments, suggestions, and feedback to the LCS Dream Team prior to completing the final plans?
Yes. The LCS Dream Team and subcommittees will host virtual focus groups, send out surveys to stakeholders, and have a place on our website where staff, students, families, and community members can provide input, comments, suggestions, and feedback.
4. Will the 2020-21 calendars for Bass Elementary School (year-round) and all LCS schools change?
In order to properly prepare for the upcoming school year, W. M. Bass Elementary School will follow the same calendar as all other LCS schools for the 2020-21 school year. The LCS Dream Team and Organizational Subcommittee will review the guidance received on June 9 and make recommendations for any changes in the overall school calendar, as needed.
5. Where can we receive current and up to date information regarding LCS’s plan to reopen schools?
We recognize that staff, students, families, and community members may have lots of questions, and our team is working diligently to address many of them. Information will be posted and updated on our website and social media sites. We will also send out weekly updates to staff and family members via email and phone messaging.