September 16, 2020
Dear LTS Families,
I write to inform you that LTS will combine learning for all on-campus students beginning Tuesday, September 29. For practice and preparation, we will extend the current A/B learning day configuration for an additional week, through Friday, September 25. We will then have our first Head’s Holiday for students on Monday, September 28. We will offer advanced technology training opportunities for our faculty on Monday, September 28, beginning at 10 am. This dedicated day will allow for reconfiguring specific spaces (particularly switching some middle school classes to larger and more dispersed areas).
Relationships – between student and teacher and among students – define the LTS experience. The explosive energy of an entire grade level develops our students’ social-emotional skills, such as collaboration, empathy, higher self-awareness, and greater respect for others. This time when we can be united will help to build relationships that can ignite teaching and learning for this entire year.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, our country’s leading infectious disease expert, yesterday declared that Vermont “should be the model of the country.” According to Dr. Fauci, “I believe strongly that if we do what you’ve been doing in Vermont in the rest of the country … that we can not only get through the fall and the winter, but we can come out on the other end better off than we went in.” We are proud of the part that LTS is doing to contribute to this judgment, thanks to this community’s extraordinary spirit. Our dedicated professionals have gone above and beyond to keep our campus safe. Our faculty proves every day that teachers are heroes without capes in surmounting taxing – and changing – conditions to teach our students. Our students are taking ownership of our health and safety protocols – with no major violations so far! – and are joining to learn and grow.
With this promising beginning, we are confident that we will be ready to go to our 100 percent on-campus population. We recognize that similarly sized schools in the region are already back to 100 percent of students on campus. Still, after consulting with a wide range of diverse stakeholders, I need to determine what steps, in my best judgment, fit our community and our health and safety curves. We will continue to immerse and train in all the elements of our health and safety program. Throughout this year, we will continuously review and adapt and improve our systems and procedures. We must continue to be vigilant to have a safe and successful year on campus.
We all are grieving for the “old normal.” The most enduring lesson we will learn or teach this year is how together we persevere, steady ourselves, and then thrive in the “new normal.” Thank you for your continuing trust.
Stay safe, kind, and hopeful,