This Week at LMS...

Principal's Memo March 22, 2020
Posted on 03/22/2020

Principal’s Memo 3/22/20

For the past 10 days, there has been a camaraderie among LPS administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians, kitchen staff, bus drivers, parents and students that cannot go unnoticed in the future. Thank you to all who have rolled up their sleeves and chipped in to make this a wonderful community filled with support and empathy. The world as we know it is in flux and based on current information- will be continuing to be fluid for the near future as there is not a set date for school operations to resume as normal. I have kept my messages to teachers and parents limited; as information was changing by the day (and even by the hour) and I did not want to cause alarm relating to any specific program or fact (at that moment) because I recognize that you are also trying to solidify family plans and work schedules as this health crisis is non-discriminatory.

 

This is a time for understanding and I hope that the “continuity of learning plan” that Ledyard Middle School will be providing demonstrates exactly that. Fluid learning experiences for your child are the goal during this time because each person’s situation is unique- teachers and staff members included.

I have received countless emails from parents asking clarifying questions about this plan, the schedule, learning supports, attendance, and technology needs. I will hope to answer most of them below. If you have more questions, please communicate with me directly at rearley@ledyard.net.

 

I will be hosting a Parent Forum on Thursday evening at 5:30pm that will address any concerns that arise during the first phase of this program roll out. This will be accessible via Google Meet and the link is:

LMS Parent Forum (Virtual)

Thursday March 26th @ 5:30pm

Join Hangouts Meet

meet.google.com/mzk-otge-qay

Join by phone

+1 502-518-3262 PIN: 927 874 773#

 

Continuity of Learning Plan (CLP) Attendance:

A daily schedule was provided for secondary level students as they are more independent than elementary students and this can also be a way to help you (parents) maintain a structured day for young teenagers.

LMS will be emailing students daily with announcements and an attendance form at 8am. The purpose of this is to keep continual contact with students and share any specific LMS news that relates to their learning or schedule. It is also something that we do daily so I wanted to maintain some consistency to their lives. This email with updates and info will also be posted on the LMS website daily for parent access.

The school’s attendance form in this email is an informal way to know if students are accessing the information and learning opportunities on a daily basis. This is a not a rigid process as I know that many family schedules will be altered due parental supervision and other obligations.

Students can access and sign in on the attendance form throughout the day as needed. This daily attendance count is not related to “school day attendance” as this is continuity of learning plan is not intended to completely replace “regular school days”.

LMS CLP Framework of a Daily Schedule:

The framework of a daily schedule is simply that- a guide. Teachers will be available between 8am-4pm for support and questioning and this schedule also allows teachers the opportunity to set up times to possibly meet (virtually) with their classes throughout this time as we all know the community of learning and dialogue among peers is a vital form of student development and this can also help students maintain peer interactions during this emergency closure.

The schedule set forth does follow a White Day/ Blue Day rotation for the purpose of students accessing their semester long Unified Arts classes on an every other day basis. That schedule was attached to the CLP  shared last Friday and will also be shared in the daily email to students.

Teachers will know who is participating in the learning plan based on participation and work completion at the classroom level and assess them as they can based on this virtual learning landscape. It is recommended that students receive feedback on their learning as the actual grading and assessment process is developing under this new paradigm of instruction.

 

LMS CLP Classroom Expectations:

Students will be able to access their learning activities via Google Classroom. The daily schedule set forth in the plan is to support a framework for learning. If students need to complete their work at different times, that is understandable and all information and resources will be present in their classroom.

It has been stressed to teachers to create learning activities that are simple and able to be understood by the non-teacher, i.e. parent to allow for support. If your child doesn’t understand the assignment and/or has questions, please have them reach out directly to the classroom teacher for clarity. Remember that the use of Google Classroom is known by all students at LMS and is not a new concept for them.

Teachers will have a variety of support resources and info available for students in the Google Classroom.

 

LMS CLP Student Supports:

Special education teachers and intervention teachers will be following their daily schedule and supporting students through resource classes and case management. Communication will be made during these days to ensure supports are present. Teachers will be supporting the learning process and recognize the differentiated supports that will be needed and it will be a fluid process to see how this truly unfolds, as it will be individualized based on the student need and content area support required. Please communicate directly with your child’s case manager with specific questions or concerns.

LMS CLP Technology Supports:

Your child will be using their Chromebook device and internet to participate in this learning plan. There may be glitches along the way with the hardware and software- as your household bandwidth may be limited as well. If you have any technology related concerns, please communicate them to the classroom teacher and then the district’s technology director at seanwilliams@ledyard.net. The tools teachers may use to deliver instruction may be overloaded as most of K-12 education is rapidly moving to this model at the same time and also many of the tools are fairly new to all who are using them as well as neighborhood bandwidth may be less efficient as most adults are remotely working from home as well.

It is also stressed that students use their school device according to the behavioral guidelines set by the Ledyard Public Schools Acceptable Use Policy.

Overall COVID-19 Restrictions: Which Lead to Students’ Lack of Social Interaction:

Due to this “once is a generation” type crisis that has removed social interaction for children and also for adults, it is important to be communicative with your children relating to their social emotional needs. The school counselors are also available for support as needed during the same time that teachers are available.

 

Remain Calm & Understanding and be sure to Ask Questions:

This Continuity of Learning Plan is not mean to be complex and frustrating for you or your child. This is a new process that was created and will be coordinated in a totally virtual landscape- as all staff members and administrators have not been face to face since Friday March 13, 2020. Most of your questions will be truly answered come Tuesday when the rubber hits the road and students and teachers begin this process together. Also recognize the fact that this is a new process for teachers and they may and will make mistakes, so please be understanding when they occur- as they may have three of their own children running around the house as well.

 

We are all in this together. Stay Healthy.

Ryan Earley