July 21, 2020
I know a lot of information has come your way over the past week. I want to give you a few updates that are specific to Lincoln and elementary school in general. Our principals and district administrators have been working around the clock to work out details for both remote learning and in-person learning. Many parents have reached out to the district with questions, and those responses are being added to the district FAQ document on an hourly basis. I have provided links below this message to resources on the district website.
School will definitely look differently this upcoming year. I want to reassure you that our staff will continue to focus on not just academics but with a strong emphasis on the social-emotional wellbeing of each and every child. Our teachers are excited to welcome all students back into the building and will make sure to keep them safe using the current guidelines. We will spend time working on modeling expectations for safety, explicitly teaching safety protocols and procedures. Our first few weeks will be dedicated to reacclimating students to the school environment, supporting their emotional needs, and getting them excited about continued learning.
Each family needs to make decisions based on their needs and family structures. Some of our families have already chosen remote learning. Please know that whether your child’s remote teacher is from Lincoln or another school in our district, he or she will have the same focus on relationships and making connections. We will also continue to build opportunities for your son or daughter to remain connected to Lincoln.
I know that this situation has caused stress and anxiety, especially for our families that have two working parents. If you are struggling with a decision between remote and in-person learning, please reach out. I would be happy to have a conversation to answer questions and help you process. You need to do what is best for you and your family. Once you have your decision, please complete the form that was sent by Carol Smith last Tuesday (see below for the link). We will need this information to develop balanced classes based on the students who will be attending school at Lincoln.
I’d like to address a few questions that have come up that might help in your decision making:
How will school supplies be used?
- Students will keep their own supplies and materials with them. No supplies will be shared. This includes math manipulatives and other hands-on materials. Students will be provided with the items they need in order to be successful learners. Our supply lists have been slightly adjusted and I or Debbie will share the updated lists soon. If you are doing remote learning, you may want to wait until the teacher is assigned and can send out a list.
What will classrooms look like?
- I’ve included photos from some of our classrooms. There are about 13 desks in most classrooms, which supports 6 feet social distancing aligned with the square footage of the room. Some of our learning areas are a bit larger, so there may be a few more students in those spaces if needed. These include our LRC, art room, and kindergarten rooms. I have included photos of some of those rooms and the recommended capacity.
How will students know what to expect?
- Our elementary principal group will be working on developing videos to show students the expectations regarding handwashing, maintaining distance, wearing a mask, etc. For procedures and routines specific to Lincoln, our staff will put together videos for students. All of these will be shared with families before the start of the year. We won’t be able to do a supply drop-off event that looks like it has in the past, so these videos will be a good way for students to see that our building still looks the same for the most part as well.
These next few months will be an adventure for all of us. We will need to model flexibility and resilience for our young students. I’m so glad to have such a strong partnership between our staff and our families. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. As you also know wearing a mask is a requirement unless there is a medical reason, for this reason, I have included a graphic of ways we can begin to prepare our kids for this and build their stamina.