Lebanon Public Schools

Superintendent Gonzalez's Update- November 2021

Unity is Strength, division is weakness

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Untitled: Oct 18, 2021 4:05 PM

Thanks to Shane Morse for his design of our newest Portrait of a Graduate logo!

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Happy Boss's Day!

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – President John Quincy Adams, USA

Thank you Jessica Scorso, Rob Laskarzewski, Jay Apicelli and Sam McCarthy for your dedication and tireless efforts to serve as lead learners for our Lebanon schools!

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Article Reflections

The two articles included in this Superintendent Update hit home for me. It made me think back to last winter when I learned of the posting for the position of Superintendent of Schools in Lebanon. I am glad I followed the path recommended by this author and did not allow my fears to stop me from acting. I am a firm believer that failure is a part of life and if you don't fail, you cannot grow, and if you don't grow you can't be great! While navigating through this new role I am sure I will stumble, but I will continue to give it my best shot to provide the students, staff and families of this community the excellent education they deserve.


Failure is inevitable. Our life long learners need to understand that you can learn more from failure than success. We need to work together to prepare our students to be innovative problem solvers who attack challenges with grit and a growth mindset. We need to help prepare them for these setbacks and make sure they are taking care of themselves with compassion. We must build up our learners confidence so they are comfortable being uncomfortable. As Manoj Arora said, "Coming out of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle and awesome in the end...because in the end, it shows you a whole new world! Make an attempt."


These past few years have been trying for us all, and I am sure we have experienced failures. Stay positive and keep your shortcomings in perspective. Be kind and give yourself grace, then try again!

Click the buttons to access the content of the articles
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Click the button to view the Google Slide presentation content

Lead Learners in Action

On October 8, teachers participated in professional development focused on topics such as such as math programming, curriculum writing, science, and Senior Project initiatives. Teachers had some great opportunities for new learning: special education teachers received training on the WIAT-4 test, used for individual student evaluation and teachers at all three buildings received training in interventions through varied assessments, such as I-Ready and NWEA, learning the MTSS model (Multi-Tiered System of Support), and methods for data review/analysis. Teachers will continue professional development on November 10 (1/2 day). These opportunities provide Lebanon's teachers time to prepare for effective and individualized instruction so that all students experience opportunities for academic and social growth.

Don't Forget

Click "buttons" throughout update to view articles & important documents
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Lebanon Pride

Families, please feel free to send photos of our students in action so that I can celebrate them in the Superintendent Updates. Thanks for helping share our Lebanon Pride! andrew.gonzalez@lebanonct.org

Featured Article in SchoolCEO

LES PBIS Assembly

Our most voracious readers at LMS devoured ice cream, instead of books during the LMS Summer Reading Ice Cream Social

Fire Safety Presentations

Chief Schall and the Lebanon Fire Fighters visited Lebanon Elementary School on Thursday, October 7th. They visited each class and presented information on fire safety and prevention. Each student was given a hat and activities to bring home. Students in PreK visited the fire truck in the afternoon.
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UCONN Engineering Ambassadors for a Grade 2 Stem Day

Volleyball vs Woodstock

Lyman Memorial Student-Athletes Making It Look Easy #BLEEDBLUE

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LMS Students on Project Oceanology Field Trip

Robot Programming at LMS

Students at LMS are working on constructing and programming robots. In the photos below they have just finished the robot construction and are testing their program to observe and describe their robot's behavior.

LMS Yearbook Cover

Congrats to Ollie on creating a great piece of art selected to be the LMS yearbook cover!
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Lyman's 100th Year Celebration!

Lyman Alumni, we are looking for you.


Lyman Memorial High School will celebrate its centennial during the 2022–23 school year. An Alumni Anniversary Committee is working in partnership with the Lebanon Historical Society to plan a series of events to honor this incredible milestone. In addition, our volunteers are working hard to find and identify the stories and objects from Lyman’s past, which will culminate in a commemorative history of the school. A published book will be available at a future date, comprising of a history and many of the components: Vo-Ag/FFA, sports, clubs and organizations, faculty, graduates, and much more.


Please refer to the anniversary Facebook page or the Lyman website for items we are looking for.


Please help us spread the word to our Lyman alumni and follow our Facebook page: “Lyman-Memorial-High-School-100-Year-Anniversary.” If you do not have Facebook, please email LymanMHS100years@gmail.com to be added to the list or for more information.


The opening celebration and an all-class reunion are planned for the weekend of September 9-11, 2022. Plan to reunite with classmates and old friends; enjoy sporting events, dancing, food, displays and tours of the Middle and High Schools. More details on this centennial celebration will be in print and posted on social media including the Lyman High School Facebook page and website.

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Thanks!

Thanks to Dave Minicucci from Pond View for cleaning our tents.
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Coffee & Chat

I am excited to invite you to our yearlong Coffee & Chat sessions. Please come dive into a morning cup of coffee and enjoy an opportunity to ask questions, get answers and discuss our schools before you are off and running on the daily grind.


All sessions are open to all parents and community members. Meetings will be held in the LMS Library every Thursday from 8:00-8:30. Feel free to email me at andrew.gonzalez@lebanonct.org to let me know you will be attending and to share topics you would like to discuss.


Note: Masks are required for these sessions. No Coffee and Chat sessions will be held on dates in which schools are closed (November 11 & 25, December 30, and April 21).

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Walktober Session 1

It was a beautiful day on the Green and I enjoyed some nice conversation with Mrs. Franchi as we talked about past and current Lebanon students and their experiences in and out of our schools. #LebanonPride

COVID-19 Q & A- Revised 10-1-21

Hello Families,


I hope all is well. Please know we appreciate your continued cooperation in following the mitigation measures to help keep our students in school and our buildings open. Unfortunately we have had to deal with a few COVID-19 cases in our schools already this year. The purpose of this memo is to better help you understand how you will receive communication regarding a case, what the quarantine protocols are and what your learner can expect while home in quarantine.


Q- How will I be notified of a positive COVID-19 case?


A- Families of close contacts will receive a phone call (as soon as school is made aware of a positive case) and have a conversation with building administration and/or school nurses with details for quarantine. All other staff and students within the impacted building will receive a short text message directing them to look for a more detailed email outlining the situation. If the case is not in your child’s school you can view our districtCovid Dashboard Lebanon 9-13-21.docx and on our website.


Q- What are the quarantine protocols if my child is an unvaccinated close contact?


A- An unvaccinated close contact will need to be quarantined for 10 days. Unless they have a negative test on or after Day 5 then they can return after 7 days. (Vaccinated students who are asymptomatic do not need to quarantine)


Q- What types of tests are acceptable for a return to school?

A- Viral tests can include a molecular test (often called a PCR test) or a rapid antigen test. A negative antigen test in a person with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or a close contact without symptoms should be followed up with a PCR test


Q- If I have a child who is a close contact, can their sibling(s) attend school.

A- Yes. A contact of a contact is not a close contact.


Q- What should I expect for my learner while they are home?


A- The teacher(s) will provide asynchronous work opportunities (either in paper form, on SeeSaw (PK-1) or in Google Classroom) . Your learner’s attendance will be based on the completion of the assigned work. Please note that your child will initially be marked as “Absent Excused” as we need to account for the fact that they are not physically present, but this will be changed as their work is returned and reviewed.


Please see the wording from our Continuity of Services Plan regarding the Google Meet model-


The Google Meet model will not be available to absent students during the school day. Students who are not vaccinated and are quarantining due to COVID-19 exposure will participate in asynchronous instruction. Students who are COVID-19 positive confirmed by testing will participate in asynchronous instruction. Students who are not vaccinated and are awaiting results from COVID-19 testing will participate in asynchronous instruction. Families of Students who have a medical condition or surgical procedure that prevents them from attending school should contact their building Principal to be considered for homebound instruction.


To view the full plan please visit-Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan (Updates-August 31, 2021)


Please also review the recently released Addendum 5- https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/COVID-19/Addendum-5-Interim-Guidance-for-Responding-to-COVID-19-Scenarios-in-CT-School-Districts.pdf


Q- What are protocols for return to participation in sports?


A- Please note a change with quarantine protocols from the Department of Public Health regarding participation in extracurricular activities-


Individuals directed to self-quarantine are excluded from participation in team athletics or other group extracurricular activities for a full 14 days. When diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available, a quarantine period of 10 days with a negative test result on day 8 or later from team athletics or other group extracurricular activities is also acceptable.


Q- Why are vaccinated people being allowed to remain in school after being identified as a close contact?


A- This question has come up a lot lately. We are following guidance from the Department of Public Health that states- if an Individual has close contact to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and is fully vaccinated or has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days prior to the current exposure and is asymptomatic, the individual can remain in school. We have seen some breakthrough cases and will be discussing this matter with DPH and the State Department of Education to see if guidance will be adjusted. Thanks for your understanding as we do our best to keep everyone healthy while following professional medical advice.


If you have other questions or concerns please reach out to me directly.


Best,


Andy

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Governor's Emergency Powers Continued

Please see an article outlining the extension of Governor Lamont's Emergency Powers. We will continue to require masks at school for all staff, students and families until further notice.


Hours after the State Senate joined the House in voting to continue the governor’s emergency powers yesterday, Governor Lamont extended previously issued executive orders mandating masks in schools and requiring vaccination or weekly testing of all school employees.

The Hartford Courant reported Tuesday that, over the past two weeks, Connecticut has had the fewest per-capita COVID-19 cases of any state and the third fewest COVID-19 hospitalizations per capita. Governor Lamont credits Connecticut’s high vaccination rate and COVID mitigation strategies, including masking in schools, for that success.

“I believe Connecticut has been smart in our response and we’ve been taking the right steps to help mitigate the spread of this virus to the best of our abilities,” Governor Lamont said. “That’s why we’ve gotten to a place where we currently have among the best results in the nation, and I’m just asking people to be cautious just a little bit longer until we can get this behind us.”

Studies released this week from the CDC show how effective masking is at reducing COVID transmission in schools, even for the more infectious delta variant. Researchers looked at COVID outbreaks in more than 1,000 Arizona schools this school year and found that only 8.4% of school-associated outbreaks occurred at schools that had enacted a mask requirement from the first day of school versus 59.2% that occurred in schools that never had a mask mandate.

“We’ve been advocating since the start of the school year that universal masking is the first line of defense in preventing the spread of COVID in our school systems,” said CEA President Kate Dias. “Keeping in mind that a large portion of our students are not vaccinated, and we haven’t seen positivity rates drop as we did last June, it makes sense to keep a mask mandate in place.”

The legislature extended the governor’s pandemic emergency powers through February 15, 2022. These emergency powers allow the governor to act quickly when threats to public health warrant it; the six leaders of the General Assembly have the authority to reject any executive orders. Like Connecticut, most northeastern states are requiring masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for certain professions.

Though the governor’s emergency powers will be in effect until February, it is not certain that mask mandates in schools will extend until that time.

“We look at the facts on the ground,” Lamont told reporters last week. “If we have an overwhelming number of kids who are vaccinated by the end of December, we can take a look at that.”

As of last week, 78% of Connecticut residents ages 16 and 17 had received at least one COVID vaccine dose, as had 67% of those 12-15.

Pfizer submitted data regarding its vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 to the FDA yesterday and has said it will soon file for emergency use authorization. The vaccine could be available to children in this age group by late October or November.

Lebanon Covid-19 Dashboard as of 10-29

Please remember you can see our COVID-19 data that is updated in real time at https://www.lebanonct.org/ There is a "button" on the main page that links directly to our dashboard.
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CT WiZ

If you have individuals looking for their vaccination record, they can now access the information by themselves.

The link is below for patients and legal guardians to access official immunization records for themselves and their children using the CT WiZ Public Portal.

https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Immunizations/CT-WiZ-Access-My-Immunization-Record

*NEW- Revised Addendum 7

see button below
American Academy of Pediatrics

COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools

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Daily Checklist

Daily Symptom Checklist

Lebanon Public Schools Students and Staff


Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to COVID-19 should not be at school.


1. Does the person have any of these symptoms?

Primary Covid-19 Symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.0 or above

  • Feeling feverish

  • Chills

  • Uncontrolled New Cough

  • Shortness of Breath

  • Difficulty Breathing

  • New Loss of Taste and Smell

Secondary Covid-19 Symptoms:

  • Muscle Pain

  • Sore Throat

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea/Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Congestion/Runny Nose


If a person has any of these symptoms, they should stay home, stay away from other people, and consider calling their health care provider.


Seek emergency care for: Trouble breathing, New confusion, Inability to wake or stay awake, Bluish lips or face, Persistent pain or pressure in the chest.


2. Has the person had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) in the last 14 days with someone diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19?

  • No

  • Yes - This person should not be at school. They should quarantine for 7 days after the last contact. They should get tested on/after day 5.

- People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who has COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.


3. Since they were last at school, has this person traveled out of state?

  • No

  • Yes - Please see CT.Gov/travel.


4. Since last at school, has this person been diagnosed with COVID-19?

  • No

  • Yes - If a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19 based on a positive test, or based on their symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home until they meet the criteria below.


Returning to School


COVID Symptoms/No test/or Positive Test

  • Out 10 days from the day symptoms began.

  • 24 hours have passed since temp returned to normal with no fever-reducing medication.

  • Symptoms have improved


Positive COVID-19 test/ no symptoms

  • They should remain out of school until 10 days have passed since the date of the positive test.


Pending Test Results

  • If tested, do not return to school until test results are final.


Routine Illness: With no known travel history or close contact, no primary Covid-19 symptoms (Subject to change with school or community COVID spread)

  • Follow routine school guidelines:

  • 24 hours fever free (without fever-reducing medication)

  • 24 hours after vomiting or diarrhea have stopped

  • 24 hours after starting an antibiotic (ex.for strep throat)

  • Feeling better and symptoms have improved for 24 hours

  • Cough and Runny Nose/Secretions are improved and controlled

  • Allergy symptoms controlled and improved

  • May return any time with a note from the Healthcare Provider


Please contact your school nurse with any questions or concerns.


Updated 8/26/21 per CDC/CSDE

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American Rescue Plan for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief

The American Rescue Plan for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ARP ESSER) have been allocated to create programming that is not only innovative but allows our students to thrive in a safe, nurturing, rigorous and student-centered learning environment.


Lebanon Public Schools is projected to receive $347,039 ESSER II funds and $770,405 ESSER III funds that are to be used by June 2023.


Our team has developed a plan to apply these significant funds to support students who have experienced injuries of trauma as a result of necessary changes in the learning environment during the 2020-21 academic year.


Our plan addresses the following priorities:

■ Providing academic support to address learning loss and accelerate recovery

■ Partnering with families and the community

■ Ensuring our schools’ safety and well-being

■ Integrating Technology to support the success of all learners


Being responsive to the needs of the district and the students whom we serve, this plan will be reviewed and revised at regular intervals and updated materials will be posted on our district's website, shared with Board of Education as well as with our families by sharing at the building level through newsletters and other sources of communication.


As a result of a needs assessment and the collaborative conversations between administration, staff and Board of Education members, Lebanon Public Schools has hired a Math Interventionist and Literacy Coach to work at Lebanon Middle School. We have also contracted with Eastconn, our Regional Education Service Center, to provide K-12 Math support for our educators. Lyman will have a supported study hall to keep students on track. Our district added a Social worker to support our students social and emotional well-being. We also have invested in new educational platforms to support targeted instruction for our learners and teachers have been actively engaged in curriculum development this summer. Most recently the district posted, and has begun interviewing to fill positions that we feel will meet the priorities above. These positions include; a grade 4 & 5 teacher, a 7-12 Math position that will bring a concentrated focus to this subject and support 6th grade. These were initial steps towards addressing the needs of our district. Further communication will be sent to all stakeholders to engage in meaningful consultation for suggestions on educational areas to support.


If you have any feedback or suggestions on how we can grow our district through creative use of these funds, please reach out to me directly.

Keep Our School Zones Safe

Thank you for paying close attention to your speed while driving through our school zones. Our School Resource Officer and our Town Constable will be actively monitoring vehicle speeds to ensure we have safe school zones.


Also, please remember that it is never okay to drive by/pass any school bus with flashing red lights.

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Mission Statement

The Lebanon Public Schools, in partnership with families and the community, will prepare students to be contributing members of a diverse global society. We will provide a safe, nurturing, rigorous, and student-centered learning environment.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement of the Lebanon Public Schools:

The school community of Lebanon is committed to the mission of honoring and celebrating the diversity of our students, our community, and our nation. We strive to guide our students to conscious, deliberate, individual and collective actions that cultivate the respect of all races, religions, and social backgrounds. Our school community endeavors to produce graduates who are equipped with a greater understanding of the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Nondiscrimination Statement of the Lebanon Public Schools:

The Lebanon Board of Education, in compliance with federal and state law, affirms its policy of equal educational opportunity for all students and equal em ployment opportunity for all persons. It is the policy of the District to promote nondiscrimination and an environment free of harassment regardless of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, ancestry, disability (including but not limited to, intellectual disability, past or present history of mental disorder, physical disability, or learning disability), genetic information, marital status, or age or because of the race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ge nder identity/expression, national origin, ancestry, disability, genetic information, marital status, or age of any persons with whom the individual associates. The District shall provide to all students without discrimination, course offerings, counseling, assistance, employment, athletics, and extracurricular activities. The District shall provide equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The District shall make reasonable accommodations for identified physical and mental impairments that constitute disabilities, consistent with federal and state statutes and regulations.