LAPS Parent Newsletter
December 8, 2020
COVID Testing & Vaccinations
Pilot School District for Saliva COVID Testing - 100% voluntary for staff
I am pleased to share that we have the opportunity to begin the transition from nasal tests to a less-invasive at-home saliva test. Most staff will like this better because it is self-administered and is less invasive than the swab nose test. More information will be coming later this week.
Vaccination Plan for Los Alamos
Los Alamos County may be receiving the first round of vaccinations in two or three weeks, and Griffith Gym at Los Alamos High School will likely be used as a vaccination site. More information will follow if one or more of the vaccines are approved at the federal level.
State Legislators Representing Los Alamos
Contingency Planning for LAPS
Contingency Plan - Superintendent's Office
In the event that the Superintendent is out due to COVID, we will implement a plan to: 1) minimize disruptions and continue forward progress for LAPS, 2) clarify modified roles and responsibilities for staff and 3) maximize safety protocols for all staff, students and families. This builds upon current LAPS planning and all of the preventive and safety information developed over the last seven months. A summary can be found by clicking here.
Full Transparency Communications - the School Board, staff and parents will be informed about any changes in leadership roles. LAPS schools and the Central Office have an up-to-date list of contacts with mobile phone numbers.
Cross-training - in order to reduce the number of single points of failure at LAPS, extensive cross-training is being implemented.
District Leadership Team (DLT) - members include Kurt Steinhaus, Jennifer Guy, Kathryn Vandenkieboom, Carter Payne, and Deb Larson. Using the LAPS Strategic Plan, forward movement will be evident even if one or more members are absent. DLT will use the following guiding principals for data-informed decisions:
- Guidance from epidemiologists, health officials and federal, state, and local governments.
- Impact on the physical and mental well-being of students and staff.
- Coordination with our community and other partners like the Lab and County.
School Safety Plans
Planned Interventions for Learning Loss
Less time in the classroom means that LAPS leadership and teachers have to streamline curricula and focus on the essential standards. The Los Alamos plan includes these five steps to keep children on track for learning.
- Focus on the most important work of the grade or course.
- Clarify what students will need to know and be able to do in order to successfully complete grade-level work. Then, identify places where teachers might need guidance on how to revisit these prerequisite skills and content from last spring.
- Continue and refine the process of LAPS curriculum mapping.
- Customize supports based upon individual students’ needs.
- Expand teacher tools for remote learning, small-group work, and hybrid instruction.
The Stress Continuum
Expect that where you are on this continuum can change. It’s also important to remember that people will react differently to the same situation, and that is ok.
What you are feeling and experiencing matters
It’s likely that many people are feeling similar
There are resources—and people—to help you
They also include helpful stress reduction strategies for coping with stress, burnout, and trauma.
New student artwork from around the district is now being displayed in the LAPS Board Room. Thank you, Renee Mitsunaga, for hanging the beautiful artwork!
Bobcat at Mountain Elementary
Mountain Elementary had a feline visitor on campus last weekend. Parents and staff are on the lookout and will notify animal control if the bobcat is spotted on campus.
Passing of the Mid School Hawk
Mint Chae passed the LAMS Hawk to Kathleen Gonzales, the amazing attendance clerk who keeps track of over 600 students and is now tracking positive COVID cases.
Bobcat at Mountain Elementary
LAMS Jazz Band - Quarantine Blues
Towering Above Competition Finalists
The Towering Above Virtual Engineering Competition is a NM MESA virtual competition to test students' creativity and engineering skills with a paper tower building challenge using simple supplies of construction paper and scotch tape.
All are invited to the Final Awards Show where winners in all categories will be announced. Tune in Friday, Dec. 11th, 2020 at 2:00 PM here: https://zoom.us/j/91334293161
Pictured below are the LAPS finalists' towers, clockwise from top left: Gavin Bent, Aaron Philip, Konstantin Nelson, and Ryland Ferran.
Tuesday, Dec. 8th - School Board Meeting, 5:30 pm
Wednesday, Dec 9th - LAPS Foundation Board meeting, 5:00 pm
Thursday, Dec 10th - LAPS Foundation Virtual Teacher Dinner, 5:30 pm
Dec. 21st - Jan. 1st - Winter Break
Monday, Jan. 4th - Teacher work day
Tuesday, Jan. 5th - Winter Institute; district-wide virtual professional development day
Wednesday, Jan. 6th - Start of Second Semester
Monday, Jan. 18th - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; holiday
Tuesday, Jan. 19th - Return to Hybrid for elementary schools