Newsletter for families: Please attach this to the email message going to families.
August 20th, 2021
Dear Loring Community,
Welcome to the start of the 2021-2022 school year. We begin the school year with uncertainties around COVID, health and safety, busing, staffing and racial and social injustice. My hope is to share a glimmer of hope and excitement regarding the programming and people who make up our Loring Community. It has been an honor and privilege to serve this wonderful community for the past 11 years. I know that together, we will continue to grow and flourish as we work to educate and bring joy for all of our scholars, families and community members.
Loring School is beginning our journey to become a Primary Years Program that is the elementary school version of an International Bachelorette (IB) school. The overall goal of the program aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. As we undertake this 5-7-year journey to become accredited, students, families and staff members will be crucial partners in helping create this new school. We want to keep all the things that make Loring great and then add the addition of the IB curriculum and systems to our school. Here's a link to an introduction to IB/PYP: https://www.mnibschools.org/introduction-to-the-ib-programmes
I know that with COVID-19 surging across the nation we’re all experiencing different emotions and feelings around what are educational options for children in Minneapolis. Here is the most recent guidance that we’re currently operating under as of August 20th:
Health & Safety Guidance
1. Face coverings are required for all staff, students, and visitors over 2 years of age regardless of an individual’s vaccination status in all MPS buildings as of August 9, 2021. Face coverings also continue to be required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on public transportation, including school buses.
2. Maintaining 3-6 feet of social distancing continues to be recommended, especially for younger students and unvaccinated people.
3. MPS is not currently offering a short-term distance learning option. Families do have the option to attend MPS Online School, but enrolled students forfeit enrollment in their current schools so this is not a short-term option nor a formal distance learning recommendation from MPS. Systems are being put in place should school districts be required by the state to offer a distance learning option in the future based on infection rates.
MPS will continue with a universal 14-day quarantine period for unvaccinated students. The Minnesota Department of Health states that a 14-day quarantine remains the CDC’s recommendation for the greatest protection against spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
Students will not have to quarantine if health office staff can confirm the student meets current MDH guidelines regarding quarantine after COVID vaccination and/or recovery from the COVID-19 virus. If a staff or student has completed COVID-19 vaccination (two doses in a two-dose series or one dose in a one dose series) and is exposed, they do not need to quarantine if the following are true:
• The COVID-19 exposure was at least 14 days after their vaccination series was fully completed.
• They do not currently have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Families should call their school’s health office to share if their student has been told to quarantine AND they are fully vaccinated.
When large numbers of students need to quarantine, there might be a delay in verifying vaccine status, causing a staggered return to in-person programming. The Health Services staff will call students back to school as soon as the verification process is complete.
Instruction During Quarantine
• Students will use SeeSaw to access material that is being taught and worked on in class.
• Teachers will connect with students virtually or over the phone a few times per week to check on progress and to answer academic questions.
- September 2nd from 4:00-6:00 in our school garden.
- All students, staff and families are asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
- Tours of the building will be available every 15 minutes in small groups of 10 or less people at a time.
- If possible, we’re asking that families with the last name that starts with A-M visit from 4:00-5:00 and last names that start with N-Z come from 5:00-6:00.
New Staff to Loring
We have an incredible group of educators joining our Loring family this year. The following are new staff to Loring:
Nick Naegeli – Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Teacher
Bao Kue – Associate Educator
James Menke – Special Education Teacher
Gebremariam Gebremichael (Gabe) - .5 Social Worker
Stephanie Bordewick - Speech Clinician
Tony Liuzzi - World Language Spanish Teacher
Keith Taylor – Special Education Assistant (SEA) ASD Program
Bridget Riddley - SEA
Heather Ellingson - SEA ASD Program
Alicia Reyes - Family Liaison
Brittnee Olson - Art Teacher
Parent Pick Up & Drop Off
AM Drop Off – Use Sheridan Ave North and drop kids off by 8:25.
PM Pick Up – Parents will receive a special number and identification cards that we ask you to place in the passenger side window when you pull up along Sheridan Ave North along the school side. We will have a one-way flow coming from the West side of 45th Ave (along the field) and then turning right onto Sheridan Ave North. Please watch the video description on our new Loring Website: https://loring.mpls.k12.mn.us/Home
Principal Gibbs Leadership Style
My leadership style is deeply rooted in the core values of gratitude and kindness. People who I fashion my leadership style after are: Nelson Mandela and Ernest Shackelton. Mandela practiced servant leadership and his focus was deeply rooted in equity for all. Shackelton took time to build strong relationships with his colleagues and really understood their strengths and virtuosities. He worked to utilize their strengths and put them in positions to help make them and the team successful.
I’m so excited for another amazing year at Loring Community School and I look forward to seeing all of you at our open house on Thursday, September 2nd from 4:00-6:00 in the Loring School Garden. We also have a special PreK and Kindergarten open house and tour on Thursday, September 9th from 9:00-10:00. Kids and families will get a chance to meet teachers, see the classroom, school and ride on a bus!
Principal, Loring Elementary School
We are ALL here, ALL the time, for ALL children!