1/8/2021, 

Dear Loring Families, 

By now you should have either received a call, text or email from the district asking you to decide regarding sending your children back to school. You will have the choice to send your kids back to in-person learning at Loring or to stay in distance learning. My hope today is to paint as clear a picture as I can for all of you as to what in-person learning will look like due to the COVID pandemic. Although kids will be physically back in buildings if parents chose that route, it will feel very different than what most kids are used to. I want you to know that our team including office folks, Mrs. Sheila our school social worker, myself and classroom teachers are here to support you through this challenging decision. We certainly all want to be back to some sense of normalcy and especially want to see kids in person but we also want to make sure we’re all safe and that the plan is understood by all.

So, families will have from today, Friday, January 8, 2021 through January 22nd to make your decision. Families will make that decision by completing the survey sent out today. If you need any support or help completing the survey our team will reach out starting next week. We will also do our very best to connect with families who haven’t completed the survey so that you all have the opportunity to make the very best decision for your scholar and family. Just know that we’re here to help navigate these difficult decisions.

I want to share the basic timeline for what we’re planning:

• February 1st-5th – No School for students. This is the time that the Governor is allowing for schools to do all the planning for returning to in-person learning.

• Week of February 8th – Prek-2nd graders will return to in-person. Starting with Prek/K on the 8th and 9th and then adding in grades 1-2 on the 10th.

• No School Feb 15th - President's Day

• No School Feb 16th - for Winter Parent/Teacher Conferences

• Week of February 22nd – Students in grades 3-5 who choose in-person will start up at Loring.

In-Person Learning vs. Distance Learning

Distance Learning

• Distance learning will continue under the same schedule that we’ve been using all year.

• Due to staffing and the number of families who select in-person, there is a real possibility that your child will have a different teacher due to staffing.

• We will do everything in our power to make this transition seamless with a huge focus on relationship building with the families and students.

• We will have a winter conference to meet the new teacher and to prepare for finishing the year in DL.

• Depending on the numbers of students staying in DL and going to in-person there is a real possibility that we may need to partner with other MPS schools to staff the two scenarios.

• This is the safest option for families who have concerns regarding the virus COVID-19 impacting their families or students.

In-Person Learning

• Based on the number of kids who chose in-person and distance learning we will begin the process of staffing classrooms and identifying which teacher’s student will have for the remainder of the school year.

• Students will be in masks all day.

• Students will go to school 5 days a week.

• The school day will be from 8:25-3:15 each day.

• Students will be asked to stay 3ft apart from each other at all times.

• Teachers will be in masks and face shields and will need to stay 6ft apart at all times.

• Minimal movement will occur throughout the classroom. We will get kids up to move their bodies and to stretch but they won’t be allowed to move around freely to visit with their friends.

• Students will stay and travel with their class the entire day. There won’t be any mixing of classrooms during lunch or recess or throughout the day.

• Recess will happen each day in an assigned location. Classroom 1 will have one week playing by the garden. Classroom 2 will have one week playing on the playground. Classroom 3 will spend one week playing on the field. We’ll rotate these locations every week but kids will not be able to play with other kids in other rooms. They will also be required to keep their masks on during recess.

• Students will have specialist classes each day.

• Busing will have the driver 6ft apart from the kids at all times. All students will be required to stay in their assigned seats and wear their masks throughout the entire ride.

• Students will continue to receive EL and Special Education services. This may be a mix of in-person/pull out support and virtual support in their classroom.

 

No matter what decision you chose, I want you to know that we will continue to offer a world class education for your scholars. I also want you to know that we are all hands-on deck to support you with this decision. I will have a question and answer session for families next Tuesday, January 12th at 5:00pm. We will send the link to the meeting out in text, email and on your children’s Seesaw and Google Classrooms. I know we all want to have students back in-person but we also want to make sure you all have as much information as we can provide so that you can make the best decision for your family. Thank you for your partnership and support through all of these uncertain times.

Sincerely,

Principal Gibbs

Loring Community School

“We are ALL here, ALL the time, for ALL children!