Lynchburg school leaders to provide more information on reopening

School board to host meeting on July 7 to reveal plan, answer parents' questions

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg school leaders are working right now to finalize plans for the fall.

School leaders formed a 60-70 person “Return to Learn Dream Team” that is currently gathering information on what learning will look like come August.

On Tuesday, school leaders said their plans will answer parents’ questions about health, safety, online learning, instructional planning and transportation.

“We have not been able to enter into phase two without our health mitigation plan. So, we want to get into phase two although we do have plans for phase three. So, your short answer is yes, we do have a short-term plan while looking at a long-term plan,” Crystal Edwards, superintendent, said.

School leaders ask parents watch the school board meeting on July 7 for more information.

You can read below a letter sent to LCS parents and staff Monday.

“Dear LCS families,

Once again, our LCS team would like to thank you for your response to our surveys. Your involvement is critical in ensuring that our plan is a success! We understand that many staff members, families, and students are eager to receive a final plan that provides detailed information. Here are some key points we’d like to share right now in the planning process.

  • First--it’s important to understand that change is still occurring. Although our community prepares to enter into the Governor’s Phase III, the guidance provided suggests that for schools to enter Phase II they should submit a Health Mitigation Plan. We are still learning so much about how it will impact our city. With that in mind, as we develop our plans, we are doing so with a mindset that we know things could change.
  • Second--Yes, we are planning to reopen our buildings this fall. The opening date, times, and even days of physical attendance by students are still in the planning stages. Please be prepared for the possibility of starting at 50 percent daily capacity with not all students returning and attending at the same time or on the same days.
  • Third--We are considering options for students who are enrolled in LCS to also have virtual learning options. Parents and guardians will be able to notify us of their decision to return to face-to-face education inside their school buildings, blended learning (which would mean some face-to-face education and some virtual learning), or full-time virtual learning while being an enrolled LCS student.
  • Fourth--Transportation is critical for so many students to return to face-to-face learning in their school buildings. While we will likely not be able to return immediately to full bus capacity, we are working out ways to be able to meet the needs of all students for whom bus transportation is essential in order to return to face-to-face learning.
  • And last, but certainly not least -- SAFETY FIRST! Our plan includes creating time for regular cleaning, hand washing for staff and students, maintaining social distancing, and the wearing of masks by students (when appropriate) and staff at times when six feet of distance is not possible.

Please watch the July 7, 2020, school board meeting for more information. We anticipate to have the following plans in draft form for public discussion:

Health Mitigation Plan -- This plan will address social distancing, safety protocols and response/action protocols should a staff member or student test positive for COVID-19.

Intent to Vary Plan -- This plan is needed to support bus transportation with safety measures in place and other adjustments needed to safely bring students to school.

Instructional Plan for Phase II and III -- This plan will address the school calendar, school times, and school instructional days. It will also outline instruction in both core subjects and related arts, and athletics and extracurricular activities.

We miss our students, and we understand that their education is so important to them and to their families. As we navigate the unknown, we will do so with care, compassion, and determination to be successful!”

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