LCS COVID-19 Communications

See below the latest LCS messaging about COVID-19. 



5-21-20 10:19am
LCS End of Year Events

Dear LCS Families,

Click here to view the video message from Ben Moudry!

Please note:  

  • Any on site events are only for the families of the children directly involved in the ceremony.
  • More detailed information for each of these events will be sent to you by the classroom teacher.  Look for more details next week.

Transition Assembly
This year, Lake Country will be celebrating childrens' transitions to a new level of the school in myriad ways specific to each class and level.  We will also create a "Transition Assembly" slideshow, featuring ALL of the children who will be flying up. In digital form, using school photos and narration, it will closely resemble what we do each year in the gym.  The slideshow will be shared with teachers so that they can present it to their class during the last week of school.

Field Day
Field Day/Week activities (see previous emails) will also welcome activities that families are doing to take care of themselves, their communities, or other communities that are impacted by the riots, as well as activities to protest and action taken to address issues of systemic racism and inequality.


All School Singalong
Date: Friday, June 5
Time: 1:30pm
Location: Digital only
Details: Wrap up Field Day by joining the All School Singalong via the video link in the Tuesday Memo.


Children’s House Fly-Up Ceremony
Date: Friday, June 5
Time: 11:00 am
Location: LCS Parking Lot - Fly Up Parade
Details: Families will decorate their cars and drive through the parking lot while Children’s House staff and other staff will spread out along the parking lot to celebrate.

E2 6th Year Transition Ceremony
Date: Thursday, June 4
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: Digital only
Details: There will three parts to this ceremony

  • Google Meet with all 6th graders arranged by their original Children’s House classroom
  • Whole 6th grade will meet for the full transition ceremony 
  • Each E2 class will have a meeting to honor the 6th graders in their class

8th Grade Graduation
Date: Monday, June 8
Time: 5 pm and 7 pm
Location: Digital and at LCS parking lot for Drive Through Graduation
Details: There will be a digital ceremony that will be available to view starting at 5 pm.  Then at 7 pm the drive through graduation will start.  Families will drive through the LCS parking lot.  Graduates will “walk” across the stage and be handed their diplomas and gifts from LCS.  LCS JH staff and other staff will be present to celebrate and congratulate the graduates.



4-30-20 10:03am
Monday, May 4: No Classes, Synchronous Lessons, or Communications for Students


Hello LCS Families,


In the latest order by Governor Walz to extend distance learning for the remainder of the school year, it stated that School districts and charter schools must use May 1, 2020 and May 4, 2020 to plan for the Extended Distance Learning Period, which will begin on May 5, 2020. 

In light of this action by Governor Walz, Lake Country will set aside Monday, May 4 for teachers to prepare for the remainder of the year with Learning from Home. This means there will be no classes, synchronous lessons, or communications with students or parents/guardians on Monday, May 4.  Children and adolescents can continue to work on the options for activities and work on this day.



Ben Moudry

Head of School




4-24-20 10:16am
Continuation Learning from Home 

Dear LCS Families,


Yesterday afternoon, Governor Walz announced that distance learning would continue for the remainder of the school year.  Therefore, Lake Country School will continue its Learning from Home approach for the remainder of the school year.  


This news, although expected, is disappointing for all of us.  It will likely be very hard for your children and adolescents to hear that they will not be returning to the LCS campus for school.  Intellectually, we know continuing Learning from Home is having a very positive impact on the physical health of our families, neighborhoods, and city, but it is challenging psychologically and emotionally.  It is important to acknowledge the challenge and also that by staying at home we are taking more control of the situation and literally saving lives.  This is truly a great service to our communities. 


It is OK to be sad and upset about this news.  It could be truly heartbreaking for some children and adolescents . . . and adults.  We are all in this together and it is good and healthy for us all to take a moment and feel our feelings. It is all good and all right to show our children and adolescents that we feel bad about this situation and are sad about it, just like they are.  It will show them that these emotions are natural and it is healthy to express our frustration and sadness at the loss of the school year and spring activities that we were all expecting (see grief and Mr. Roger’s articles below).  This is an important process that will help us be more healthy, think more clearly, and move forward in a positive way.



We as a staff are grieving too.  We miss your children and adolescents and you.  We miss doing so many things with you in person: shaking hands, hugging, smiling, shivering, talking, solving problems, singing, dancing, playing, learning, listening, planting, working on projects, eating lunch, making birthday snacks, harvesting, cleaning, caring for animals, having celebrations . . . and so much more.  We will find our way to doing these things again.


In continuing Learning from Home for the remainder of the year, it is important to acknowledge that it is difficult.  In thinking about the challenge that families face with trying to work from home and support their children and adolescents learning from home, I am reminded of a joke by Jim Gaffigan.  He said “if you want to know what it's like to have four kids, just imagine you are drowning and then someone hands you a baby.”  I think at this point we all feel like we have at least four kids.  While some aspects of learning from home are going well, there are other areas that need to be improved.  Next week, we will be sharing the feedback and how LCS will adjust its approach to make improvements.


While there is much more planning and work ahead to continue to manage our long term response to this situation, today and this weekend it is important to just take some time to be close with our families and address how we are feeling.  One feeling that came through clearly in the surveys is the need for connection to friends, other families, staff, and the whole LCS community.  In that spirit, I encourage you to get involved and take part in the fun activities happening for LCS Gives Day tomorrow.  I envision a day of us all doing something together again.  I hope to see you there!


Please do keep in touch and help us all stay connected.  We are counting on us.



Ben Moudry

Head of School


That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief (HBR)

It’s a Terrible Day in the Neighborhood and That’s OK (NYT)

Mental Health Resources for LCS Families


3-31-20 5:38pm
LCS Learning from Home Plan

March 31, 2020

Dear LCS Families,

The LCS teaching staff has finished the LCS Learning from Home Handbook (linked below). The teaching staff did immense work to create this document to explain how LCS will take its in-person and onsite approach to learning and make it work remotely from each child's and adolescent's home. They also did this in less than a week and while they themselves mostly worked remotely. It was an incredible effort and demonstrated great teamwork to complete it.

The handbook articulates the philosophy, setting up a home learning environment, examples of daily schedules, and explains the distinct approach at each level. The handbook lays out the basic foundation for our approach for learning from home and the systems we will use. We also took into account all that we have learned from other schools nationally and internationally who have been implementing distance learning for weeks or months.

It is critical that you set aside concentrated time to read it carefully, so you have a good working knowledge of the approach and can continue to be an involved partner.

This handbook is a foundation from which to work and build. We will take it slow and move into this new type of educational approach carefully with you, our families, as partners. Our educational approach is dynamic, deliberate, responsive, and developmental; so that will continue to be our approach, even if we are at a distance. Our intention for the Learning from Home plan is for it to be simple, manageable, calm, steady, and adjustable. We will work with you to create a solid foundation in the first two weeks to build from and add more opportunities for your child(ren) as we learn how to do this work together. We will all need to have grace, flexibility, and understanding with each other.

Please read through the introductory information carefully and then the specific information for the level of your child(ren). Please review the handbook with your child(ren) to create a plan for learning at home during the month of April. This handbook is intended to be a document for families to refer back to as needed. Classroom teachers will communicate with each family about further details about implementing a plan for learning from home.

Click here for the LCS Learning from Home Handbook

Thank you for your patience and support these past two weeks as the LCS staff created a way for us to start a new part of our journey together.

Take care and stay safe,

Ben Moudry
Head of School

I want to share our deepest appreciation to The Montessori School of Tokyo for creating and sharing the original draft of the handbook and Arbor Montessori School in Georgia for sharing their version of the handbook. It was immensely helpful to have a draft to work from to create the LCS version of the handbook.



3-28-20 1:04pm


“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.”

Dr. Maria Montessori | Education and Peace

Dear LCS Families,

These are remarkable and difficult times. We are all faced with a new challenge that requires us to work collectively and collaboratively, but at a distance, with innovative thinking grounded in our core values. We mostly have been facing this challenge as individual families, but soon we will work more as a whole community to address it.

I know these past two weeks without the regular daily rhythm of bringing your children to Lake Country School have been difficult for you and your children. I am incredibly grateful to you, our families, for your patience and support during these days. It is clear the LCS community spirit is as strong as ever. 

The LCS staff greatly appreciated your support, patience, and understanding while the school was closed due to a possible exposure and to allow LCS staff time to prepare for distance learning and conferences. During this transition period, we decided to only send you necessary communications to keep you informed and provide some suggestions for activities for your children to support you without overwhelming you.

During the preparation days, the LCS staff went through an incredible metamorphosis and made a paradigm shift. They had just days to change their mindset about their work and get retrained to deliver our responsive, hands-on, self-paced, collaborative, and joyful educational approach differently. The effort, collaboration, creativity, flexibility, and problem solving that I witnessed in the past week was incredible. The LCS staff have worked diligently and intelligently to create a framework and an initial plan for distance learning, which we are calling “learning from home.” These days were necessary for us to be well prepared to continue partnering with you to support your child’s education from home for an extended period of time. It was an investment that we made as educators and families for your child’s education. Thank you for your patience and support in this work.

Executive Order

A few days ago, Governor Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-19, which authorizes and directs the Commissioner of Education to implement distance learning from March 30, 2020 through May 4, 2020. Lake Country School will follow the Governor’s order and begin its learning from home (distance learning) after Spring Break starting on April 6, 2020 and through May 1, 2020.  This means that children and adolescents will not be onsite and will instead be receiving their education and doing their learning at home for their safety. 


However, children of “Critical Sector” workers, such as school employees providing care to children, health care services, law enforcement, and emergency response services, will be allowed to come to LCS and have child care onsite from April 6, 2020 to May 4, 2020. Please email LCS at to let us know if your work is designated as one from the “Critical Sector” and if you would like to have your child in the onsite child care at LCS.

Learning From Home

In terms of Lake Country School's plan for learning from home, early next week all families will receive a copy of the LCS Learning from Home Handbook that articulates the philosophy, setting up a home learning environment, examples of daily schedules, and explains the distinct approach at each level. The handbook lays out the basic foundation for our approach for learning from home and the systems we will use. The handbook and our approach is informed from local, national, and international schools and organizations through our network of Montessori schools and independent schools. We also listened to and learned from teachers and parents/guardians throughout the world who have been implementing distance learning for weeks or months. More detailed information will be included with the communication early next week about learning from home.

Besides designing a learning from home approach, we also have been working to create ways to stay connected, get feedback from you, and support you through this difficult time. There will be more information next week and the week after about new systems for addressing needs, sharing resources, giving and receiving feedback, and supporting others in our community.

When you chose to be a part of the LCS community, you chose a different path. You chose a method of education that is based on human development and is an aid to life. You also chose a place that fosters independence, critical thinking, and creativity and welcomes challenging and meaningful work. I believe working through this challenge will
make our community stronger and improve our partnership with you. LCS is a place uniquely designed to support the developmental needs of children and adolescents, while supporting their families and that difference will show even more during this crisis.

In solidarity and partnership,

Ben Moudry

Head of School




3-15-20 3:37pm

March 15, 2020


Hello LCS Families, 


LCS WILL CLOSE from March 16 to April 5 to limit any possible spread of COVID-19 and to follow Governor Walz’ Emergency Executive Order (see link below). The school building is closed to all visitors and families during this time. 

If we receive notice of a confirmed case of COVID-19, we will then communicate any further direction from the Minnesota Department of Health to families as needed. We have been in communication with the Minnesota Department of Health and have made a decision that we believe is in the best interest of our school community. The Department of Health has informed us that this situation is one of very low risk. 


If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, and/or cough, please contact your healthcare provider. You can also reference this information from the CDC about what to do if you have symptoms. Please notify our office if anyone in your household is diagnosed with COVID-19 at (no names will be used in our communication to the community). Please note this is a new email which will be used for offsite communications with office staff. If you have medications that your child needs that are currently at the school, please email us so we can arrange pickup if necessary. 


Also, this morning Governor Walz announced the closing of all schools starting March 18 in order to take time to prepare for possibility of an extended closure in the future where distance learning is necessary.  Link to Gov. Walz Emergency Executive Order.

LCS staff will use the time this week and next week to plan and prepare for distance learning and for conferences. To help us learn about your access to technology for our planning for distance learning (E1, E2, & JH only), please complete this Technology Access Google Form survey by Wednesday, March 18.


We are aware of the intention to still hold child care at school for health care workers as announced by the Governor. We will wait to offer this until we receive notice of positive or negative test results in our community before we allow any students back into the school. We will re-evaluate opening for those families at that time. If your family has one or more members in health care, please email so we can reach out to you if that option becomes available. 


Please use email to communicate with all staff going forward, we will not be in the building to answer phone calls. 


We understand this is a stressful time for all families and we appreciate everyone’s efforts to practice social distancing, seeking health care as needed, and alerting us immediately to possible exposure or a diagnosis. We will keep families informed as any new updates become available. 

As shared in previous emails, please reference the list below of resources below for any further information that may be useful to address your questions and concerns about COVID-19.



Ben Moudry
Head of School



MDH Website:

CDC Website:

Additional CDC Resource: Community mitigation strategies for the COVID-19 illness

MDE Website:

Full List of LCS Updates:



3-15-20 10:02am
IMPORTANT: LCS Response Coming Soon

Hello LCS Families, 

We are aware of the Governor's announcement to close schools starting Wednesday, March 18. Our Emergency Response Team is meeting to discuss next steps for LCS. There will be a more detailed response sent to families later today. 

Ben Moudry
Head of School



3-13-20 3:38pm
LCS Letter to the Community about COVID-19

Hello LCS Families, 

This morning the LCS staff met to discuss the COVID-19 illness, give up to date information from official and reliable resources (see below), and get feedback about our response to it.  

First and foremost, the safety and well being of our whole community is our top priority. Our second priority is a holistic education approach that serves children and adolescents. We know you are depending on us to follow through with these top priorities every day. As one school in a system of schools throughout the Twin Cities, Lake Country also has a responsibility to stay open as long as we can to support parents and guardians, who need to work to provide for their families, and so these adults can help keep our communities functioning with all manner of services, especially medical.

We continue to be in contact with other independent schools, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to make sure we have the most current, accurate, and reliable information and guidance available. 

We understand families are concerned and want to plan ahead to help aid in the global effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. We currently have no reported cases in the school community and plan to stay open as was recommended by MDH, the CDC, and the Governor of Minnesota. We will also continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation for any new information we need to consider and we will change our plans accordingly.

Next week, we will have school as usual, but we have cancelled all off-site field trips, going outs, and observations for the remainder of the month as advised by CDC and MDH. We will continue to have all of our in-school child-only activities and clubs. Extended Day will still be available before and after school as usual through next week. 

Taking Time to Plan and Prepare
School will be closed on March 23, 24, and 25 in order to plan and prepare for the possibility of distance learning for E1, E2, and JH students, supply opportunities for learning at home for Children’s House children, prepare for conferences, and determine how to support families IF we need to close school for an extended period of time. This means there will be no school for students from Saturday, March 21 through Sunday, April 5.  

To help us learn about your access to technology for our planning for distance learning (E1, E2, & JH only), please complete this Technology Access Google Form survey by Wednesday, March 18.

One very important event that we will keep on our schedule is Parent/Teacher Conferences, but they will be conducted by phone. The conferences will remain on the same days at the same times that you have scheduled. We made this decision because it would be challenging to have them rescheduled later with other days off or after school hours. 

Other Upcoming Events
Land School: We are no longer hosting sap collecting and boiling this month in an effort to support social distancing. 

Great Rendezvous: Collection of donations and all Great Rendezvous communications will be on hold. Further communication will go out later this month about plans to continue, postpone, or cancel the event. 

Bring Home Materials Today
Today, Friday March 13, as a precaution due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, we are asking all students to take home any materials they might need IF we do not return to school on Monday as planned and need to start distance learning sooner than planned.

Individual Families Choosing to Keep Children at Home 
If families choose to keep their children at home, then please follow our regular absence protocol. Lake Country School is not designed to have an onsite learning program and a distance learning program at the same time. So please note, if you choose to keep your child home, teachers will not be providing any different information, documents or support than they would if your child were absent.

If your child has a medical condition that makes them especially vulnerable to COVID-19, then please contact the receptionist and provide medical documentation about the diagnosis, unless we already have it on file, and we will contact you to create a plan for an extended absence.

We understand this is a challenge for families and we want to give you ample time to prepare child care options. We encourage families to check in with each other about possible coordinated efforts to support each other. You can use your parent handbook as well as the online directory in the TADS Educate portal to find contact information for other LCS families. The directory can be searched using your zip code to find families close by.  

How You Can Help
At this point, what is most critical is that we need to work together to keep each other and ourselves safe. This means following the recommendations by the CDC and MDH (see links below). Most importantly: Wash your hands thoroughly. Cover your cough. Rest. Drink plenty of fluids. Find time to de-stress. And do not attend events with more than 250 people or events with fewer than 250 people in close proximity. 

Children will follow our lead and we need to lead by example and continue to work together in partnership to keep our community safe and well.  

These are hard decisions. We will continue to monitor information about COVID-19 and provide updates as the situation changes and evolves. We sincerely appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate through this situation. 

The care for our students and the LCS community is our top priority. To help us make future decisions in protecting our students, please notify our office if anyone in your household is diagnosed with COVID-19 at and/or 612-827-3707 (no names will be used in our communication to the community). 

Please see the list of resources below available to families for updates and information about COVID-19. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work to keep our community healthy and safe. Thank you!

Ben Moudry
Head of School


MDH Website:

CDC Website:

Additional CDC Resource: Community mitigation strategies for the COVID-19 illness

MDE Website:

Full List of LCS Updates:



3-13-20 9:00am

Hello LCS Families, 

Staff are meeting throughout the day about the current COVID-19 concerns and how to best prepare. We will update families today with further details about the school’s plans. Please look for an email from LCS by the end of the day today. Thank you!

Ben Moudry
Head of School


3-9-20 5:42pm
LCS Health Update 3-9-20

Hello LCS Families, 

LCS is changing some of its protocols due to the recent report of two cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota and the high number of absences at LCS due to diagnosed Influenza A and B and general flu-like symptoms.  

As absences for flu-like illness have passed 5% of the student body (26 absences with flu-like symptoms, 8 of which are confirmed as influenza), we are following best practices and reported this data to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). We are also continuing to plan and prepare to address different situations related to the COVID-19 illness. See below as to how LCS is addressing the high rate of flu-like symptoms, strep throat, and COVID-19.

What we are doing: 

  • We are no longer using handshakes at LCS for greeting or dismissal. 
  • Classrooms have increased hand washing to occur at all transition times. 
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at school entrances. 
  • Doors are propped open wherever possible to decrease transmission via door handles. Community surfaces are being disinfected throughout the day. 
  • We will be increasing our stock of hand soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, Quats (disinfectant spray), and thermometer covers for taking temperatures. 
  • Our LCS Staff Crisis Team met today to discuss the current illness protocol and any possible procedures for COVID-19 that may be needed in the coming months. 

What you can do:

  • Please do not send students with respiratory symptoms or fever to school. If your child is feeling ill before school with any temperature near 100 degrees Farenheit, please keep them at home. 
  • We will contact families to pick up students with fevers at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or other symptoms of flu or strep throat. We will be cautious and notify families even of mild symptoms due to the frequency of illness at this time.
  • If students have respiratory symptoms such as coughing, we may ask them to wear a mask until they are picked up.   
  • Please plan to pick up students who are unwell within 30 minutes. We have limited space available in the office for students to wait, and want to limit exposure for other students as much as possible. If you are unable to pick up your child within 30 minutes, consider using your listed emergency contacts as an option to help.
  • We require students to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school. In this current situation, 48 hours may be preferable and we encourage as much rest and recovery as possible. 
  • Remember that if your child receives a diagnosis from a medical professional of a communicable illness, notify the school as soon as you are able so we can send out a notice to all families on the level.
  • If you are considering travel for Spring Break, you can check for travel recommendations and other COVID-19 updates from MDH here.

We are paying attention to the news, following guidelines set by MDH, and in continued contact with our Minneapolis Public Schools nurse. You will hear from us if any circumstances change. We value the health and safety of our community and want to take part in the global effort to keep public health risks to a minimum. Thank you for joining us in that effort!

Ben Moudry
Head of School

3-4-20 11:47am
COVID-19 Health Information from LCS

Hello LCS Families, 

As the safety of our children and community is our first priority, Lake Country School wants to update and assure you that we are monitoring information regarding coronavirus disease, now called COVID-19. Lake Country School is following information as available from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and our Minneapolis Public Schools nurse. We are in the cold and flu season and COVID-19 symptoms are similar to these more common infections. It is believed that it is far more likely that anyone in Minnesota with respiratory symptoms is suffering from a cold or flu. 

What We Are Doing 

  • Monitoring and following guidelines for schools as established by the Minnesota Department of Health and CDC.
  • Washing hands regularly, specifically before lunch, and wiping on common surfaces and door handles with disinfectant.
  • Giving age appropriate lessons at in each classroom this week or next week about the COVID-19 virus (for Children’s House just about viruses in general).
  • Sending students home if they have a fever or illness.
  • Assessing approaches to upcoming community events where large groups will gather.
  • Preparing to intercede in instances of harassment or discrimination, particularly against community members of Asian descent, that may occur as news of the virus continues.
  • Evaluating options if it is necessary to close the school temporarily.

What You Can Do 

  • Keep students at home if they are experiencing fever and illness.Report student illness with an email or phone call.
    • We will support anyone experiencing symptoms to stay home with leniency and understanding for absences during this time.
  • Follow these practices:
    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Cover your cough in an elbow.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Abstain from sharing food or drink.
    • Stay home when sick: wait 24 hours after the end of a fever and/or vomiting before returning to school or work. 

Those traveling between Minnesota and affected geographic areas with widespread or sustained community transmission or who had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 may be contacted by MDH officials and asked to restrict movement for 14 days. We will support additional absences to accommodate this if needed. Please reference the MDH and CDC websites for up-to-date information about travel.

Your family may want to plan how you would manage childcare, work, and activities should schools or workplaces need to close. The MDH also suggests gradually building up supplies of nonperishable foods, medications and anything else you may need if required to be quarantined at home for two weeks because of an infection and to help cease the spread of the virus to others.

We will share any additional information, health policy updates, or changes as needed. As always, if any communicable illness is diagnosed by a health professional, please remember to contact the school as soon as possible so we can notify families with an email alert (no names are used, only the classroom is shared). Please contact us if you have any further questions.

Ben Moudry
Head of School




Mission Statement

Lake Country School is a Montessori learning environment that fosters independence, critical thinking, and creativity within each child. We are a community that promotes diversity and inclusion, as well as respect and responsibility to self, to others, and to the earth.

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3755 Pleasant Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55409
Phone 612.827.3707
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