2020-2021 Planning Updates for the LCS Community
SEE THE LATEST UPDATES BELOW ABOUT OUR 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR AT LCS.
May 21, 2020
Subject: 2020-2021 Planning Update #2
Dear LCS Families,
The special committee that was created a couple weeks ago now has a name: the Planning for Safety and Learning Team (PSL Team). The PSL Team had a good week of research, goal setting, staff engagement, and much more. This update will inform you of the principles and values guiding the committee, the main goals and vision of success, the structure, its membership, and next steps.
Guiding Principles and Values
The team started its work by reviewing LCS’s mission and values (see below). At the center of our mission and values is supporting the development of children and adolescents and supporting families.
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.
LCS Values - Montessori Pedagogy, Love of Work, Peaceful Community, and Stewardship
Goals and Vision for Success
After reaffirming the principles and values, the team set the following goals and vision for planning the 2020-2021 school year
- Safety and Well-Being
- Montessori Education (hands-on, self-paced, collaborative, joyful, social/emotional)
- Clarity, Simplicity, Order, and Beauty
- Proactive Work and Plans to React
- A Collaborative, Connected, and Interdependent Community
- Stable and Secure
Structure of PSL Team
The PSL Team has five committees. The committees will gather resources and information, identify concerns, and suggest solutions for their specific area of focus.
The committees are:
- Safety, Protocols, and Logistics
- Onsite Learning Environment
- Learning from Home & Technology
- Calendar and Events
PSL Team Members
The PSL Team is composed of 21 people with representation of administrative staff, teaching staff, and parents/guardians (some of whom are board members), as well as a school nurse.
Parents / Guardians
Lucinda Anderson (Admissions)
Mindy Holte (E2)
Aimee Horstman Olson (JH)
Minna Brooks (CH, E1)
The team will continue to get guidance from strategic local, national, and international resources about opening school safely and with optimal learning practices. Along with our mission and values, we will be guided by information from these outside sources. The PSL Team will continue to communicate weekly with the LCS community to share updates about its work, timelines, and decisions.
Our objectives for next week are to:
- Review the key Montessori principles identified by staff and use those for planning
- Get feedback from staff about possible scenarios for onsite learning practices
- Begin to draft policies, procedures, and solutions to issues
In the next few weeks, the PSL Team will ask for feedback from families about possible scenarios to help us understand your ideas, opinions, and concerns. Look for more information about ways to give feedback in future updates.
Head of School
May 14, 2020
Subject: 2020-2021 Planning Updates
Dear LCS Families,
Although we are in an unusual situation with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we are getting back into the usual rhythm of life within our school community. We are finalizing plans for end of year events, welcoming in new families, and preparing for the summer.
Something that is different though is how we are planning for next year. Last week, LCS created a special committee to support the school in planning for how to implement different possible scenarios for school next year, specifically how and when children and adolescents can return to having school onsite. This committee is composed of 21 people with equal representation of administrative staff, teaching staff, and parents/guardians (some of whom are board members), as well as a school nurse. This committee will meet weekly and has subcommittees for safety protocols, onsite learning environments, communication, calendar & events, and the learning from home approach.
The committee’s work is informed by local, national, and international experts in the fields of health and safety, Montessori education, independent schools, and distance learning (including technology). These connections will help LCS chart a deliberate and well informed course for next year. Plotting this course will be based on broad experience with an in-depth knowledge of all factors related to living in a world with COVID-19, primarily safety and Montessori education. Our plan for next year will also be informed by feedback from LCS families, specifically your feelings, thoughts, and needs. Look for a survey in our next weekly update to give your feedback so we can create a plan that meets our community’s needs.
We all want to know definitively how children and adolescents will go to school at LCS next year and we want it now or very soon. However, we also logically know it does not make sense to make a final decision now, months before the start of school when there is new information every week about managing safety with COVID-19. Although there is an ever changing landscape, we can forecast a few basic scenarios for which to plan: all onsite full time, rotating groups onsite part time, or all learning from home full time. Whatever school looks like next year, it will be carefully planned and thoughtfully implemented. It will also meet the requirements of state and local public health officials and take into account the recommendations of the CDC.
We do know and you can rely upon our decisions to be aligned with LCS’s mission, vision, and values. We will continue to be the school we all love. A special place that families seek and are grateful to join because of our support and respect the natural development of children and adolescents.
When you chose LCS you chose a place that values problem solving, facing difficulties, and growth through challenge; all within a community context. We are built for this situation and will get through it together; stronger, more capable, and more connected.
Head of School