Health and Safety
At the forefront of every year is the health and safety of all Lake Panthers - staff and students alike. The health and safety of students has been my top priority every year, regardless of a pandemic. Obviously, we will continue with this focus in the fall. In order to create a healthier atmosphere, we have or are in the process of implementing several facility improvements:
Not long after the school was closed in mid-March, we placed an order of an electrostatic sprayer that will allow us to decontaminate classrooms, furniture, and various classroom items more efficiently and effectively than before.
We have replaced the carpet in the main building classrooms with epoxy flooring. Epoxy floors create a seamless surface that is easier to clean than carpets and will not harbor bacteria or mildew. It is our long-term plan to replace all carpeted classrooms.
All classrooms will have sinks.
In addition to physical improvements, we plan to hire an additional part-time custodian/maintenance person to ensure we remain vigilant on cleaning and maintaining the school facility - new and old.
I have been reading many articles and attending webinars regarding the concern the pandemic has on the social-emotional health of children. After several years of implementing our social-emotional program, Toolbox, we feel we are well-versed in meeting the psychological needs of all our students. In addition, we have made connections with resources in the county such as mental health counseling and school-based counseling. We will continue to rely on this network of support in order to meet the needs of all our students.
Addressing Learning Gaps
I addressed this in a previous post, you can review it here. Rest assured, we have already been discussing the academic needs students may have when they return to us in the fall. We feel that children are resilient and we will meet them where they are academically. Teaching is what we do best and we are excited to get back to the classroom to do it!
You may have heard that the governor's budget cuts funding for schools. While it is still unclear how much we will be impacted, we are planning for a 10% cut to our revenues. This is not great news, however, we have done a good job over the past several years of not overspending and have resources in place to weather this storm. I meet with our CBO (Chief Business Officer), Dusty Thompson, on a weekly basis to continue to monitor the budget.
As the state continues to share information regarding school reopening recommendations, I will share these updates with our Lake community. Communication with Public Health as well as feedback from parents will help guide us in how to continue to uphold our Lake values and culture during this time. Lake is a community built on a foundation of close connections and family values with a deep passion for doing what is best for kids. This will never change. These characteristics that make us unique will always remain in the forefront of our approach to returning back to school this fall.
Lake View Charter School
I believe it is safe to say that the last few months have taken us all by surprise. Parents suddenly found themselves teaching their children under the guidance of classroom teachers. While this certainly was not our preferred environment, we are extremely proud of our parents for providing the best learning environment despite the situation. I have heard from many of you that you will be glad when Distance Learning comes to an end and you can turn the teaching back over to the experts. At the same time, I know that Distance Learning has been a positive experience in which some may want to continue. After measures have been put in place to start the 2020-21 school year, and you feel the homeschool-like environment is a better fit for your family, Lake View Charter School may be an option for you. Did you know we authorized a charter school last year? Lake View Charter School is a K-12 personalized learning charter. You can check out the link here for more information.
Our Focus for 2020-21 is not complete without feedback from the Lake community, specifically our parents. Please take a moment to complete this survey in order for us to have a better understanding of your expectations of returning in the fall.
The survey is divided into two parts: Part I is feedback regarding our implementation of Distance Learning. Should we be required to close our school in the future and return to Distance Learning, we want to make sure we meet the needs of our families the best we can. Part II is intended to garner information from our families of what your expectations are regarding coming back to school. This input will help us align the Public Health Department’s recommendations with our families' expectations. Thank you in advance for completing the survey.
It is an understatement to say we are living in interesting times. I am honored to be part of a district that met our current challenges head on. Together, we remain and will always be a strong Lake Panther family.