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April 10, 2020
April 10th Letter

April 10, 2020

Dear Families,

Governor Wolf announced yesterday that all Pennsylvania schools will be physically closed through this school year. I know for many of us this was expected, but disappointing news. For our students and teachers, there is much that they will miss and long for, including important milestones such as the Pre-K and Kindergarten Book Celebration, the 1/2 sleepover, the 3/4 camping trip, the Spring Concert, May Fair, and Meeting for Graduation. These celebrate our values, our community and our growing independence. We will continue to look for ways to honor our connections and milestones in our new online format. For example, last night we had our first Meeting for Worship for LFS parents, staff  and Meeting members. This was a valuable time for all of us to connect and see one another. Our students are sharing suggestions that show their resilience and creativity. We will begin to share details of how our distance learning program will continue to take shape next week. We look forward to your continued partnership as we build a program that continues to care for our students and community, and honors the very important milestones ahead. 

Our distance learning program requires family support in many ways, and we are exploring how  to make this collaboration as easy as possible. We are working to streamline the online information so that families can efficiently access links and passwords. This week, each classroom teacher will be sending out a Google Doc reference page entitled, "Tr. ________'s links and passwords". Be on the lookout for instructions on bookmarking this page for quick access. You might also find it helpful to write individual passwords on an index card to keep in a handy place. If you would like to talk further about creating schedules for your child or creating organization systems, please email Tr. Merryl at mgladstone@lansdownefriendsschool.org

We are making updates to our Seesaw accounts so that they include Specials teachers. We will be adding tabs for each of your child's specials (art, music, shop, PE, library, and Spanish) to your child's Seesaw homepage. Specials teachers will be inviting students to join them in activities via Seesaw. When they post an activity, a red circle will appear near their special's name on their tab.  

As we enter our third week online, teachers are scaling up or refining their interactions and assignments with students. This includes working to meet each student where they are, and encouraging them to grow through this challenge. Our assignments are important, and we encourage students to complete them and follow classroom schedules. We know the online format and learning at home is far from ideal for all students and families. Our hope is you will support your children to engage with their classrooms and assignments, and we trust that you know the needs of your child in that moment. If a student is not able to complete an assignment they will not be penalized. We all can best support student growth when we are in open communication about how learning is going. If your child is having a hard time with any aspect of learning, please be in touch with their teacher so we can make a support plan. 

Although the COVID news changes by the hour, it is comforting to know that certain things are timeless.  These include our own strong sense of community and our faith in one another and the inner light in each of us. Staying at home and guiding our children through remote learning is an unexpected journey we are all making to keep others healthy. We all are experiencing some sense of loss and grief which we share with the whole world during this crisis. We are grateful for the work of essential workers at this time to keep communities functioning, safe and healthy. We continue to stand with you through this time and are grateful for your partnership. 

Tr. Merryl and Tr. Nancy