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January 7, 2022

Letter from Tr. Neal

Dear LFS Families,

On Monday evening I sent you a letter thanking you for doing such a great job with last weekend’s Covid testing and also reminding everyone about the threat to in-person learning posed by the quickly-spreading Omicron variant. Then of course yesterday we learned that one of our Covid “pools” tested positive, and we found ourselves in a quandary as we looked to balance health and safety with the cost to students of missing on-campus schooling. 

Ultimately, we decided to keep the children in Tr. Kate’s and Tr. Jill’s classes here yesterday but to then have them miss school today. We’ll be individually testing everyone in Tr. Kate’s pool this morning, and we have supplied everyone in Tr. Jill’s class with rapid tests so that they can be tested over the weekend. Based on the results of these tests, and on the number of adults who are sick with Covid or other illnesses, we may be forced to move a class, some classes, or even the whole school to online learning, hopefully for a short duration this month. As we’ve been doing, I promise to let you know what we know as soon as we know it and to give as much notice and clarity as possible about any changes. 

At our staff meeting on Wednesday, we talked about this dilemma … of wanting to keep children and teachers safe in the face of this highly contagious variant while also wanting the kids here on campus where they learn best and thrive socially and emotionally. What we do know is that we have seen very little, if any, transmission of Covid here on campus over the past 22 months. Our safety protocols and vigilance have largely been successful. However, Omicron spreads more easily than other variants, even if it appears less virulent. I want to continue to encourage you to have your children vaccinated (if they are eligible), and to be as careful at home as you can be, particularly over these next few weeks. This link takes you to vaccination sites. Also make sure that your child comes to school wearing a non-cloth mask and one that fits well. This seems even more important in protecting against the spread of Omicron.  

There are so many silver linings to the pandemic. One of them has been the outpouring of support from you all, our families. I can’t tell you how many encouraging emails we have received, and how many times parents have offered sound advice, asked helpful questions, and/or simply reached out to express their gratitude. Another silver lining is seeing our teachers rise to this challenging situation. Teaching is always rewarding, but it’s also challenging work under normal circumstances. With the twists and turns of Covid, including the uncertainties of possible quarantines and the very real anxiety about getting sick or having one’s students becoming ill, it’s made it only more so. I very much appreciate the way our teachers have shared their suggestions and their concerns, and how we’ve stuck together as a professional community with courage and collaboration … all without losing our senses of humor. Some of you may have seen the “hope for snow day” snow dance that Tr. Dee put together last night. Well, at least they got a 2-hour delay!

As I wrote last month … while Covid continues to dominate our thinking and our communication, the daily life of school moves forward, with all its joy and discovery. We hope that 2022 brings even more joy (and less Covid), and we are thrilled to be working closely with your children and in partnership with you. 

With Gratitude,

Tr. Neal

COVID-19 Related Updates and Information

We continue to follow the Pennsylvania Health Department guidelines for elementary schools. 

We will continue to update you as the situation changes.

We provide links here, where you will find the most current and factual information.