This is a high-level update on key COVID-19 issues at LPS as of July 2020. For the full and latest information, please visit www.lynnschools.org or reach out to me directly with your questions.
Above all, I want to thank everyone who has stepped up in this difficult moment: LPS staff, LPS students (particularly the Class of 2020), and LPS family members. I’ve heard many inspiring stories – from teachers hand delivering needed materials, to high schoolers volunteering at local food banks, to grade schoolers crafting thank you cards for frontline workers. As a member of the School Committee, I sincerely appreciate all those who are doing their best to lift our community in such a difficult moment.
Thanks to the frontline bravery and hard work of our essential cafeteria staff, LPS has been providing 10,000 meals per week to students in Lynn since the pandemic’s onset. That will continue this summer.
One of the biggest obstacles to remote learning has been technology. I’m excited to share that LPS is adopting a new online learning management system that will enable our educators to teach and organize their classrooms and lessons online. We have devices for all staff and we will have devices for any student who needs one. Working with Comcast, we are ready to provide internet access to any family that needs it.
Given the impact of COVID-19 on the state budget, this is one of our biggest question marks. Knowing that the federal government must step in, we formally supported the efforts of our federal lawmakers to bring back support for local schools.
Many questions about what this fall will look like remain unanswered. But the District is planning for contingencies and reaching out to stakeholders.
In May, I wrote an Op-Ed in the Daily Item encouraging the proactive solicitation of feedback from families, understanding how important communication will be in the efforts to make sure students and families don’t get left behind.
LPS has solicited feedback through a survey to families. The Superintendent has convened an advisory council that includes the perspectives of teachers, students, families and community leaders.
State education officials released the first in a series of announcements about what is required for the fall on June 25, 2020. We expect LPS to start sharing more specifics about our plan by July 15, 2020. At that time, LPS will also start rolling out a communications plan, including open online forums, to reach and engage families about the reopening.
Per the State’s guidance, reopening planning will prepare for both in-person and online learning, and a combination of the two. The planning process will carefully consider the particular challenges that our English Learner and special education students face in the context of reopening and remote learning.