Reopening Update - NE Tri County Recommends Distance Learning Start

posted Aug 11, 2020, 1:01 PM by Brad VanDyne
8/11/2020

Hello Loon Lake Families,

I want to thank you all for taking the time to speak with me recently on the phone.  I appreciate your input and your thoughtful concerns about the safest path forward for your family.  I have a very important message today, so thank you so much for taking the time to listen.  

As I told you all during our recent conversations, our goal was to start school with face-to-face instruction in our building, but that we might not be able to do that depending on case counts and recommendations from our local Department of Health.  

As I’m sure you are aware, we have seen an uptick in COVID cases here in Stevens County, and the numbers put us in the high risk category for holding school face-to face.  Because of this, Northeast Tri County Health has officially recommended that schools in Stevens County start with a distance learning only model.  After careful consideration, the school board and I have decided to follow their recommendation.  As our counselor, Miss Kristi, and I tell our students all the time, our number one job is to keep them safe.  So if we are going to live by that, we cannot go against the health department recommendations.  The safety of your kids, the safety of your entire family, and the safety of our staff and their families are our top priority.  This is a difficult decision, and not one we take lightly.  We are beyond disappointed that we can’t have our kids back yet, and we hope to begin phasing kids back as soon as we safely can.  I will be meeting with NE Tri County Health regularly.  We all hope this is very temporary.  

All that being said, our team is 100% committed to making the start of the school year a success for each of our students.  Forget about last spring.  We’re going to do it differently, and we are going to do it better.  We have created a daily schedule, so you and your kids know what is expected each day.  This schedule is available on our website and will be shared via our Facebook page.  We are investing in hotspots for families who need them, and we have a Chromebook available for every student.  Our teachers will be doing what they were born to do, and that is teaching your kids each day.  This is our job, not yours.  

Also, we just don’t believe it would be right to start the school year without your child meeting their teacher.  So, we are going to spend our first 3 days of school (which is September 2nd, 3rd, and 4th) doing face-to-face conferences, while of course following all safety guidelines.  At these meetings, your child can meet their teacher, we can review schedules and expectations, we can give you your Chromebook, and we can problem solve and try to answer any questions you may have.  We will schedule these conferences closer to the end of August.  

Please know that I am very aware that distance learning will be a challenge for many of you.  It will be a challenge for us, too.  It is my personal mission to listen to you, serve you, and do whatever I can to get you what you need.  

I will have more information soon about meals and other details, so there is certainly more to come.  

We will get through these tough times together.  Thank you for your continued partnership.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to me with any questions or concerns you have.  

Take good care and I’ll talk to you again soon – 
Brad
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