Dear Lakeside Elementary Community,
Since the day we sensed the COVID pandemic would threaten the normal operation of Lakeside Elementary School, as a staff we prioritized our operations as: 1) feed our students, 2) maintain the safest possible environment for students, staff and families, and 3) get back to our academic purpose, as quickly and as effectively as possible. These have been the guiding principles for the past 30+/- school days with very few exceptions.
Staff have finally found some routine in our day, but it has been primarily around student meals. Depending on the day, we range between 7 and 11 building staff on buses delivering weekday lunch/breakfast meals to students. On May 1st, an additional bus with two building staff were traveling the boundaries of the Plummer-Worley School District to provide weekend meals (Backpack Program) to some of our families previously identified as families in need.
Work packets are delivered to students every other Tuesday/Wednesday. The most recent delivery was on May 5 and May 6. Certificated teachers carefully select the activities they wish the students to complete. Using technology, activities and materials are made available to onsite staff who reproduce and replicate materials, collate, package, collect packages by family, and make sure the materials get on the correct bus that is placed in a corresponding box so staff know which stop will have which specific students.
Recently, we’ve allowed a few parents to pick up the packet in the foyer at LES, but nearly all of the packets are delivered to families using the same buses delivering meals. Social distancing and personal safety equipment (i.e. gloves) are regularly practiced. LES staff make attempts to contact all parents prior to the delivery event letting them know new materials are available. When packets are being distributed at each location, any student who has completed all, or part of their work can submit their work to staff on the bus. Procedurally, over 8 steps are taken to prepare the materials for teachers to review/evaluate the work while keeping all parties safe. Our return rate is less than stellar, but range in 25-55% return rates depending on the week. Enthusiasm in some of the household’s is starting to wane
Until April 28, certificated teachers were not permitted in the LES building. Some certificated staff were eventually allowed to participate in the delivery of lunches so that they might interact with their students. The certificated teachers’ were astounded by the number of guidelines and procedures required on the buses while delivering said lunches. Our lunch numbers reached new heights during this period.
Following Governor Little’s recently outlined procedures, we hope to bring certificated staff into the building in small numbers over the next week or so. A schedule is being developed to encourage social distancing and allow teachers to continue developing more interactive materials that are generally found in their classroom file cabinets. Procedurally, this is a monumental task, but ultimately this will enable us to provide a higher quality product to our students.
The opportunity to push educational boundaries seem endless, but functioning from a position of reacting to an ever-changing environment remains restrictive!
Lakeside Elementary School