I wanted to emphasize a very important aspect of the Remote Learning Plan, that may not be immediately obvious as it is less about 'Learning' and more about supporting the environment that provides us the the ability to learn.
A significant part of the design of the plan is to ensure daily contact with our families. This in not simply to facilitate learning and resolve questions, but to mitigate isolation. Isolation can impact mental health and create conditions where families are alone and potentially under-resourced without a means to get support.
The key to our plan are the "Family Mentors" who will be checking in with families daily so that we can ensure that, just as in the case every day at the Lyme School, our students and families mental health needs, sense of belonging, nutrition and physical health are also cared for.
To this end I have been speaking with counselors to provide remote mental health services, Chef Paul and I have a plan to assist families with food, I am speaking with health care providers about ways to provide remote health advise and refill medication if that becomes difficult, and ways to assist single adult families who may not be able to do critical errands because they can't leave their children alone.
Our efforts in these areas will also be coordinated with town agencies, so that their resources and volunteers can focus their attention on homes who do not have children and extend their capacity to meet our community's needs.
Also through this design our staff, particularly those that are hourly, will not be impacted financially while the school facility is closed. We will use all our resources, existing relationships, and the talent of our truly dedicated staff to extend the capacity of our town to support the entire community.
I sincerely believe that schools serve their entire community, even those that are not in our classrooms, in ways that we all benefit. Sometimes, these benefits are not recognized, but these contributions to our larger society and community are nonetheless very intensional and extremely important to us.
We are here for each other.
Jeff Valence, Lyme School Superintendent/Principal
Compassion • Integrity • Fairness • Perseverance • Courage• Responsibility • Acceptance of others • Individuality