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Early August Update
Early August Update
Jeff Valence
Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Hello Everyone !

I want to update everyone on progress we are making and how to make sure you get information and communication from the school as effectively as possible.

STAYING INFORMED
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DECISION MAKING

There is a remote Board Meeting scheduled for August 7th at 6pm (Preliminary agenda).  The Board is working incredibly hard at managing an impossible decision in uncharted and an uncertain time. 

The challenge of communication via email and meeting remotely make this even more difficult. 

Anxiety, uncertainty and the fear of living through a pandemic requires information and communication to be efficient and available, unfortunately given our situation, both of these are somewhat compromised.  Please recognize all that can be done is being investigated and discussed, this will more likely lead to the patience we all need to get through this period in our lives. 

The Board is made up of your neighbors who have volunteered to assist the school in its operation,  The school is made up of individuals who have committed their careers to supporting your children.  Our community has shown its has the capacity to rise above and meet challenges with poise and grace.  We are more fortunate than most because of these facts.

We are working on multiple fronts trying to address the logistics associated with any of the different scenarios under which we will be opening or might need to revert to.  This requires, and will continue to require, herculean efforts from board members, full year employees and administrators as well as school year employees.  I am confident we can do what needs to be done because I believe in all of these individuals.  I have never worked with a more dedicated and innovative staff than we have working at the Lyme School right now.

UPDATES ON LOGISTICS:

Health and Safety: We have a team working on the Health and Health Screening protocols with the nurses and volunteer community health professionals. They are examining a complex list of questions that need answers and clear recommendations.  This is a significant challenge that will need the support of all of us. 

Communications: Our Communications committee is implementing a communications plan,  the first step of which is the information at the top of this email and  a single page on our website which will contain information as it evolves which is linked from the main page under the heading “COVID INFORMATION".

Learning and Instruction:  Our Instructional team is working on several different and creative ways to enable instruction outdoors, while the weather allows, and we are meeting as a faculty on the 13th & 14th to brainstorm other important solutions to teaching under these circumstances.  Supply Lists for on-site instruction will be sent out soon after this has been posted.  The list is greater than typical due to current health recommendations . If the purchase of these supplies present a fiscal burden please contact me directly.

Supporting Remote Learners:   We are actively assessing what resources we possess and what creative solutions we devise to support families which are required to remain remote learners.  This is a complex issue as teachers will be stretched to retool to teaching under the mitigation requirements which are in place to reduce the chance of transmission. For this reason, we must figure out ways that do not require teachers to do two jobs at once.  We have ideas, we need solutions and fortunately we have people ready to help.  Please continue to reach out to me so I can hear your questions and have the opportunity to update you on our current progress, 

Facilities: Our B&G team met last week to review our Disinfection Plan, Furniture and classroom configuration options to achieve 6' distancing, assess cleaning and disinfection products and their availability, and review UV and HVAC possibilities to mitigate air transmission (lots of thanks for the different leads and ideas from community members).  We are also in the midst of renovating the nurses office to provide an isolation space as directed by CDC & Health officials.

Transportation:  This remains a challenge which, depending on the number of riders, may be more or less of an obstacle to overcome.


I look forward to resolving these questions one by one until we can provide answers to each other (knowing that they may not be satisfactory to everyone - including ourselves).  There will be others to solve following these.

I will end with the reminder and hope that in the process of resolving and responding to these challenges, we don’t lose what makes us who we are.   We must strive to ensure that  Lyme will look and feel like the place we left when COVID began.  This comes down to the state of our relationships, and the care we invest to them, which given all that we must contend with, is likely the greatest challenge we face.

Please wear a mask, practice giving people the benefit of doubt and the courtesy of direct communication, and most importantly, please take care of others,  there is too much to lose and so much more we can gain,

Jeff

Jeff Valence
Superintendent, Lyme School District SAU #76
35 Union Street, Lyme, New Hampshire 03768
www.lymeschool.org  |  facebook
Compassion • Integrity • Fairness • Perseverance • Courage• Responsibility • Acceptance of others • Individuality