I hope you are doing well and that conferences have been a productive time to connect with the teachers and learn more about how your students are doing. I’m writing now with several important updates:
SURVEYS – We need to hear from you. Please complete the parent survey if you haven’t already – this provides vital feedback that shapes and informs our planning.
ELECTION – November 3rd is fast approaching – please read up on the local candidates and initiatives and how they impact charter schools like ours.
ANNUAL GIVING DRIVE – It’s crunch time. This is our biggest and only large fundraiser this year. Please stretch to give meaningfully knowing that some in our community can’t give as they have historically and that Larchmont really needs these funds to navigate these times flexibly and maintain our program.
REOPENING PLANNING – As you’ve likely heard the numbers are trending in the wrong direction nationally and locally with the LA County positivity rate climbing from 2.9% to 3.4% and the case count from 7.3 to 7.6 per 100,000 residents in recent weeks. This keeps us in the Tier 1/Purple for reopening with transmission of the virus considered widespread and the highest risk. The County would need to move to Tier 2/Red with substantial transmission and be there for 14 days before schools would be allowed to reopen in hybrid. We would wait an additional two weeks to ensure sufficient time for teachers and families to prepare to transition.
The County has allowed one on one in-person testing for special education and small group cohorts up to 10% (just increased to 25% of enrollment) in person. They also are providing waivers for up to 30 elementary schools a week to reopen the youngest grades. There are more than 1200 schools in LA County and they are prioritizing the highest-need schools. We have not applied for the waiver and intend to move slowly and deliberately to ensure safety and full community readiness before taking further steps to reopen.
At Larchmont, we have started in person one on one special education testing. This has gone smoothly so far and a team is looking at how to support small hubs of the highest need students with proctored distance learning. We’re also starting to meet with teacher teams to map out the details of the plan to reopen and our operations team has been making the necessary purchases, facilities upgrades, and developing the necessary protocols and policies to ensure we’re ready to open when the time comes and it’s safer.
ANTI-BIAS ANTI-RACIST EDUCTION (ABAR) – Larchmont is part of two national efforts in this area: The Bridges Collaborative focused on the integration of schools and housing and how the issues intersect and the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition Communities of Practice focused on Anti-Bias Education and Diversity in Hiring. Larchmont’s local focus is on growing our capacity in ABAR curriculum/instruction, in recruitment to boost our student and staff diversity, and in family engagement to intentionally work to ensure our parent involvement supports diversity, equity and inclusion. While staff has the primary role in this work, parents can assist with research and development, sharing resources and connections, helping with recruitment of students and staff, and helping to ensure our community is equitable and inclusive.
SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITY'S WELLBEING – The prolonged pandemic and heated political climate are contributing to chronic stress and exhaustion for many in our community. Please know there are counseling resources for students and that our team can also connect families in need with community resources. We are here to support students and families as we’re able so don’t hesitate to reach out. Please be mindful that our teachers, staff and leaders are also stretched thin juggling family and work at home. Thank you for your patience and positivity in all interactions.
Thanks so much for all you do to make our school strong.