I hope you’re healthy and safe despite both the virus and now the fires. Writing with a couple of requests and important updates:
Larchmont’s biggest and, in this unusual year, our primary fundraiser for the year is underway. Our Annual Giving Drive is how we historically raise more than 70% of the funds we raise for the whole year and it underwrites 10-15% of Larchmont’s entire annual operating budget. These vital funds ensure our class sizes stay low, that we can continue to have an enriched program, and that we can have the technology, curriculum and resources needed to support students and teachers right now. Please stretch to give meaningfully.
Be sure you are registered to vote and to read up on the upcoming LAUSD school board election (valley and harbor area) as well as the national election in November to understand which candidates will support schools like Larchmont. Our school will feel the effects of the election for years to come.
The environment related to COVID-19 continues to be incredibly dynamic. I want to update you on some of the latest changes and what they mean for Larchmont. Our staff has been working hard to prepare for reopening by developing and implementing health and safety protocols, administering daily health symptom screening checklists, requiring masks and adherence to physical distancing policies, securing PPE and increased hand sanitizer stations, increasing cleaning of high traffic areas, and modifying facilities including upgrading the air filtration. There is still more work to be done in this area and it’s in process.
Governor Newsom recently put out a new color-coded 4 tier COVID-19 reopening tracker. Counties are tiered based on the number of COVID-19 cases recorded each day and the % of positive cases out of the total number of tests administered, both averaged over 7 days. LA County remains in Purple or Tier 1 which indicates the virus is widespread with more than 7 cases per 100,000 residents or more than 8% of test results reported positive over seven days. There’s a 21 day waiting period to move to a less restrictive tier. Once LA has moved to the red tier/Tier 2 and remains there for 14 days then LACDPH will evaluate whether schools can reopen.
LA County recently updated its reopening protocols to allow schools to resume in-person services for up to 10% of highest need English Learners and Students with Disabilities. Only a handful of schools/districts are proceeding with this, as there are major operational concerns. LAUSD (relevant both for authorizer relationship, Special Education Local Plan Area – SELPA, and prop 39 co-location campus) is prohibiting in-person services on its sites. For now, Larchmont is aiming to begin 1:1 in-person special education assessments and possibly ELD assessments at the end of September on our private sites. Planning for this is being done in collaboration with our staff who will administer these assessments. We will continue working toward readiness for reopening once it is safe to do so.
For now we remain in Phase 1, Option A and continue to ready the sites and our systems/protocols. This all remains incredibly dynamic and we’re committed to continual communication and collaboration as we navigate this constantly shifting COVID-19 regulatory environment. We are going to put out at least biweekly updates moving forward so we all are aware of the latest information.
Lastly, we’re rethinking beginning of year diagnostic assessments to ensure that it’s easy for all to administer remotely and the data is useful to teachers in supporting students. Students won’t be taking NWEA MAP at this time. Your Principal will be in contact regarding what assessment is happening at your grade level. Please know students should complete these independently. They are not high stakes and will not be used for grading. They’re purely diagnostic to understand student’s level of proficiency.
That’s it for now. Thanks so much for all you do. We know this time is challenging for all.
Thank you for being kind and for all you do.