A Letter to Parents from Dr. Beyenhof

Parent Update Letter 9-18-2020
Posted on 09/18/2020
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September 18, 2020


Parents,

I hope this email finds you all well as we finish up our fourth week of school.  It is hard to believe that in only a few weeks we will be at the middle of the first trimester, and it will be time for our first set of Parent-Teacher Conferences on October 5th and 8th from 4 to 8 p.m.  This year our conferences will not be in person, but rather virtual with the option for a Zoom meeting or a phone call with your student’s teachers.  We will be using the same software that our elementary schools use, “Pick A Time,” to schedule your appointments.  Look for more information to be shared next week.


One of the main conversations during conferences tends to be about your child’s grades.  To that end, this morning we sent our first D/F email notification.  If you received such an email, that means that at 8:00 a.m. this morning your child had a D or F in one or more classes.  To know which class(es), you need to check PowerSchool.  The next step is a conversation with your child about the grade and having them follow up with their teacher as needed.  Please make sure you review the email for other suggestions related to correcting the problem and avoiding future academic concerns.


As normal as things like grades and conferences feel for school, we know this has not been a normal school year.  Despite the impacts of Covid-19, our students and staff continue to do an excellent job with our three main actions to reduce any large spread: the usage of face coverings, hand sanitizer/hand washing and social distancing.  We ask that you continue to reinforce with your child the procedures and the implications of these procedures on student attendance.  


We have had a small number of individuals at LCHS test positive for Covid-19, but very few students/staff have been required to quarantine due to the positive tests.  Quarantine will be required if a student is exposed to a positive-tested individual inside 6 feet for more than 15 minutes without a face covering. Those types of interactions are very limited during the school day.  This is not always the case for some of their interactions outside of school.  Please be mindful of your child’s activities and the importance of making safe choices away from school also.


Being in a classroom or other school environment in which your child has been with a person that tests positive does not mean your child will be quarantined, per our Public Health Department (PHD).  This is largely because of our face covering requirement and other mitigation efforts.  What the PHD is recommending is an increased health monitoring of your child, if such a situation has occurred.  In such a case we will make every effort to ensure you receive an email notification from us with some of the recommendations for the health monitoring from the PHD, but your child can continue to attend school, unless we let you know otherwise. 


In addition to Covid, it is the allergy season and with the nights starting to get cooler, we will begin to see the normal cold and flu season begin.  These and other situations lead to student absences.  In the event your child is absent from school for an extended period of time (3 or more days), missing work becomes a priority.  To assist with this, our teachers have been encouraged to leverage some of the support they are using with their students this year:  specifically, Google Classroom and their web presence.  Utilizing these two items in conjunction with the communication of upcoming assignments can help keep students on track.  Please keep in mind this will not be the same as in-person learning or true remote learning, but will keep your child on pace so there are not significant gaps or work to be completed upon their return.  If such an absence were to occur, we would ask that you have your child check their Google Classroom and the teachers’ web presence for work.  In addition, the teacher will likely send you and your child a reminder of where to find assignments and supports to utilize during the absences and the best way to contact them if there are any questions.  If your child has any questions, please have them contact their teacher(s) directly for assignments.  


Please keep in mind that because of these situations we will likely enter “projected” absences in PowerSchool to assist teachers with their planning for student absences.  Additionally, this could impact data like absences in PowerSchool, prior to the days actually occurring on the calendar.  In the event your child is required to stay out of school and you see that we have entered an absent code for several days, we want you to know that some of these are subject to change.  If your child has such a situation and you have any questions, please call us at 712-366-8222.


Along with the implications and changes this year related to Covid, we have a rather large construction project happening with our auditorium and Career and Technical Education expansion.  This project has led to the loss of numerous parking spots, and this, in conjunction with the increased number of student drivers this year, has placed a premium on student parking.  We have made every effort to avoid limiting parking permits, because we know that most of you are dependent on your student to be able to drive to school because of activities and other commitments.  That being said, busing is still one viable option for transportation to and from school if parking becomes too challenging for your student.  If they elect to continue to drive to school, despite our limited parking, please be flexible and patient with those parking options available.  This could mean that if you are running late or if the parking lot is full, your student would have to park in the 9th grade parking locations at the middle school marked with an “HS” and walk to the high school using the trail.  We realize none of this is ideal, but just like a home construction project, the final product does not come without some inconvenience along the way.


As I wrap up this communication, I reflect back to where my mind was in March and April.  I was not optimistic about the completion of the third trimester and was unsure what the start of the 2020-2021 school year would look like.  Well, here we are.  Four weeks of school completed, homecoming completed, fall activities in action, and school, despite the changes, feeling like school again!  I can not say it enough, IT FEELS GREAT TO BE BACK!  Sure, things are different in terms of our procedures and activities, and we have 9% of our students working remotely, but it feels more normal than what you may realize.  In my visits to classrooms, the teachers are teaching, students are taking notes, conversations about learning are occurring, people are Laughing, Learning and Living.  I think those three “L’s” are what is making everything we do worth the effort.  Typically we are talking about the three “R’s” in school, and those are still important, but it is the three “L’s” that give our work meaning and make all the efforts to stay safe worth the energy.


Thank you again for your continued support and together we will get through this!


Proud to be a Titan!

Joel Beyenhof

Principal


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