The beginning of school school year on Thursday, August 6th will be unlike any previous first day, but the Lucerne Valley Unified School District is doing what it can to give students the best start possible.
Following new mandates and guidelines to protect students and staff members from COVID-19, all learning will be done remotely at the Middle High School. Meanwhile, Lucerne Valley Elementary School is looking at a hybrid on-campus and distance learning plan.
MIDDLE HIGH SCHOOL
LVMHS will provide a Distance Learning Handbook to all of its students. The 9-page document explains the school’s distance learning vision, the difference between distance learning and the Lucerne Valley Virtual Academy — which is for students unable to attend classes during scheduled times — student and parent/guardian action to help ensure student success, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and mental health support systems, counseling opportunities, food services information and more.
On Thursday, July 30, the LVMHS staff handed out new Chromebook laptops to all incoming 7th-graders and other school materials to both 7th- and 8th-graders. The High School will hold a similar “drive-thru” Open House to hand out materials on Wednesday, August 5. The High School Open House schedule will be 10 a.m.-Noon for last names starting A-L; Noon-2 p.m. for last names starting M-Z. (A video will go up shortly to discuss the High School Open House).
Using the Google Meet online program, Middle High School students will have six 30-minute periods a day from 8 to 11:50 a.m. with 10-minute passing/transitions between each. After lunch, a two-hour, 15-minute block is dedicated to parent/student communication, small group digital instruction, and extra support and tutoring for students.
For the estimated 50 to 60 families who don’t have internet service at home, the Middle High School’s student parking lot (on the east side of the campus) has been set up with wifi service. The district is also working on other solutions to bridge the digital gap.
“We’re trying to make sure every student is taken care of,” said LVMHS Co-Principal Kelly Boeing.
Lucerne Valley Elementary School has filed for a waiver to allow the school to conduct a Hybrid Model plan, which would allow the school to have a reduced number of students on campus at a time for learning sessions. Letters of support for the plan from the teachers and classified unions, parents, community groups and district administrators have been included with the waiver request.
“It’s all down in the county’s hands,” said Superintendent Peter Livingston.
LVES Principal Ricky Anderson and new Assistant Principal Joanna Mora have created the “Hybrid and Distance Learning Handbook.” The 13-page document addresses the school’s COVID-19 protocols and safeguards, lunch times and procedures, a sample on-campus school day schedule, a sample Distance Learning Schedule, a Kindergarten Distance Learning schedule, recess safety safeguards and more.
The LVES Hybrid Model provides for in-class learning and instruction, digital learning, independent practice while providing safety precautions and keeping numbers small when students are on campus.
“This has been a complete collaborative process,” Assistant Superintendent Nate Lambdin, who also serves as co-principal of LVMHS with Boeing, said during the July 25 school board meeting. “All the different sectors (administration, teachers, staff) have come together on this over the last two months.”
The school district has invested substantially in COVID-19 safeguards including a large supply of hand soap and sanitizer, upgraded air filtration, and touchless hand wash and walk-through touchless thermometer stations.
“We’re really putting the safety of our kids paramount, along with their learning,” Lambdin added.
“I firmly believe we are ready to reopen,” Livingston said.
Lucerne Valley Middle School held a Drive-Thru Open House on Thursday, July 30th to hand out new Chromebooks to 7th-graders and other supplies for both 7th- and 8th-graders. The High School will conduct a similar Drive-Thru Open House on Wednesday, August 5.