We understand that this is a trying, challenging and uncertain time for many as we all learn to live with the COVID-19 pandemic. This page has the most up to date information relating to COVID-19 and our schools. The situation is evolving and this site will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.
LSUU has implemented a comprehensive plan to guide the operations of the schools and districts throughout the 2020-2021 school year, Strong and Healthy Plan for 2020-2021.
Health and Safety Protocols
All schools will follow health and safety protocols from the Vermont Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control. These include daily health screenings (including temperature checks), hand hygiene, wearing of face masks and maintaining physical distance. Students and staff must stay home if they:
- show symptoms of COVID-19, such as a cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell;
- have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days;
- have a fever (temperature higher than 100°F);
- have a significant new rash, particularly when other symptoms are present; or
- have large amounts of nasal discharge in the absence of allergy diagnosis.
If COVID-19 is confirmed in a student or staff member, the district will follow cleaning and disinfecting guidelines established by our Vermont agencies. Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 should self-isolate according to guidelines set forth by the Vermont Department of Health. If a staff person or student has been identified as a close contact to someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19, they should self-quarantine and stay home.
Families will be notified of a confirmed case by email, and additional communication will occur as specified in the Strong and Healthy Plan for 2020-2021.
Up-to-Date COVID-19 Information:
Recognizing that community (not school) transmission will be the primary mode of infection, and due to the 14-day incubation of COVID-19, students, families and staff should make extra effort to avoid large gatherings and other situations that put them at greater risk for exposure while school is in session. This will help create the safest environment possible for school to operate.
We need everyone’s help to keep all children, the staff, family members and our community safe. Masks are required for all adults and children in school settings and for arrival and pick-up.
Throughout the year, please do not travel to areas experiencing high levels of community transmission and comply with current state quarantine requirements. If such travel is unavoidable, please contact the school and quarantine those who may have been exposed. The school will work with you to continue your child’s access to learning during such precautionary quarantines.
Classrooms will have sanitizing/cleaning products that can be used to clean surfaces as needed. Common areas will be cleaned throughout the day, including frequently touched surfaces and doors. Additional cleaning will include fogging with approved disinfectant at the end of each day.
Our HVAC (air handling systems) in each of our buildings are regularly monitored to ensure that they operate as designed. We are working closely with Efficiency Vermont to make improvements in our systems with funds from the $6.5 million dollar HVAC grant made available to schools through the State of Vermont.
Student Arrival and Transportation (Including Riding the Bus)
Parents are encouraged to transport their student(s) to school. Each school will provide staggered arrival times as needed to allow for health screenings prior to each student’s entry into school. Parents are asked to wear masks during drop off/pick up.
For students traveling to school by bus, a daily health screening must be conducted for every student prior to boarding the bus. Parents are asked to supervise their student(s) until they have been allowed on the bus. Masks are required for all individuals at bus stops and on the bus, students, parents and employees. Students will have assigned seats and will be spaced out on the bus to provide physical distance. School buses will be cleaned and disinfected following health guidance and will be supplied with hand sanitizer.
Student Schedules and Attendance
The LSUU Board of directors has adopted hybrid instructional disposition as the basis for student instruction, with the expectation that plans provide for as much in-person instruction as possible. Our hybrid learning plan provides for in-person learning on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday’s would provide for remote learning, planning, and support services. For the Reopening of schools, Students will be split into two cohorts. The Groups will be initially determined by alphabet, but adjusted to meet student, family, and programming needs. One cohort will access in-person instruction on Monday and Thursday. The second cohort will access in-person instruction on Tuesday and Friday.
We will evaluate readiness to move into full attendance for all four days, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, after the first three weeks of school. If health and safety circumstances provide, the split schedule for attendance may be implemented at other points during the school year.
Attendance will be taken on both remote and in-person days. Regular attendance and engagement in learning is important for the success and wellbeing of all students.
The school day will follow the normal school start and end times and provide for staggered arrival and departure procedures.
Visitors and volunteers are prohibited, except for employees or contracted service providers for the purpose of special education or required support services, as authorized by the district. If a parent/family member must visit, they may only be in the school office. Meetings will be held remotely whenever possible.
Learning and Assessment
Hybrid instruction in LSUU will be designed to allow us to respond to changing community health circumstances. As the need arises, individual schools, groups of LSUU schools or all schools in the district may transition between “steps” to provide for more enhanced or relaxed health and safety protocols, with as much in-person instruction as possible.
LSUU schools will begin in Step 2, with approval of Vermont’s Secretary of Education for schools to move to Step 3, and provided we meet locally established criteria to expand in-person instruction, LSUU schools will transition to Step 3, with advanced notice to families.
LSUU’s Hybrid Learning Plan
|Step 1||Step 2||Step 3|
|100% Remote, adapted from hybrid instructional design||Hybrid instructional design.||Hybrid instructional design.|
|LSUU courses and instruction with some synchronous learning and social-emotional supports.||LSUU courses and instruction with some face-to-face instruction and social-emotional supports.||In-person instruction on M, T, Th, F for all students.|
|Individual learning “kits” sent home.||Students will be split into 2 cohorts. One cohort will access in-person instruction on M, Th and the second cohort will access in-person instruction on T, F.||Wednesdays provide remote learning, planning, and a deep clean.|
|Wednesdays provide remote learning, planning, and a deep clean.||Transition to step 3 will prioritize elementary and middle school students, our younger learners.|
|Normal school start and end times, with staggered arrival and departure procedures.||High schools may consider more transitions during the day.|
|Normal school start and end times, with staggered arrival and departure procedures.|
Alternatively, students in grades K-12 may participate in a fully on-line learning opportunity for the 2020-2021 school year, which we are calling the Lamoille South Collaborative Virtual Academy, LSCVA. Lamoille South students will be placed in courses taught by Lamoille South teachers whenever possible, as well as classes taught by other Vermont teachers. Information about the curriculum and courses is available here for grades K-5 and here for grades 6-12. This Frequently Asked Questions resource about the LSCVA may also be helpful.
The Social-Emotional well-being for students, families, faculty and staff will be a top priority for reopening schools this fall. We know that trusting relationships and social connections are critical to development. We also know that the human brain is resilient when it feels safe, understood, and connected. LSUU will be working with staff, students, and parents to develop new rituals and routines and opportunities to connect. We will partner with community agencies in this work.
Students in the Lamoille South Collaborative Virtual Academy, LSCVA, will have a Lamoille South teacher/mentor who will check in with them at least once per week, assist students in accessing technical support, and provide updates to parents. LSCVA students remain enrolled in their school and can participate in their school’s available sports and extracurricular activities.
Student and Family Communications and Supports
In order to continue to ensure that parents and the community are informed, principals will continue to host family meetings via Google Meet and send weekly newsletters via school News and Announcements pages and by subscription. Classroom updates and information about learning will be shared by teachers in SeeSaw for elementary students and in Schoology for middle and high school students.
Updates from the board and Superintendent will be provided bi-monthy, on Thursdays following board meetings via the board E-Newsletter available on all school News and Announcements pages and by subscription.
Time-sensitive information and emergency announcements will be made as needed using our emergency communication system and may be sent via phone, text and email. Our schools must be flexible and responsive to changing health and safety circumstances in our region, new developments in health and safety guidance and areas where we can enhance our practices as a part of our commitment to continuous improvement. We are committed to keeping all informed, engaging feedback and partnering with you for safe and healthy schools, families and communities.