Dear London Families,
On November 4th, I posted an update for LCS families that indicated that we planned to stay the course with our on campus educational model. We were 2 ½ weeks after our middle school and high school students had the option to join our elementary students on campus and things were progressing successfully. During the update I indicated that the district had seen a recent uptick in cases, but stated, “While still lower comparatively to the general population, the increase in positive cases reported for our staff and students is still very concerning.”
Over the last two weeks, our district began to see a sharp rise in the effects of COVID19 similar to the county’s increase in cases. With another report of a positive case yesterday, London has now recorded 16 cases of the virus, evenly split between staff and students. Ten cases have occurred in the elementary, one at LMS, four at LHS, and one with a district staff member. Five of our 16 cases have occurred since the update on November 4th. To our knowledge, all individuals are in active recovery and none required a hospital stay.
As a district we have made decisions based on data and common sense. We brought students back in mid October, because the data we monitored as a school district indicated that we were successful in implementing our protective actions during the first quarter of the year. Unfortunately, one month later we are now seeing an increase of quarantines, isolations, and positive cases in our district, which now mirrors our county and state (See chart below). While we are holding steady with staff availability, we have begun to see an increased strain on our district staff during the last few weeks.
I know there is angst about the recent Madison County Public Health order to reduce capacity to 50%, which forces London to implement a hybrid learning plan. Personally, I believe wholeheartedly that the best place for our students is on campus. However, I do believe we are now seeing data to reflect that a change in educational delivery would likely have been necessary regardless of whether Mr. Cook provided an order.
No one wants to experience the shut downs and cancellations of this past spring, least of which our teachers and administration, but we are headed for a difficult winter. Knowing that the best place for our students is in our classrooms, we will make every effort to safely continue our hybrid plan and avoid transitioning to all remote learning for all students. We will also attempt to provide our students with every opportunity possible we can including sports, while maintaining safety. As soon as it makes sense to do so (and we are permitted), we will transition back to in person learning.
The recent news of multiple, promising vaccines possibly being available to the public within a few short months, gives me hope that our seniors may have the chance to attend an on campus graduation. What we do in the meantime, may mean the difference of who and how many may be able to attend that event. Please help keep our community safe by monitoring your child’s health daily, stay home when feeling sick, practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings, and wear a mask when appropriate to do so.
Thank you for your continued support of our students, staff, and community. Together, we will see this through.
Dr. Lou Kramer