On June 5, 2020, Mr. Fry sent out the following end-of-year updates from LCA:
Hello, LCA families!
Well, we have all made it to the end. You have worked with your children for 11 weeks of remote learning, and our teachers have responded to more emails in one day than they usually get in a month! We have all learned new skills, and likely learned more about our children than we ever knew as we worked so closely with them.
Of course, none of us could have imagined that we would still be learning from home in June when we announced our closure back on Saturday, March 14. This COVID-19 pandemic has hurt many people, certainly physically, but also emotionally and financially as a result of the extended stay-at-home orders and loss of work and other opportunities.
This all brings me to one point of this recording. I want to reassure each of you that all of us—school board, administration, faculty, and staff—are working diligently in our planning for the school year which will begin in September.
I have had some emails and phone calls asking about specific procedures for returning to school in September. Honestly, I cannot answer that question, just as no public school superintendent or principal can. We are all waiting on guidance from the CDC, New York State, and local leaders in the best realistic practices. We know that aspects of schooling such as recess, physical education, and athletics will likely be the most affected by preventative measures.
As we work to implement realistic and practical measures to prevent any additional outbreaks of COVID-19 or other sicknesses, rest assured that we are committed to re-opening in-person, traditional schooling in September. We believe it is our right as Christians to have religious education available to us with low obstacles. We also believe that students need the socialization that comes along with in-person education, even if gathering does indeed pose a small risk of sickness.
The school leadership is also working on having standardized plans in place for any short-term closure we may face in the coming school year—or any future school year. I am a parent of three LCA students, and I realize that our parents have been asked to use multiple platforms for remote learning. This alone added to the challenges our parents already faced in learning from home.
We will be working with our teachers to learn and put into practice one standard platform, likely Google Classroom, upon which any remote learning can be done. We plan to continue to use Sycamore as our school management service, and publishers like A Beka Book may make videos available to us in the future, but we desire to have a centralized place our parents can go if we ever face a situation where students are forced to stay at home.
As I say that, however, let me state what I believe is obvious to all of us right now. Nothing can ever take the place of learning in person for most students. Of course, I realize that some families choose home schooling. I was home schooled for one year, and my sister home schooled her children for several years. Most children—and most families—however, need traditional classroom learning to ensure that their children succeed in all domains of learning. LCA will only close as we did this year when ordered to do so by local health authorities based on an extreme situation such as we faced this year.
It remains our goal and intention to operate a normal school year in person starting in September.
Running a school may require some changes in how we operate, especially if accommodations such as social distancing and masks remain expected in September. We plan to schedule parent meetings over the summer months to make you aware of how these adjustments may affect you and your children.
As we make these plans as a non-profit ministry, we do need your help in a few ways. First, we do need to know for sure who will be enrolling for this fall. Please contact Mrs. Kettlewood if you will be joining us again in September and have not yet re-enrolled. Of course, if your plans change at all, please let Mrs. Kettlewood know as soon as possible. We need this information so that we can put in place the number of teachers and other staff members for this fall.
Second, and related, please help us in promoting the ministry of LCA. We have no large endowment or source of funds aside from the tuition and fees our parents pay and the sacrificial support of those who give financially toward our school. We accept no government funds, including those from the federal Payroll Protection Program. Please tell your friends and those in your church about LCA. Our government schools certainly are not getting any friendlier toward what we hold dear as they continue to actively promote a Marxist worldview complete with teachings on government, morality, and social issues we as Christians find repugnant. Let’s work together to keep as many children out of government schools as possible.
Third, and most importantly, please pray for our school. As a result of these COVID-19 closings and changes, we are hurting financially. We want to be sure we can meet all of our obligations to our vendors and especially to our staff. We appreciate those who have already given gifts beyond tuition and fees, but we never expect that. We do expect that our great God will meet our needs in so many amazing ways. We plan to charge the tuition and fees for the coming school year that we announced in February with no changes. If you are able to help in any way, please contact me or Mrs. Kettlewood.
We do still have some exciting events happening in this school year. Next Friday, June 12, Mrs. Kupeyan has organized a special drive-through celebration in honor of our kindergarten students’ graduation. We would love to have you drive through our parking lot between 7:00 and 7:30 PM to let our kindergarten students know of your appreciation for the work that they have done this year.
Our secondary graduation has been postponed until Friday, July 31, when we hope that restrictions will be lifted so that we can give our four graduates the recognition and celebration that they and their families deserve. We will get more details out about this celebration as we get closer to the date, but please save that date and plan to join us for our graduation if at all possible.
As I end this recording, I must take a minute to express my gratitude toward our faculty and staff. I hope you share my appreciation for the nimble way they changed from classroom learning to remote learning, really just over one weekend. They have done countless online postings, Zoom meetings, YouTube videos, emails, texts, and phone calls. I would encourage you to drop them a note. We are all tired at the end of this year, and I know we appreciate the work of our teachers.
Our staff will be at school next week, Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 until 1:00 each day. We would love to see you—in a socially distanced way, of course! Stay tuned for exact dates and times for report card and award pickup the following week as well.
Thank you so much for your support. I appreciate each of our families. You have been an encouragement to me. I hope to see you soon.