On Wednesday evening, August 12, the LOCS Board of Education endorsed a proposal for all LOCS students to begin the 2020-21 school year in a remote setting, with the intention of re-opening school buildings for in-person learning on November 9.
LOCS Superintendent Ben Kirby presented a data-supported plan outlining the rationale for the move, explaining that the safest plan for students in the current COVID-19 environment would be to begin the academic school year remotely on September 8, 2020.
"I'm looking forward to our remote learning," Mr. Kirby said. "We feel that is the safest way at this point to move forward. We appreciate all of the work the staff has done and the feedback we have received from everybody. Ultimately, health, safety and education are important to us as a district. And I feel we have done that with the recommendation and the approval here. We're committed to getting students back into school and we'll be doing that as soon as possible."
Mr. Kirby shared significant data from district connections with families, students, staff and health officials about the environment that led to the decision.
All LOCS students will begin the year in the same remote learning program, placed into appropriate grade-level classes as they would in previous years. The Dragon Virtual program will be paused until in-person learning resumes and will run on a parallel track at that time.
The all-remote start was endorsed by the Board in its public comments.
“It will be of great value of students who are experiencing it for the first time,” LOCS Board president Jim Weidman said. "We've all have to remain open-minded about this.... We have to remain patient, we have to remain creative and we have to continue to evaluate what is the best situation for all, the students and the district."
More details will be shared with LOCS families in the coming days and weeks.