LOCS Updates (March 5, 2021)
March 5, 2021
Dear LOCS Families:
Hopefully your family is doing well and enjoyed the warming temperatures earlier this week.
Our district is progressing towards a more traditional school day and will make a significant step forward on Monday, March 8, when the expanded days begin at the elementary and middle schools, as well as Pine Tree Center.
As Superintendent Ben Kirby shared, many factors play into his decision-making, including the community ThoughtExchange feedback. For those interested in the process, Mr. Kirby’s explanation is available on the LOCS website.
Much of the LOCS staff is preparing for Monday, as the K-8 students extend towards a fuller day of in-person learning. To achieve the best outcome – remaining on this schedule for the final 3 ½ months – everyone in our community will work together to follow the district protocols and procedures.
- Faithful completion of the Clear To Go app each morning before riding the bus or arriving at school.
- Appropriate and consistent mask wearing and social distancing as much as possible.
- Remaining aware to stay home when sick.
- Considering the wellbeing of the community when making school-related decisions.
A few reminders for next week:
The updated Transportation information for all bus riders will be shared via the usual email process today (Friday) or Saturday. Please be especially aware of the time changes for your students.
The new school times beginning Monday, March 8 are available on the LOCS website.
We appreciate the teamwork associated with all of our students, staff and families to move forward in this challenging year. Now that we have momentum and can see the sun, finishing the year healthy and strong should remain our priority, especially as the world outside of our school doors continues to open wider.
IN-PERSON/REMOTE LEARNING UPDATES
CLEAR TO GO
With the students back for in-person learning, LOCS asks students/families to complete the Clear To Go app every morning prior to the school day.
The same procedure exists as in November:
- Students taking the bus will have to show the green badge with their own name from that date prior to boarding.
- Students without cell phones being dropped off in the car loop at each school will be expected to show it as they are exiting the car.
- Students with their own cell phone (or parents walking up their students) can show it at the front door of the school prior to entering.
A few updates:
Staff and/or students who have an open case in Clear to Go do not need to continue to screen until after the case is closed. While your case is open you will no longer receive notifications to screen.
Please note that if you have traveled outside of the country you will need to quarantine for 7 days. Please make sure you answer yes to that question on the screening. You will then be alerted that you failed and will need to quarantine for 7 days from when you returned from your trip.
The Clear To Go app is an essential component for LOCS to create a safe, healthy environment in our schools each day. By keeping COVID-19 positive cases out of the building, we can prevent spread and keep our schools in person continuously moving forward.
DRAGON VIRTUAL UPDATE
Congratulations to Dragon Virtual teacher Amy Bohm for being awarded Stadium Drive Elementary teacher of the year!
Middle-level Dragon Virtual registration will begin taking place next week. Look for communication from building counselors with a link to the Microsoft Form that will be used for scheduling. The form will include an option to elect Dragon Virtual for 2021-2022. To help with your decision to of Dragon Virtual, please refer to the parent guide and questionnaire below.
Current middle-level Dragon Virtual students will adjust their schedules to align with the in-person changes occurring on March 8. Please view the document linked here for more information: March 8 - Return to School Plan, Schedule, and Information. If you or your student have any questions regarding meeting times and dates, please reach out to your teachers.
The Dragon Virtual website is being updated frequently with new information and resources to help parents navigate the decision of Dragon Virtual for the 2021-2022 school year including registration dates, frequently asked questions, and sample schedules. We will continue to develop the site as new information and programming become available.
Do you have a child entering Kindergarten in the fall of 2021? Do you know any other families with children interested in the LOCS Kindergarten program? The information and registration process are approaching in mid-March and, once it’s available, families will be encouraged to complete their admission on the New Student Enrollment page.
All Kindergarten information can be found at LakeOrionSchools.org/Kindergarten. Each elementary school will host a virtual question and answer session on March 15, 2021 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
LOCS would like to gather names and information about interested Kindergarten families. Please fill out this form to assist us. It is not a registration form, just to let us know of your interest.
EARLY CHILDHOOD INFORMATION/REGISTRATION
The new LOCS Early Childhood Center will open officially next fall.
Registration is open and families can apply currently by completing the form available from the LOCS Early Childhood Department.
Built through the community’s support of the 2018 Bond, construction on the new facility is making great progress. Check out the details and most recent photos.
2021-22 LOCS CALENDARS
Please visit the links and save those calendars for planning purposes.
LOCS shared a summary sheet of important dates across the district for the 2021-22 school year.
INSIDE THE DRAGONS
The latest edition of “Inside the Dragons” debuted with a segments of interest across the levels.
The episode has feature segments on: the new STEM rooms (created as part of the bond construction at Orion Oaks and Carpenter elementary schools) and remote STEM learning, the LOCS schools raising and gathering goods to donate during the holiday season, a look at the elementary Dragon Virtual program, and the induction of the new Board of Education trustees.
The LOCS elementary schools are asking for students to return classroom books and the checked-out library books that may still be floating around their homes.
Restocking the classroom and library books is an important aspect to enhancing the in-person learning within our buildings. If there are any questions about what your student may have checked out, please reach out to the classroom teacher and/or the school media specialist.
LOCS has conducted a number of Parent University sessions during the 2020-21 school year.
The next session will be shared on March 16 for parents of Grades 2-5 students. The topic: “Help your child spell WELL!”
Interested parents who missed the previous sessions can find all of the recordings at LakeOrionSchools.org/ParentUniversity.
On March 11, LOCS Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Heidi Mercer will join Orion Township Public Library librarian Kathleen Kwiatkowski in a virtual discussion of the book Ready or Not: Preparing Our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly Changing World by Madeline Levine, PhD. Contact the library to get your copy of the book anytime in February. Find registration and the Zoom information on the OTPL website.
There are a few Technology updates.
- Please remember that students are required to bring their device to school every day fully charged. Students should bring charging cables if they need them. LOCS only has a very limited number of devices for student use in the case they do not have their personal device.
- When transporting the device, students should make sure the device is fully closed and nothing is connected (charging cables, headphones, etc.) prior to placing in backpacks.
- It is recommended that students shut down devices at night (not sleep mode), so when they log on at school it is a new connection and the device is not looking for connections to the home network.
- As devices return to school, there may be patches and updates that are applied. The LOCS Technology Department makes every attempt to minimize the impact, however some updates may require the device to be restarted when at school to complete the installation.
- It is strongly encouraged that student have a set of headphones/earbuds that they can use at school, as directed by the teacher.
For families needing assistance with their devices, please reach out via the methods listed below.
Ways to Enter Service Tickets
- Customer Portal/LiveChat: servicedesk.oakland.k12.mi.us
- Phone: 248-209-2060 (also listed on district device labels)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Curbside tech support is available by appointment which is set up through the ticketing system. Curbside support is located at the CERC building, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. On Wednesday, the support is available from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
High School students are permitted to contact the Service Desk for technology support requests.
One new method of providing additional remote wi-fi access is increased range at the LOCS buildings. Each building now has an extended access point accessible from outside the school building that families can utilize within that range. The locations are listed on the Technology Services page.
Beginning March 8, elementary and middle school students will be able to enjoy a free hot lunch every day in a socially distanced setting at school. As a result, the grab-and-go lunches will no longer be distributed in the buildings.
Elementary in-person students who registered for the free grab-and-go meals will receive grab and go breakfasts in their class at the end of the school day. Elementary students who wish to take “hot lunch” will order every morning in their classroom as has been past practice.
Middle school in-person students are able to choose a grab-and-go breakfast before school in the cafeteria.
For high school in-person students, they are able to take grab-and-go meals at the end of each school day in the building. A la carte items are available at the snack bar for high school students throughout the day.
The LOCS pick-up meals distribution continues. The meals pick-ups (on Wednesdays in the CERC bus loop from 11 a.m.-12 p.m.) are for the Dragon Virtual students and all families who would like the weekend meal distribution.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
The next LOCS Board of Education meeting will be held March 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the LOCS Administration Building (315 N. Lapeer St.)
After the most recent state health order, the LOCS Board and Administration will be able to meet in person by following the prescribed guidelines.
LOCS will allow in-person public participation, as well as in the virtual setting. Information about virtual participation will be shared on the Board of Education page early next week.
To maintain compliance with the current health order, public seating at the meeting will be limited to 12 people. Please notify email@example.com by noon on March 10 if you are planning to attend in-person to verify space is available.
COVID TESTING RESOURCES
Oakland County has adjusted its drive-through COVID-19 testing locations to provide shelter from the winter weather.
The new testing locations will be open by appointment only from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as follows:
Mondays: Old Holly Fire Station, 313 S. Broad St, Holly
Tuesdays: Rochester Fire Station, 277 E. Second St, Rochester
Wednesdays: Southfield City Hall Employee Parking Deck, 26000 Evergreen Rd, Southfield
Thursdays: Pontiac Fire Station, 348 South Blvd, Pontiac
According to the Oakland County Health Division, COVID-19 tests are available for anyone age 4 years and over. Children age 17 years and under must have COVID-19 symptoms and be a resident of or attend school in Oakland County to be tested. There is no charge for tests and no prescription is needed; however, appointments are required. Please call Nurse on Call at 1-800-848-5533 to make an appointment.
COVID-19 POSITIVE CASE REPORTING
LOCS is meeting the state requirements for COVID-19 positive case reporting with the chart link off the district website’s front page. As required by the state, the chart lists the school-associated cases – the individuals who were on school property at the time of a potential exposure to others.
COVID-19 OCHD NEWSLETTER
To receive the Oakland County COVID-19 Vaccination Newsletter, register your email address at www.oaklandcountyvaccine.com or text OAKGOV COVID to 468311.
COVID-19 DISTRICT DASHBOARD
As required by the state of Michigan, LOCS posts its school-associated positive cases online within 24 hours of being reported to the district.
On the chart, visitors can sort the items in the category below by clicking at the top of each column.
The LOCS Bond projects, initiated with the 10-year, $160 million November 2018 community Bond passage, continue to move forward. The Series 1 projects at Carpenter Elementary and Orion Oaks Elementary are nearly complete, as is the secure entrance at Webber Elementary. The Webber Elementary addition and the new Early Childhood Center are scheduled to be open for the start of the 2021-22 school year.
Improved secure entrances and main offices are scheduled for Paint Creek Elementary and Stadium Drive Elementary for Summer 2021.
More information about the Bond projects is available at LOCSBond.org.
Lake Orion Community Schools continues to communicate with families via School Messenger. If you believe your family is not receiving messages from the district or from your student’s school administration, please check your family’s email settings to make sure you are subscribed to all messages and, if there is still a problem, please reach out to the building secretary for assistance.
Monday, March 8
Elementary, Middle, Pine Tree Center expanded schedules begin
Wednesday, March 10
LOCS Dragon Virtual/In-Person Weekend Meals Distribution (CERC), 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
LOCS Board of Education Meeting (Administration Building), 6:30 p.m.
Monday, March 15
Kindergarten Virtual Q and A Sessions (all elementaries), 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 18
Half-Day (Elementary and Middle Schools)
March 29-April 2
Spring Break (No school)