• Important Dates/Events • From Your School Leader • • Distance Learning Website • Funds for Child Care • • Parent/Student Handbook Feedback •
mark your calendar June 1 - Monday Morning Message from LCS Fairfax, 8 am June 1 - Grab N Go Meals available at BOTH Fairfax and LFP campuses, 11am - 1pm. FYI - families DO NOT need to sign up in advance. June 2 - Larchmont Charter Board of Directors Meeting, 6:30pm, Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82674114914 Call in: 1-669-900-9128 Webinar ID: 826 7411 4914 June 3 - Grab N Go Meals available at BOTH Fairfax and Hollygrove campuses, 11am - 1pm. FYI - families DO NOT need to sign up in advance. June 5 - LCS FFX Friday Morning Sing, 8:30 am - Instagram Live June 8 - Grab N Go Meals available at BOTH Fairfax and LFP campuses, 11am - 1pm. FYI - families DO NOT need to sign up in advance. June 10 - Grab N Go Meals available at Hollygrove campus ONLY, 11am - 1pm. FYI - families DO NOT need to sign up in advance. June 10 - Fourth Grade Moving Up Ceremony | details coming this week June 12 - LAST DAY OF SCHOOL FOR 2019/20
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Hoping that our whole campus community is well and beginning to enjoy some small respite to the say at home order with some establishments opening. This week's message will focus on the results of our most recent School Satisfaction Survey for Spring 2019/20.
I'm happy to share that despite the tumult at the end of this year, the results of the Spring survey for the Larchmont Fairfax campus are very strong. Our most recent data is highlighted down below (in bold). We are very pleased to see that we've maintained high satisfaction rates across all metrics amongst parents, students, and staff.
Parent satisfaction numbers in the following categories for Spring 2019/20 were as follows:
As you might have expected, much of the focus of this particular survey was on the shift to distance learning. Noteworthy items from the comments on the satisfaction survey in terms of strengths and areas for growth include:
High levels of commendations and appreciation for teachers and staff for the sudden pivot to distance learning.
Communication was called out as a definitive strength. Teachers were recognized for their communication with families about schedules and classroom assignments during this time, as well as their general responsiveness to emails and calls about concerns and questions.
One component of distance learning that was recognized as a strength was the Zoom Morning Meeting. Many families commented that this component helped address the social-emotional needs of students by helping to connect them on a daily basis with classmates and teachers.
Another strength that was noted was the effectiveness of small-group (as opposed to whole group) live Zoom sessions for math and reading.
School Singand other school cultureelements that really reinforced the "Larchmont feel" like "Lunch with the Principals" and spirit days in some classrooms received big shout-outs.
The score for "Mission" remained high. We're so proud of this. Many families were so pleased that Larchmont was able to provide computers and grab-and-go lunches to those in need.
AREAS FOR GROWTH
Families indicated a desire forlive enrichment classes should FULL distance learning mode continue next year.
Parents also requested more live Zoom sessions for academic content instruction if we should need to continue full distance learning mode.
Once again, should full distance learning continue, our parent stakeholders would love to see even greater differentiation of content for students in reading and math based on levels.
One important caveat regarding full distance learning. Though the situation is obviously fluid and can change at any moment based on guidance from the county, our current hope is for students to be able to attend in at least a hybrid format with some in-person class time in th Fall. Please read more in Amy's message down below about that. We will send much more information about that as we fully develop our plan of action.
There is so much more to be said about the road ahead for Larchmont Fairfax, but we always appreciate your feedback and support and will always do our best to make our school the best it can be.
Thank you, Mersedeh and Andi
FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
We are down to the final 2 weeks of school with exciting step-up/promotions and of course senior graduation ceremonies. Wishing everyone a wonderful end to this very unusual school year - I hope you are all hanging in there. I’m writing with a handful of updates:
Reopening Plans - We shared our early thinking on plans to reopen in the fall with physical distancing with our staff and site councils this week. We will prioritize our community’s health and safety and follow County guidelines in deciding how to proceed. We’re envisioning and planning for how to be able to pivot back and forth between full distancing learning as we’re doing now, a hybrid partial reopening/partial distance learning, accommodating individuals who may need to quarantine, and hopefully at some point next year fully reopening and resuming normal operations. Once it’s safe, we’re tentatively planning to have at least two cohorts of students – one attending Monday/Tuesday and another attending Thursday/Friday. The remainder of the time students would be learning remotely. Wednesdays would be used for cleaning and turning over the campus and for teacher planning and meetings. We’re also considering having two additional cohorts - a full distance learning cohort for immuno-compromised students/families and those not comfortable returning yet; and an equity/opportunity cohort of high need students who would attend more frequently. Sharing here the reopening framework LA County Office of Education (LACOE) released Thursday https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6929198/LA-CO-Schools-2020-21-Planning-Framework.pdf. Be on the lookout for a survey on this coming out soon - we need to hear from our community your reaction to this tentative plan and how we can best support your student and family next year.
Budget Update - The Finance Committee reviewed the draft budget and it will go to the board for action Tuesday, 6/2. The Governor’s May revise cut funding to schools by 10% or $1.93m for Larchmont. We’re tackling it by reducing supply budgets, field trips, and implementing a salary freeze and hiring freeze for non-teaching positions. We’re also preparing for school-wide furloughs and hours reductions if PPP is not forgiven. Schools throughout the State (and country) are contending with these huge cuts. Larchmont’s been through tough budget times before and always preserved our mission, model and program. We’re a strong school with an incredibly talented, dedicated and creative staff and community and we’ll get through it pulling together. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our community, the virtual gala was tremendously successful and makes it possible to hopefully finish this fiscal year in the black. Thank you! We’ll need that level of community support to navigate next year.
Stakeholder Survey Feedback - Thank you to all of you who completed the stakeholder surveys. We were really heartened to see that despite the unprecedented changes since mid-March, more students, staff and parents feel that Larchmont is fulfilling its mission and would recommend Larchmont to friends or family than in the fall. School-wide more than 82% of students, more than 90% of families and 100% of staff who responded feel Larchmont is fulfilling its mission (that’s higher than the fall survey and last spring!). Likewise, more than 90% of staff and families school-wide would recommend Larchmont as a great place to work or go to school respectively (an increase from the fall). This is a tribute to the great work students, staff and parents have done during this unprecedented time and to everyone living out one of Larchmont’s core values/ESLRs/SLOs – perseverance!
Summer Resources for Families - As we head toward summer, we’re mindful that there are fewer opportunities (camps, etc.) for students and that we’re all wanting to ensure they stay on track academically. To that end, we’ll be sharing resources including adaptive software access over the summer to keep your students learning and growing.
Lastly, as an intentionally diverse school, a huge part of our mission is to work for a world with greater awareness, fairness and justice for people of every race, religion, ethnicity, language, culture, and orientation. The tragic recent events with African Americans being killed by police or vigilantes and the ensuing protests are a testament to how far we still have to go as a country. It underscores the importance of our work. It’s our collective work to lead from every seat. I recommend checking out tolerance.org – it’s a website full of resources for educators, students and families alike.
Thank you so much for all you do.
Let us know if you need help with food, etc – Please CLICK HERE to let us know if you need help (with technology/wifi/programs, food, housing, employment, etc. – we’ve learned of tons of resources and are happy to guide you and connect you).
Help for our community – Thank you so much to all of you who stepped forward to help your fellow Larchmont families in need – collectively you donated so generously and we were able to distribute over $4,000 in gift cards to LCS families. Thank you! Click here if you’d like to support this effort.
PROGRESS REPORT UPDATE
Larchmont Charter, like many other schools, will still be providing end of year progress reports but in a different format than we normally do.
For those of you who have been with us in previous years, you know that for the end of year report we typically send homeBOTH a specific Trimester 3 progress report with notations for E (emerging), G (growing), P (proficient), and O (outstanding) ANDa narrative sheet with information about student progress and next steps in all content areas for the entirety of the school year.
Because students were thrown into a sudden and unanticipated shift, and because many students did not have the home support needed to attend to instruction as they normally would during this unprecedented time, most schools have come to a "Do No Harm" policy regarding Trimester 3 grades. For that reason, we will not be providing a progress report with marks (E,G,P,O) for Trimester 3, but we will still be providing a narrative which reflects each child's learning and progress for the ENTIRETY of the year. You can look for your child's narratives via email after summer break commences. Please let us know if you have any questions about progress reports and narratives. Thank you.
LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL
As mentioned in last week's blast, we really wanted to end the year on a high note and give the students something special to remember it by.Normally, our last week of school would include class parties, community group activities, and other special events like yearbook signings and the school picnic. Although we can't quite match that, we've come up with a close second!
For the last week of school, our enrichment teachers in MUSIC, ART, PE, GARDENING/COOKING, IMPROV, AND LIBRARY/READ-ALOUD will all be holding LIVE CLASSES!!!! They are so excited to get to offer their crafts live to the kids and I know the kids are eager to see Jamia, Alan, Jenny, Kori, Angel, and Maja all in their element!Our lead teachers will still hold Morning Meeting Zoom sessions every day, but there will be no other class Zoom sessions and only a few Seesaw activities where students reflect on their learning for this year.
While our enrichment teachers take over that last week, our lead teachers will join forces to begin early planning for next year. While there is still much in the air, we already know we're going to need to look carefully for any content that will need to be shored up next year, and to further refine distance learning should it need to be available in any form in the future.
Please stay tuned for a separate email with the LIVE ZOOM ENRICHMENT SCHEDULE/LINKS FOR THE LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL!!
LUNCH WITH THE PRINCIPALS
Our sixth round of Lunch w the Principals is happening this week! Andi and Mersedeh will be offering a virtual "Lunch with the Principals" for one grade level every day! We'll eat lunch together, catch up and chat with friends!
Here is the schedule and information for this week. We will continue with the following grade levels/classes the following week and will continue the rotation thereafter.
All teachers will be sharing with you a summer reading list for your child's grade. Studies show that maintaining summer reading helps to drastically reduce any regression in overall academic skills, and of course reading is just fun! We encourage you to use the list as a guide, but please adjust according to your child's reading level as needed.
We will also be sharing other recommendations & resources for summer practice of necessary academic skills. For students who have not yet mastered the standards for their grade level, or for whom we feel additional support would be beneficial, we will provide additional targeted recommendations. You will be hearing more from us and your teachers in this regard.
Classroom placements for the 2020/21 school year for first and third graders (who are finishing a loop) will be sent via email after our teachers return from summer break towards the middle of August. As a reminder, we do not take teacher requests, but we can assure all families that our team deliberates a great deal to find the best placement for each child and the most balanced grouping across classrooms.
You will also receive a summer mailer from us in the early summer with much of the information you'll need for the coming school year. Stay tuned!
VIRTUAL SUMMER IMPROV WITH MAJA WATKINS
Virtual Summer Improv For Larchmont Charter Students
Taught By: Maja Watkins (LCS Social and Emotional Learning Specialist)
Maja’s Improv classes are conducted on ZOOM. Each class is designed to teach children to play, connect, use their imaginations, practice flexibility, and conversing with one another naturally and effectively. Let’s not forget, its also to have fun! Maja uses the curriculum found in her book “The Brain’s Playground: Using Improv Games To Teach Social and Emotional Learning” as the guide in allowing children the freedom to explore their minds and relationships non-judgmentally. All classes focus on social-emotional learning.
*SPACE IS LIMITED*
When: July 6th-July 31st
Time: Optional Daily Drop-Ins Monday-Friday
*2019-2020 School Year Grades*
12:30pm-1pm: Kinder-1st Grade
1pm-1:30pm: 2nd-3rd Grade
1:30pm-2pm: 4th-5th Grade
Cost: $200 Recommended Donation For Daily Drop-Ins
*Donations are appreciated but the goal at this time is to create connection and only donate if you can.*
CCRC has received additional funding to pay for child care for essential workers who qualify. This emergency funding is short term for the period of May 1st to June 30th, 2020. If you are interested, please visit https://mychildcare.ca.gov/#/home.
CALIFORNIA PARENT & YOUTH HELPLINE
The California Parent and Youth Helpline provides support and resource referrals to parents and youth during the current COVID-19 pandemic, 7-days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Call or text 1-855-4APARENT (855-427-2736) for services in English, Spanish and other languages. For more information, please visit: https://caparentyouthhelpline.org/
DISTANCE LEARNING SUPPORT WEBSITE
We're excited to share our new Distance Learning website which our school leaders, teachers, and network team created to serve as a hub for your distance learning questions and needs. It is password-protected for security reasons. It's accessible from our www.larchmontcharter.org website on the "COVID-19 INFO" page. Click HERE to go straight to the Distance Learning website login page. Please make sure popups are not blocked on your browser for the page to work as intended.
The password is larchmontstrong - thank you for not sharing access outside our community.
IMPORTANT P-EBT & FOOD RESOURCES
Due to coronavirus (COVID 19), children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school will get extra food benefits. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits help families in California buy food when school is closed.
Who is eligible for P-EBT benefits?
Children are eligible for P-EBT benefits if:
Their school is closed due to coronavirus (COVID 19); and
They are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals
How do I get P-EBT benefits?
Most families with children who receive CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply online. They will get their P-EBT card in the mail during the month of May. P-EBT cards will begin arriving around May 11, 2020 through May 22, 2020.
Families with children who applied for CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits after their school closed will get their P-EBT card in the mail before June 30, 2020.
Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who do NOT get CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits must apply online before June 30, 2020.
All Pick-ups Are Drive Through and By Appointment Only
FEEDBACK FOR THE LCS PARENT/STUDENT HANDBOOK
We are in the process of revising the LCS School Handbook (Parent/Student handbook) and we would like your suggestions/feedback on how to make it more comprehensive for families. Please review the 2019-20 LCS School Handbook and then complete the Google Form to provide the feedback. We know that there are calendar and date updates that need to be made so please do not include that in the form. If you have any questions, please email Esmeralda at [email protected].
WEEKLY ENVIRONMENTAL CONTEST FOR STUDENTS WITH $50 PRIZES
Project Blue is a virtual education platform designed to provide students who are currently sheltering at home with science-based programming including live video chats, video question-and-answer sessions, and pre-packaged lessons. Videos are hosted and taught by AltaSea personnel and leading marine science and exploration experts with ties to the ocean-based campus. Their first video with Dr. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic wreckage, is already on their site. The intent is to provide high-quality, digestible educational content for science-inclined students.
AltaSea’s Project Blue @Weekends is a contest that aims to give students a voice in supporting Los Angeles as the center of the Blue Economy, an initiative to protect the ecosystem of the ocean and turn to it as a resource for solving challenges, such as, climate change, energy supply, and food security. Weekly ocean-themed contests ask students (K to College) to create pieces of art, music, videos, poems, stories, or design logos related to the theme. A new theme is announced each Friday on Instagram, Facebook, and on the Project Blue website. Contests run from Fridays at noon to 11:59 pm on Sunday evenings. Gift cards up to $50 will be awarded to students! Enter HERE!