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Lunenburg schools preparing for a new normal

As the school year comes to a close, I want to thank the community of Lunenburg County for the tremendous support and assistance throughout this school year, particularly over the last three months.
In spite of all of the challenges we faced this school year, our students and staff continued to work earnestly to make this school year successful.
As Lunenburg County Public Schools begin to make preparations for the 2020-2021 school year, please know that the entire staff is working diligently to ensure students and staff will be safe, while still providing excellent educational opportunities for all of our students. As we plan and prepare for the new school year, it is our sincere hope that this will be a safe and successful year for the students, staff, parents, and community members in our school district. It is indeed a pleasure and honor to serve our stakeholders in Lunenburg County.

Charles Berkley

As a school district, our mission is to motivate and inspire a passion for learning so all students learn, grow, and succeed to their fullest potential. We also encourage the creation of relationships with students and parents that foster positive and nurturing learning environments in our schools. In this way, our school system will continue to be recognized for developing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in a global environment.
All school divisions must provide new instruction to all students in the 2020-2021 school year and also provide remediation from the past school year. Lunenburg County has created a Task Force Team that will be developing and establishing learning needs, will be developing plans and strategies to best meet the learning needs of all students in our school division, and supports for student success and well-being along with revisions to curriculum, pacing, and instructional delivery.
Local school divisions will have discretion on how to operationalize within each phase and may choose to offer more limited in-person options than the phase permits, if local public health conditions necessitate. Entry into each phase is dependent on public health gating criteria, corresponding with the Forward Virginia plan. School divisions will have flexibility to implement plans based on the needs of their localities, within the parameters of the commonwealth’s guidance.
Under Virginia’s Reopening Plan our school division must develop and submit plans for school schedules, transportation, technology, communication, daily operations, cleaning and sanitizing school facilities, vehicles, and provide a healthy and safe learning environment at all times with continuous checks and balances.
The opportunities for in-person instruction in each phase are as follows:
• Phase 1: special education programs and child care for working families.
• Phase 2: Phase 1 plus preschool through third grade students, English learners, and summer camps in school buildings.
• Phase 3: all students may receive in-person instruction as can be accommodated with strict social distancing measures in place, which may require alternative schedules that blend in-person and remote learning for students.
• Beyond Phase 3: divisions will resume “new-normal” operations under future guidance.
Lunenburg County’s Educational Task Force as well as our administrative team with our school board approval will be developing the procedures and guidelines that will be followed as we begin the new school year 2020-2021 in late summer or early fall. We are currently operating in Phase 2 and we are hopeful to progress to a different phase for the opening of school. However, this will be dependent on our governor’s decision.
LCPS has started this process and the Task Force will start meeting today, June 10 and will be ready for implementation when school starts.
We will be announcing more updates as we move through this process on our website and the finished documents will be posted on the web page along with a newspaper article in our local papers.
Working together, we will strive to provide the best opportunities for our students during these difficult times.

(Charles M. Berkley Jr. is the division super- intendent for Lunenburg County Public Schools. He can be reached at charles.berkley@k12lcps. org.)