Aloha LJA Families,
We are pleased to share with you that Le Jardin Academy will provide both face-to-face and distance learning options from Day One for the 2020-21 school year. School begins August 12.
This decision builds on the hard work of our faculty, staff, students and families over the past three months, community agreements around maintaining a healthy campus community, and continuously evolving campus health and safety protocols and practices. Substantial investments of time, energy and financial resources have allowed LJA to offer this distinctive program option, and we thank our faculty and staff, our Medical Hui and state agencies, and our trustees for working quickly to design, test and adapt our social-emotional and academic programming to meet the unique needs of each student and family until a vaccine is found.
Feedback from the recent parent survey indicates that while the 93% of those surveyed (n = 706) prefer face-to-face learning when risk is low, more than 55% would choose distance learning in the event of sustained community spread in Hawai’i. Moreover, with 33% of LJA households reporting one or more family members at increased risk for COVID-19 due to preexisting medical conditions, the need for flexibility in learning and due diligence by all on campus for the year ahead is essential.
As such, families will have the option to choose from face-to-face or distance learning prior to the start of school and will be able to switch between modes at designated points in the year (e.g., as changes occur in LJA Response Level or in state guidelines). Improved distance learning technology, 1:1 devices in Grades PK-5, and creative scheduling will provide flexibility and continuity to ensure students follow the same outstanding IB curriculum regardless of their choice of learning venue.
Our commitment to families is to implement a broad set of actions to minimize and mitigate the risk to our LJA community. We cannot eliminate all risk, however, by taking reasonable precautions and adhering to community agreements around hygiene and personal illness, we can minimize the risk of infection and transmission.
The protocols detailed in our phased campus return plan have been developed in consultation with and approved by the LJA Medical Hui, Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Health (DOH) which gives us high confidence in our ability to sustain campus operations in this pandemic environment--even in the event of an infection or outbreak.
We have adopted, practiced and refined safety protocols and practices through our First Responders’ program (Phase I Return to Campus), and Summer School (Phase II Return to Campus) and will refine them as appropriate to meet emerging public health concerns and new learning about managing the virus’ spread. We will ask, again, for your kokua as a community to conduct daily self-health screenings, keep sick children home and practice good hand-washing hygiene at all times. When in doubt, stay out.
In the meantime, we have deployed disinfection procedures for our classrooms, offices, and high touch areas, purchased new electrostatic sprayers for cleaning, and are working through other facility enhancements for the fall, including new filters in all air conditioning units. You’ll find additional highlights in our Return to School Plan.
Next week, you can look forward to receiving a division-specific learning plan for your child(ren), as well as important details to help your family prepare to return to school. You can also mark your calendars to join me for a Parent Information Session on Thursday, July 30 at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom for more on learning models, safety protocols, and plans for the coming year and to answer any questions you may have. The sessions will be recorded and posted for those who cannot attend.
Despite the uncertainties as the pandemic continues to evolve, I am confident that our LJA community will continue to shine with compassion, resilience and, of course, with its hallmark commitment to excellence. Thank you for all that you do to support our school and your child’s education, and we greatly look forward to seeing and learning with you in August!