Important Update About the Start of School
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 21, 2020:
Dear Lowell Public Schools Families,
We are pleased to report that 650 air purifiers were delivered today and are being installed in schools, which means we will be able to move forward with our plan for in-person learning. Students in grades 1-12 who received an in-person seat assignment via the lottery will be able to report for the first day of in-person instruction on Monday, September 28.
All students who have already started in-person instruction will continue to do so. And, all students who were originally assigned to remote learning will continue with remote learning as planned.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 18, 2020:
Dear Lowell Public Schools Families,
Since the announcement of a delay in our in-person learning plan, we have been working with our vendor on a solution for obtaining the remaining inventory of air purifiers in addition to exploring alternative options with new vendors. We are anticipating a delivery of the air purifiers this weekend, although we are proceeding with caution with this new delivery date. We will announce the new start date of in-person instruction for grades 1-12 soon after the inventory of air purifiers have arrived, been installed and tested. Until a new date has been announced, these students will continue with remote learning.
In preparation for resuming our in-person learning plan, please be reminded that all new students to the district must be in compliance with the immunization requirements for enrollment in LPS prior to attending school in-person. If you still need to submit your immunization records, please bring them to the sidewalk service table at the Family Resource Center, located at 151 Merrimack St so that we can expedite the processing of these documents.
As we announced earlier in the week, we look forward to welcoming back our preschool and kindergarten students who received an in-person placement this Monday, September 21 for their first day of school. And we thank families of students in our other grades for their continued support and flexibility during this difficult situation and we look forward to announcing a date for the remaining grades soon.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2020:
Dear Lowell Public Schools Community,
We look forward to welcoming our students back on Thursday, September 17 for the start of the 2020-21 school year. Due to delays in a national supply chain, we were informed by our vendor that the remainder of our pre-ordered inventory of air purifiers will not arrive as scheduled in time for the first day of school. Currently, we have 128 air purifiers available for use across the entire district. To ensure the safety of our students, families and staff, we have made the decision to initially alter our school reopening plan to limit the number of in-person classrooms for the start of the school year. The modified plan for the start of school is as follows:
- Students who received an in-person learning seat at our day schools - Dr. Janice Adie, Laura Lee Therapeutic and LeBlanc Therapeutic - will still report to these school buildings for in-person instruction, as scheduled, on Thursday, September 17 for the first day of school.
- Students who received an in-person learning seat in the following substantially separate special education programs - Classrooms for Students with Autism (CSA), Life-skills Education and Planning (LEAP) and Language-based classrooms - will still report to their school buildings for in-person instruction, as scheduled, on Thursday, September 17 for the first day of school.
- Students in grades 1-12 (who are not assigned to substantially separate special education programs) who were scheduled for in-person learning will begin the school year in a remote learning setting. Families will be updated with the date for resuming our in-person learning program for these students.
- Preschool and kindergarten students who received an in-person learning seat will still report in person to their school building, as scheduled, on Monday, September 21 for their first day of school.
- All students currently enrolled in remote learning will continue as planned.
I understand how disruptive and disappointing this can be for families. Prior to making this decision, we exhausted all options - locally and nationally - for securing the air purifiers that we need as part of our protocol for exceeding health and safety guidelines necessary for reopening classrooms. Ultimately, we made a commitment to you to place student and staff safety as our top priority, and we are holding firmly to this commitment.
In planning for a new school year, we prepared for scenarios such as this, and we are ready to temporarily shift to remote learning district-wide for the students listed above and resume our in-person plans after monitoring COVID-related data points and fully securing safety and sanitization equipment.
In preparation for Thursday, you can expect to hear directly from your school about its individual plan for your child’s first day of remote attendance. You can also anticipate updates about meal service and distribution of online learning devices.
Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we look to get the school year started in the safest way possible for all of our students and staff.
Joel D. Boyd
Superintendent of Schools