IMPORTANT: LPS Shifting to Remote Learning Model Starting Monday, October 19
UPDATE (10/15/20): After careful consideration and collaboration with health officials, the district will be continuing in-person instruction for students receiving special education services in substantially separate programs. Substantially separate programs include the following groups: students at the Dr. Janice Adie, Laura Lee Therapeutic and LeBlanc Therapeutic day schools; students in CSA, LEAP, Adjustment, and language-based special education programs; hearing impaired students; and students with visual impairments. All other students will take part in remote learning.
October 14, 2020
Dear Lowell Public Schools Community,
This message is a follow-up to the communication that was shared with you last week regarding the district’s monitoring of the state’s COVID data dashboard and its impact on the district’s in-person learning program. This evening the City of Lowell was coded “red” or “high risk” for a third consecutive week in the state’s Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report. The state releases this report each Wednesday, and according to this week’s update, Lowell’s average daily case rate per 100,000 residents is 16.4, up slightly from 16.3 last week, and more than twice the state’s threshold for being considered “high risk”. Our “percent positivity rate” (the percentage of tests that are positive here in Lowell) is 3.29%. While this number is down from last week’s 3.57%, it is still up from the 2.71% reported two weeks ago.
In response to this report, as messaged last week, the Lowell Public Schools will shift to a remote learning model beginning at the start of school on Monday, October 19, 2020.
Students currently attending school in-person will continue to attend in-person for the remainder of this week and each school will be reaching out to students and families to support the transition to remote learning. We are continuing to review possible options for students in smaller, substantially separate special education programs to continue to attend in-person. We will communicate those potential exceptions to students and families in those programs as soon as possible.
Please know this decision was not made lightly. We understand how disappointing and disruptive this decision can be for our families. However, in consultation with the Lowell Board of Health, and following the guidance provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, this decision was determined to be necessary as a preventative health measure based on the community-wide spread of COVID-19 in Lowell.
In every decision that we make, the health and safety of our students, staff and families will be our top priority. Moving forward, we will continue to consult with local health professionals to analyze at least three weeks of data before making a determination about resuming in-person learning. We will continue to keep you updated and provide advanced notice before any potential change to our learning model.
Thank you, once again, for your continued partnership and flexibility as we work to keep our students, families, and staff safe during these difficult and uncertain times.