September 18, 2020

Dear LFCDS Families.

We are happy and grateful to be nearing the end of our first full week of full school days this year. It has taken months of preparation and nearly four weeks of a gradual return to help us reach this point. I’d like to express my sincere thanks to my incredible colleagues for their dedication and adaptability, our students for all that they bring to our school, and you, our partners in your children’s education, for such remarkable support. The Return to Green Bay Road--our campus reopening plan--has been successful so far and is an achievement in itself, but the most important goal of all our planning is to keep the members of our community healthy and safe during this pandemic. If our first goal was to reopen our campus safely, then our goal now is for our campus to remain open safely, and we need everyone’s help to do so.

Please remember that off-campus choices and behavior--limiting interactions with those outside your household, mask-wearing, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings, for example--are key to maintaining the health of our entire community. We have been fortunate so far this school year that no student or staff member has had a confirmed case of COVID-19, but we should not take that for granted. We ask that you adhere to all recommended precautions to guard against the coronavirus. I would also add that the goal of our health and safety measures is not only to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 specifically but also to prevent as much as possible other communicable diseases, especially those that are transmitted in similar fashion, such as the common cold and the flu. Any illness, even if relatively minor, that finds its way into our building at this time can be extremely disruptive to teaching and learning, so I hope and expect that all members of the community will take appropriate steps to keep themselves and others healthy.

Flu Shots

A key way to keep yourselves and others healthy is to receive a flu shot. The CDC, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Lake County Health Department urge everyone over six months of age to receive a flu vaccine each year, with extremely rare exception. We at Lake Forest Country Day School strongly agree and urge all community members to receive a flu vaccine, especially this year as we continue to take necessary health precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you and your children have not yet done so, please schedule appointments with your healthcare provider or local pharmacy to receive your annual flu shots. My family and I have gotten ours, and I hope that you and yours will do the same as soon as possible before the flu season fully begins.

SchoolPass App Wellness Checks

My thanks to all parents who have been dutifully completing the wellness check for their children each morning through the SchoolPass app. The daily screening of your child’s health at home is a key component of our collective efforts to keep our community healthy. Please complete the app each morning BEFORE 7:30 a.m. By doing so, you will make the process of drop-off much easier on our faculty and staff each day.

As it was expressed in the Return to Green Bay Road Family Agreement, everyone’s “actions inside and outside school can have an impact on the wider community. In this pandemic, our community will be strongest when we all work to keep ourselves and others healthy and safe.”

Thank you all for your partnership, and keep taking care of one another.

With gratitude,

Joy

August 28, 2020

Dear LFCDS Families,

What a wonderful week we’ve had! After many months of quiet hallways and classrooms and empty fields, the Lake Forest Country Day School campus was again full of community and connection as we met with students from first grade through eighth for orientations and new and returning families for intake conferences, both via Zoom and outside under our new tents. The excitement in our classrooms, at drop-off, and at pick-up was palpable. Families filled out the SchoolPass wellness screen, students did an admirable job learning and practicing our new procedures, and they showed us that they can handle wearing masks without much trouble at all. Drop-off and pick-up are more complicated these days, and we thank you for your patience as we become accustomed to this new procedure. I want to thank our entire community for your incredible support of our school and its faculty and staff during this strange time. Our students mean the world to us, we’ve missed them, and we are grateful to have them back with us.

Teachers and administrators have met every day to review what worked well and what can be improved as we continue to refine our plans and build new habits. One idea that has been embraced and affirmed is the decision to “hurry slowly” and gradually ease into this new way of doing school. We feel that this slow, deliberate approach benefits everyone--teachers and students alike--and, just as we have previously announced half-days on campus for the first week of school, we have decided to extend the half-day, hybrid model through Friday, September 11. Therefore, through September 11 we will have on-campus learning in the mornings, followed by remote-learning experiences in the afternoons for Lower School and Upper School children. Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten will begin their full-day schedules on Monday, September 14. Our goal remains to move to a full-day program, but we are not rushing our way to that goal any faster than we feel we should. Thank you for your support of all the work we’re doing not only to open our campus amidst the pandemic but also to keep it open for as much of the year as we can.

Our most important priority, of course, is our community’s health. With this in mind, I remind the parents of all on-campus learners to fill out the SchoolPass app no later than 7:30am each morning. If you answer “yes” to even one question or symptom, your child and any siblings must stay home until cleared to come to school by Shelly Hagglund, our school nurse. Even if your child has seasonal allergies and you suspect that their runny nose is the result of allergies rather than COVID-19, you must complete the wellness screen honestly and keep your child home from school until a diagnosis can be provided. We recognize that this may seem excessively restrictive to some, but we must abide by these protocols if we are to support one another and our school during this pandemic.

We are heading into a school year unlike any other any of us has ever known, and despite the many challenges we face, we will offer our students another year of remarkable intellectual, social, and emotional growth. And we will be successful because we are all in this together.

With gratitude,

Joy