Lucerne Valley Middle High School’s co-principals Nate Lambdin and Kelly Boeing conducted an hour-long “Distance Learning 411 and Town Hall Meeting” webinar on Tuesday afternoon. The co-principals covered numerous topics and responded to questions during a Q&A session toward the end of the Zoom event.
Mr. Lambdin, who also serves as a school district assistant superintendent, provided background information on how the LVUSD is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Lucerne Valley Elementary School’s waiver approval to reopen to in-school learning.
“Lucerne Valley Elementary is the only district in the county to open.”
He explained that the elementary school has grouped students into two cohorts, the first attends school on Monday and Tuesday, and the second goes to school on Thursday and Friday. The school is closed to in-school learning on Wednesdays. All students learn via virtual distance learning on days they are not in class at the elementary school.
Mr. Lambdin also talked about the up-coming LVMHS Virtual Open House a 4 p.m. on Friday, August 28. “Since we can’t have you on campus we can bring campus to you. Our goal is to keep you informed every step of the process.”
Ms. Boeing talked about the school’s virtual distance learning and resources available to students and parents. Parents with questions are encouraged to talk to teachers anytime from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. “We can connect you directly to the teacher. There is a lot of extra help available.”
For those students without adequate wifi coverage at home, the school has provided free 24-hour wifi in the student parking lot.
Ms. Boeing also said schools are required by CA SB98 to meet a host of requirements. They include 240 minutes daily learning time, and meeting daily (online) with their teachers. The school also is required to keep daily and weekly participation logs with students.
The school’s Virtual Academy is for students who are unable to attend the regular virtual distance learning classes. “They must meet the same requirements but don’t have to log on during regular hours. They have to be on their own. They have to be self-starters.”
“We know that things are always changing,” Mr. Lambdin said. “We try to be one step ahead.”
Students also are required to do all assignments. “They’ve never before shouldered their responsibility like they are now,” Mr. Lambdin said.
The co-principals answered numerous questions during the question and answer period that had virtual meeting attendees typing questions in the chat area.
• One person asked about cleaning the LVES play areas. “The team comes in and cleans with disinfectants” between cohorts, Mr. Lambdin said. “Everything’s wiped down.”
• A mother asked if her student’s Chromebook webcam needs to be on during class. Student webcams must be on because the state has required schools to document student engagement. “The big picture is they’re in class. They need to be interacting with their teachers.”
• Regarding a question about air filters in elementary school classrooms, Mr. Lambdin said the school has new air filters and High Efficient Particle Air (HEPA) filters in some areas. The school also has installed wash stations at different campus locations and put sneeze guards on desks in classrooms.
• How did the elementary school students like their first day of school? “They did so good. They were so excited,” Mr. Lambdin said. He also mentioned the importance of the district’s Social Emotional Learning Program. “It measures resiliency of the kids. It teaches them how to be successful in school.”
• Another question was about if any physical education classes are being held. According to Mr. Lambdin, the high school focuses mostly on the health component while middle school students go through a variety of exercises. He added that LVMHS comprehensive sports program has been pushed to the spring.
• A questioner asked if there is someone Spanish-speaking parents can speak with at the Middle High School. Mr. Lambdin said there are bilingual staff members available during all school days. They are staff members Monica Tevis and Adriana Barajas. “We want to get to all our parents. Just give us a call.”
In conclusion, Mr. Lambdin said, “We love our kids. We’re proud of our students. They are tremendous people. We definitely want to keep the lines of communication open at all times.”
The co-principals are planning on hosting similar virtual events in the future.