The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health has approved Lucerne Valley Middle High School’s request to begin small afternoon classes on-campus called “cohorts,” according to Nate Lambdin, assistant superintendent and co-principal of Lucerne Valley Middle High School.
The “Cohorts” do not replace “Distance Learning,” but they are an opportunity for students to safely be on-campus and get extra help in core subject areas, or extend learning opportunities in programs like FFA, Automotive, Music, Photography, Art, or in sports conditioning, he said.
“For the first time in nearly six months, I actually see a glimmer of hope for our middle and high school kids.”
The Cohort classes are completely voluntary and max-out at only 10-14 students each — so space is limited to the first 150 students who sign-up. Students must wear face masks and adhere to all county/state guidelines for social distancing. The classes will be offered on Monday/Wednesdays, or on Tuesday/Thursdays around 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. (actual times will vary). Classes will begin the week of Sept. 14.
“Our district, under the leadership of Superintendent Livingston, has truly paved the way for safely returning students to campuses in California,” Lambdin said.
Starting on Sept. 10, LVMHS students who are on Individual Education Plans (IEP) will have the choice to receive services on campus two days a week. The school will run an all-day program with a small class size ratio of seven students to one teacher and one instructional aide.
“We have worked collaboratively with our Special Education teachers to provide an on-campus program that is safe and supportive of our student’s social, emotional and academic needs.”
In addition to the students who receive special services, Lambdin and his co-principal, Kelly Boeing, have constructed an afternoon “Cohort” program where general education students will have an opportunity to be on campus twice a week in small cohorts of 14-or-less students. The Cohorts are led by teachers who have volunteered to teach classes that support core subject areas, or supplement special programs like FFA, Art, Music, Career Technical Education, and even physical education.
“Our afternoon program will literally have something for everyone Students who are struggling with math, science or English can sign-up for a support class. We are offering ‘Homework Help’ classes. Our agriculture students can work on their AG projects. Our Career Tech students will have opportunities in Law Enforcement, Auto, Photography, and Cadet Core.”
Lambdin is amazed at the support of Lucerne Valley teachers who make this program happen.
“In 31 years of education, I have never worked with a more dedicated, committed, and caring group of teachers,” Lambdin said. “This couldn’t come to fruition without their willingness and desire to make it happen. They are truly heroes.”
Perhaps more importantly, the opportunity to attend class on-campus will give students something they haven’t had in months. “Our students will have a chance for some normalcy, a chance to see that we are eventually going to get through these historical times,” Lambdin said.
The safety of the students and staff is paramount, Lambdin added.
Safety protocols include student/staff temperature checks, mandatory face masks, social distancing, and no intermingling with other cohorts. The school has provided classrooms with protective sneeze guards, hand sanitizers, high quality air filters, and have added multiple hand washing stations. Additional staff has been dedicated to hourly cleaning of restrooms and common areas.
For more information on having your student attend LVMHS’ afternoon cohort, please contact the school directly by calling (760) 248-2124.
PHOTO: Nate Lambdin, school principal and district assistant superintendent, addresses a group at the campus last year.
ATTACHMENT: "Cohort Names and Descriptions" is attached.