LEWIS SCHOOL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
COVID-19 Contingencies and Action Plan Advisory
Dear Lewis School Community and Students,
As I travelled in the greater Princeton area earlier this week, it was amazing to see entire families out walking together, conversing, interacting, connecting with each other, and for most part, without cell phones or devices anywhere in sight.
As we progress with increasing care, caution and awareness through an unprecedented, historical disruption in our lives, we are reminded that together we remain strong and determined, a nation who will overcome adversity once more as we face what may appear in the coming days to be formidable odds. Together we have the ingenuity, the heart, the hustle and the absolute, perpetual tenacity to prevail through the roughest passages. We have the integrity to do the right thing and the instinct to help each other in times of need. This is who we are at our best and what we have always valued and aspired to, given the freedom we have to strive and become what we can dream.
In the words of storyteller and artist, Brian Andreas, “they came to sit and dangle their feet off the edge of the world and after awhile they forgot everything but the good and true things they would do someday”. Today is that day for us, our nation and all of humanity.
There is a singular message that cannot be ignored or rationalized, “PRACTICE ABSOLUTE SOCIAL DISTANCING” to prevent the potential destructive transmission of COVID-19 to others. “ABSOLUTE SOCIAL DISTANCING” is a pattern of thinking and informed awareness not only a pattern of acquired, socially responsible behavior.
I especially ask all of our Lewis School Students – lower, middle, upper and college-bound to practice “Absolute Social Distancing”. Set the example beginning with your own behavior. Encourage others who are cavalier or dismissive to wake up and show leadership. Informed, intelligent, safe behavior and action will positively help to protect the people you love, or those who are most vulnerable in your sphere of influence – children; sisters and brothers; mothers and fathers; grandparents and the elderly; your best friends, acquaintances and peers; your teachers and you. COVID-19 does not overlook a potential host because the person is young or feels invincible.
The upper school’s UN Roundtable Debate last month reflected brilliant skills of rational thinking, negotiation and innovative problem solving as your moderators, History Department Head, David Lewis and Congressman, Dr. Andrew Post-Zwicker commented.
Many of us are better at taking care others than we are taking care of ourselves. Now is the time to use that instinct. Step up! Reinforce “Absolute Social Distancing” whenever and wherever you can! Start a Civic Movement; give it a name; recruit members of your own age group to join the action and stand up for a cause, given grace and common sense, that will come only once in a lifetime. Now is the time for the Voices of Young Citizens to be heard. Use your devices for something productive that can effect action that matters – saving or protecting a life. Stop using your devices now to create mind-numbing anxiety or an entertainment rush. Write poems, short stories, narratives, journals, songs, lyrics, and jot down philosophical thoughts. Spelling, grammar and syntax won’t be perfect. Just do it. Let’s hear from you now. You can make an amazing difference. Step Up. Stand Up. Sacrifice what is necessary, for what is right!
Lewis staff will set up a monitored, e-mail address exclusively for legitimate student ideas and feedback. If you are interested, contact Mr. Black, Mrs. Ahmed and Mrs. Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will hear from us shortly after March 31, 2020.
COVID-19 will pass in the months ahead, leaving a searing footprint and likely its environmental remnants in our collective consciousness, in our working memories and across this small, blue corner of the universe we have inherited as home.
The turning point will come and each of us, from the youngest to the most powerful must contribute to an outcome that benefits us all. COVID-19 is likely to be more patient and persistent than we are for the time being. In due course, however, our lives will be restored for the better as we process the imprint of change and remember that we were stopped for a moment in time to learn a stinging, lasting lesson from Mother Nature.
As we continue to closely monitor and assess information from federal, state and local agencies, medical experts, research sources, private and public schools, and local colleges and universities, we will provide timely information that relates to parents, students, and faculty at our school.
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ACT and SAT Administration
Please review the following updated information and plan accordingly where applicable.
• Students scheduled for the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests have completed them and are in receipt of Official Reports or soon will be. Please notify us at email@example.com if you do not have official SAT results as of April 15, 2020.
• ACT college entrance exams have been postponed and rescheduled. Lewis School proctors, students and their families who are impacted by the changes have been contacted and apprised of the new schedules.
• Dates for the administration of the ACT have been confirmed and approved by the ACT testing service. The ACT begins on Wednesday, June 17 or Wednesday, June 24, 2020 respectively. Students must arrive at The Lewis School at 8:00 am promptly.
Current College-Bound Student Applications - Status and Inquiries
• Students who need guidance regarding the current status of their college applications, teacher recommendations or letters of a academic accommodation, or who have other specific questions, concerns or remaining issues to be resolved, can contact Roslind Hansen, Andrew Black or Mrs. Lewis for help and clarification at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students and parents may also leave voice messages regarding college application status at (609)-924-8120. They will be retrieved daily by Annie Adams, Main Office Coordinator, and forwarded appropriately.
• As of Tuesday, March 31, 2020 students and parents may contact college advisors through their new e-mail addresses at The Lewis School.
• Delayed ACT and standardized, *End-of Year Test results (EOYT) will not negatively impact students' applications to college. Most colleges are implementing modifications or interim waivers to accommodate these pending issues.
• As reported on March 18, 2020, delayed ACT and standardized, *End of Year Testing, (EOYT) results will not negatively impact Lewis School approved college applicants who have been accepted to, or are applying to "for-credit" summer programs and internships at other private schools, colleges and universities.
• Many programs are implementing modifications because of the COVID-19 disruption. *EOYT will be discussed in detail in upcoming e-mails.
Students Applying to College for Academic Year 2020-2021 - Application Process and Preparation
• In-depth preparation for the College Application Process typically begins in earnest, the week after Spring Break in early April each year and continues until applications reflect the best character and ability in each student and all deadlines are met.
• A succession of separate e-mails detailing the step-by-step application process including how to rough-draft preliminary College Resumes and Essays will be forwarded on or before Thursday, April 2, 2020 to begin.
• Advisors Roslind Hansen and David Lewis will be available on a regular schedule to be announced and will arrange individual instruction and feedback sessions with students via e-mail, telephone and remotely where appropriate. Administrative support staff, Mr. Black and Mrs. Lewis will also be available during scheduled hours to be announced.
• Students applying to college for 2020-2021 who have fulfilled the New Jersey State graduation requirements and have completed the required preparatory Lewis education for graduation, will be contacted personally by Roslind Hansen or David Lewis, and as appropriate, by administrative support staff, Mr. Black and Mrs. Lewis.
• Homeroom teachers, Mrs. Dark, Ms. Herman and Mrs. Leiggi will also be available at regular hours for guidance and feedback with college essays where appropriate.
• The application process will remain essentially student-driven as always with reliable and increased, robust support from all of us at Lewis.
• Colleges across the country are working with schools and applicants to help accommodate and resolve any issues arising from the COVID-19 disruption.
• It is important that students and parents are aware that The Lewis School expects to administer End od Year Standardized Testing during full-day, Summer Study sessions which begin on Monday, June 22, 2020. These evaluations and test results will be forwarded to colleges if independent, out-of-school evaluations are unavailable.
All administrative questions that students or their parents may have regarding ACT/SAT reports, transcripts, deadlines or the status of a student's application must be forwarded only to the attention of Mr. Black and Mrs. Lewis at email@example.com, not to advisors or teachers.
College Advisors and participating teachers have their hands full under normal circumstances when guiding our students through the critical academic aspects of their applications - essays, resumes, other narrative responses or inclusions, and where appropriate, various portfolios. Also important is to make sure that we help our students manage the floating anxiety typically associated with going to college. This is likely to be especially challenging now as the result of distance and remote instruction and feedback.
We are absolutely up to the challenge but will count on our parents' mindful and respectful discretion to help ensure that all of our teachers and advisors can focus all of their attention on the students' preparation and needs!
Communicating During the COVID-19 Disruption after Monday, March 30, 2020
• Lewis School parents and our community stakeholders can expect an increase in e-mail communications ongoing regarding a broad range of information and support.
• Temporary e-mail addresses have been set up for all teachers and instructors at The Lewis School. Parents can e-mail their children's teachers on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020 through Friday, May 22, 2020, if the school is still on hiatus.
• Mr. Black, Associate Registrar and Senior Master Mathematics Instructor will forward the teachers' interim e-mail addresses to parents on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
• Faculty and instructors' e-mails are available only and exclusively for questions regarding guidance, clarification and support related to students' daily home study and work assignments.
• Teachers are ready and eager to help parents and students with schoolwork planning and management. They especially encourage students to e-mail questions of their own.
• On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, all teachers of The Lewis School will begin calling their homeroom students. We are looking forward to reconnecting with students personally to lift their spirits and to see how they are feeling generally and coping with the apprehension of unexpected change and distancing.
• There is no more powerful connection to be made between human beings than through the physical sound, emotional intelligence and reassurance of human speech and voice.
• We will all see each other again at school in the not too distant future. In the mean time, we want our students to know we are thinking about them, we love them and we are here for them. They can count on that.
• Parents of Afternoon Enrichment and Tutorial students and Extended Day students placed by districts may leave messages for Director of Extended Day Education, Cindy Stewart at info@lewisschool,org.
• Messages regarding all Main Office records and administrative requests may be left at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond as promptly as possible.
• Families calling with regard to general enrollment, reenrollment or a student's projected class placement (where determined) for academic year 2020-2021 must contact the school at email@example.com.
• Messages related district placement, financial matters, tuition payment schedules and accounts, contracts and other financial issues may be left for CFO, Ann Zawartkay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admissions and New Parent Communication During COVID-19 Disruption
• New families applying to the Lewis School and those who are currently in the admissions process must direct inquiries regarding the status of applications or placement for Summer Study and Fall Semester to our voice mail at 609-924-8120.
• Parents or students wishing to speak to David Stier or Chantra Reinman in Admissions must leave messages on The Lewis School's voice mail at 609-924-8120 beginning Monday, March 30, 2020.
• All 609-924-8120 Voice Mail will be retrieved daily by Annie Adams, Main Office Managing Coordinator, and forwarded to the appropriate administrators.
Postponed, Rescheduled and Cancelled Events through Friday May 22, 2020
• End of Year and Standardized Testing, Thursday, April 2, 2020 - rescheduled for summer administration
• Open House and Coffee, Saturday, April 18, 2020 - cancelled, will be rescheduled
• Topics and Trends in Education and Earth Day, Wednesday, April 18, 2020 - cancelled, Topics and Trends will be rescheduled
• Upper School Theater Ensemble, April 24, 2020 - cancelled, may be rescheduled
• Parent-Teacher Conferences beginning on Monday, April 30, 2020 to be reorganized
• Field Day, Wednesday May 6, 2020 - cancelled, may be scheduled for summer
• Lower School Play, Thursday, May 7, 2020 - cancelled
• Upper School Prom, Friday, May 8, 2020 - cancelled
• Athletic Banquet, Thursday, May 14, 2020 - cancelled, may be rescheduled
• Open House and Coffee, Saturday, May 16, 2020 - cancelled, will be rescheduled
Graduation and Awards Ceremonies
Currently, Upper School Graduation and Awards, and the Middle and Lower School Awards ceremonies remain as scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 2020 and Friday, May 22, 2020, respectively. Both of these very special events in the lives of our students may have to be reorganized if that is necessary or possible. The final decision will be made based on the unfolding impact of New Jersey's COVID-19 disruption.
What to Expect in Future E-mails
Look for COVID-19 Emergency Planning Information regarding the following:
1. Post-Extended Break Educational and Administrative Contingencies
2. Possible Modifications to School Calendar/School Year, SAIL and Summer Study
3. Academic Credit for 2019-2020
4. Graduation and Awards Ceremonies
5. Extending Summer Study to full days
6. Summer Administration of End of Year and Standardized Testing
7. End of Year and Standardized Testing and Exams
First Day Back? How to Begin on Monday Morning?
CONTENT TEACHERS AND INSTRUCTORS WILL BE CALLING AFTER 1:30 PM, MONDAY AFTERNOON
- See the proposed "class schedule" attached. Working on packet assignments begins (should begin) promptly at 8:30 am for all students of the school.
- "Patience over Time" is a mantra that will help set schedules and put routines in place. Don't expect too much too soon. Always expect the best and appreciate that to start.