LEWIS SCHOOL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
COVID-19 Contingencies and Action Plan©
Dear Parents, Students and Members of The Lewis Community,
I hope the recent e-mails have been helpful and informative. Warmest “hellos” and “air-high-fives” are sent to every one of our students. We believe in you, miss you and are proud of your accomplishments! Deep appreciation is extended to every member of our amazing faculty, staff and administrative team, and especially during this COVID-19 disruption, to Associate Registrar, Andrew Black, Admissions Coordinator, Annie Adams and CFO, Ann Zawartkay.
Preliminary, daily schedules that parallel each student’s regular rotation of classes that are already in place at The Lewis School will be sent on Saturday, March 28, 2020 and/or Sunday, March 29, 2020. Suggestions for academic management and support will follow shortly.
Early next week, you will receive The Lewis School COVID-19 Strategic Action Plan – Phases I, II, III, and IV covering the period from Monday, April 20, 2020 through Wednesday, September 2, 2020. The school is finalizing a flexible strategic plan for the near and foreseeable future. Please keep current with the influx of e-mails from The Lewis School and close-read each for detailed updates and guidance to share with family members.
Families should schedule time to review and share information from the school with children and grandparents on a regular basis. We hope you agree. Reading together as a family benefits everybody and will keep important connections between teachers and the school vivid and in place for our students.
We ask everyone to read the school’s e-mails on computers not cell phones. Use larger monitors or screens if you have them. A Smart-TV will work well as a big screen if you have an HDMI cord, not only for e-mails but also for upcoming remote learning. Streaming e-mails through your television is a more complex alternative that some students and parents may want to consider.
For example, if you are using a monitor with a 27″ screen or smaller, it generally helps to enlarge the document – but no more than 155% of its original size – especially for family or group reading. This guideline can be used as a baseline and adapted proportionally to accommodate most readers’ visual acuity and the size of the screen. Accommodations like these can help to enhance long-term reading mastery and skills of visual recognition, visual decoding-encoding and working visual memory. Over-enlarging print is not advised.
Reading aloud is absolutely encouraged for each person in the group – one or two sentences at a time for children who are learning to master the skills, and short paragraphs for more accomplished readers. Fluent readers should do most of the reading. Choose less complex text for children. When someone hesitates or stumbles, repeat the difficult word or phrase aloud and carry on immediately. The content of our e-mails will be as user friendly as possible for students but we count on parental discretion and patient guidance.
Notes of Explanation for Parents and Students About Visual Formatting Options for Reading Text on the Computer
(In Anticipation of “Flexible Distance and Remote Learning”)
Enlarging Text Size
For some readers, using print that is larger but not overly large, and making simple changes like justifying the text to eliminate gaps in the narrative can make reading a more effective, positive experience when applied over time. Modifications like these can help to center “reading attention and memory”. They can reinforce visual tracking and encourage effective fluency and pace. Comprehension is also likely to be impacted and the need to reread passages repeatedly, diminished.
Why Use the “Justify” Icon and not “Justify All”?
Both the left and right borders of the text here and in other e-mails from The Lewis School are justified. This is intentional and a technique we encourage our students to use in their hand written drafts and for final assignments they generate on their devices.
This particular strategy will seem incidental to some users but it tends to limit possible confusion, inattention or processing hesitation in the reader’s right-peripheral visual field, (the right-hand side of the page), where the actual end of a line of words changes throughout a paragraph.
The simple justify strategy helps to create greater predictability and uniformity in brain’s receptive visual environments of reading. Justify also eliminates disruptive gaps in the linear text that are created when using justify all.
At Lewis this kind of reader’s hesitation is referenced as a momentary “brain break or stutter or brain stuttering”©. The brain takes short visual breaks caused by the stop-start distraction that unnatural gaps in the text create. When attempting to read a line of words smoothly, some students can’t override the abnormal gaps between words and are often frustrated because the justify all formatting likely promotes visual processing instability.
Simple, straightforward techniques can set meaningful limits or guidelines for language processing, establishing more reliable visual recognition, sequencing, organization and retention ability, as well as the expectation of strategies that are routine and consistent when the written word is being processed as reading. However, developing these good habits among students often proves to be a lesson learned with difficulty.
Take Time to Read and Share Together.
Make the Difference that Protects and Saves Lives.
Practice “Absolute Social Distancing”! It’s Physical. It’s Difficult.
It’s Ten Feet of Sacrifice.
Be Present. Be Caring. Stay Patient
Marsha Gaynor Lewis
This document and its contents are the exclusive and sole intellectual property of, and trade secrets of, Marsha Gaynor Lewis, and are developed and authored by Marsha Gaynor Lewis, and may not be duplicated in part or whole or in any way otherwise utilized without the express written permission of Marsha Gaynor Lewis.
© 2020 Marsha Gaynor Lewis. All Rights Reserved.
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.
Please open the topics below by clicking on the "+" button.
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.