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Coronavirus News

Lausanne Return to Campus Planning

Thank you for your understanding and feedback you've shared with us as we've developed plans for returning to campus for the 2020 school year. As we all know, the situation around the coronavirus is changing dailyAs I shared on May 20, our Opening of School Task Force is preparing for a variety of scenarios. We're continually adding information to our website to share the latest additions. We've also added them to the email below. The fact that these plans are still being developed adds to the concern and stress many of us are feeling, and we appreciate your patience during the process.

After announcing the aspirational goal of returning to on-campus classes on August 17, we've been working through the logistics of following CDC recommendations for students to return to school. The last month, subcommittees of teachers have been formed to think through the student experience, and we've been remodeling areas to allow for greater social distancing.

To test the viability of new protocols, varsity athletics began practicing. This first phase alerted us to areas that need to be addressed, like the management of the temperature data we're collecting and the need to add an onsite healthcare professional to our staff. We plan to move to the next phase on July 6 and open summer camps at 50% capacity. But we are also aware of the current spike of cases in Shelby County and the Health Department's directive saying that summer camps in Shelby County are to remain closed for the time being. With the situation changing rapidly, we are prepared to push this date back if needed, with the weeks between this date and the beginning of school giving us some flexibility.

We remain dedicated to hosting on-campus classes for all students beginning August 17, but must be prepared for other scenarios.

When the CDC announced COVID-19 guidelines in March, they didn't immediately order schools to close. Instead, they placed limits on the number of people that could gather together in one place. To cover this possibility, we're developing a hybrid model where some students attend classes on campus while others move online.

As educators, we understand the difficulty of distance learning for younger students and our older students' ability to do more independent work. And thanks to your feedback, we recognize the burden parents of our youngest Lynx felt in the spring. To that end, we're developing plans for Upper School students to move to virtual learning in stages to ensure that younger students can still experience in-person learning.

Of course, if the health department or governor of Tennessee orders schools to close, we must move to online classes. While our teachers, students and parents all adjusted quickly when this happened in the spring, we know there are areas we can improve. With the additional time to prepare, we're identifying ways to enhance online learning and ensure that issues from spring are addressed. This is also where we need your help.

Details of our current plan are outlined below and on our website for you to review. Please read through them and let us know your questions, thoughts, and concerns using the form on our website. Name and email are optional so that you can remain completely anonymous. The Task Force will try to address your concern and add the information to the website. We've already had over 50 people share their thoughts but would love to hear from many more. Soon, we'll also ask you to fill out a survey to help us identify areas our community is most concerned.

In the weeks ahead, we aim to have expanded plans for each scenario ready for you to review in early July. Soon after, we'll be hosting virtual town hall meetings for each division to review those plans and try to answer any questions you may have. More details on that to come.

Again: thank you for your patience and input as we prepare Lausanne for the 2020-2021 school year. Together, our community will rise to meet the challenges with optimism, flexibility and a growth mindset. That's the Lausanne Way.