I am writing to make you aware of events and changes that are on the horizon, some of which will affect all of you, and others, not just specific groups within our School. Let's address the challenge created by COVID-19 virus first.
COVID-19 has had only minimal effect on LSS due to the extensive efforts of our facility of our facility, staff, and you, the parents of our wonderful students. Yet, exposure of a few to the virus has upset a lot of our plans for assisting school-age students with their work. For example, Ms. Noupien, while attending a funeral was exposed and is now in quarantine. She should be proven virus-free shortly; however, her absence has delayed the introduction of a new full-day curriculum, named PRENDA, which has the potential to get our school-agers back on grade level within a reasonable time frame. PRENDA will require students to not only master the basics, but also will teach them to collaborate with one another and to o lots of hands-on projects. Specifics about PRENDA will be provided shortly; PRENDA classes for Grade K-2 (and perhaps Grades 3-6) are scheduled to begin January 4th, unless the virus throws us another curve.
Currently, students who are enrolled in the Public School "virtual" program, are falling further behind, they needed nearly one-on-one assistance. Assisting them is complicated by the fact that each school seems to have a different program and schedule. PRENDA with its small class size (10 max), will alleviate that problem. I am certain that all will be quite pleased once we get adjusted to a different, yet highly effective way of learning.
Another matter impacting LSS is the upcoming minimum wage increase mandated by the State. Unless the State increases the amount paid on "vouchers", LSS will find that it is again losing money as a result of the wage increase, even with a $10/week rate increase. Couple this challenge with the State's mandate that LSS reduce most class sizes, and one can see the problem that LSS and every other private school is faced with. Additionally, LSS, in order to stabilize its faculty, has compensated its employees for time lost due to COVID-19 exposure of either staff or children. I trust that LSS will qualify for any PPP money approved by Congress.
In spite of these challenges, LSS has a vision to expand and improve its service to the community. Clearly,, all of us are going to have to change our lifestyles, especially until the virus is under control. Perhaps these changes will make us appreciate one another more. I wish you all a Merry Christmas. May the Spirit of our Savior bless you and yours!
Your friend always,