Covid timeline

A quick review of the impact Covid has had on the LM community over the past two years.

Throughout the past two years, COVID-19 has caused radical changes in how LMSD schools operate. In March of 2020, all LMSD schools closed due to COVID-19 for two weeks. This period was filled with questions and uncertainties, as no one knew what to
expect in the coming days. After these two weeks, teachers were surged into new positions as online teachers, needing to operate their classes through Zoom and Blackboard Collaborate. Thomas Swope, a computer science teacher at LM,
describes the experience: “teaching during the early stages of COVID was incredibly challenging primarily because student
engagement and expectations were so low. It was also difficult to deliver content in an engaging manner and discouraging to see so many students struggling academically.” This immediate change sparked similar negative emotions among most teachers because it was scary and unexpected. Nobody would’ve even dreamed of switching to all virtual learning, so it was something that took a while to adapt to. The rest of the school year continued all virtual, allowing middle school and elementary school students the option to log on to classes or not.

At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, classes remained all virtual, however, the system was much more structured compared to before, as it was now required for all students to log on to their virtual classes. In October of 2020, students and teachers started participating in a hybrid learning plan. Fall sports also felt the effect of these restrictions; sports didn’t start until mid-October, and playoffs at the district and state level were canceled. This plan consisted of two cohorts, with each cohort coming in two of the five days a week. The Friday of each week became an asynchronous day, providing teachers and students the opportunity to catch up on work and time to prevent COVID-19 in LMSD schools. Nathan Grunfeld ’24 relays that he “really
enjoyed asynchronous Fridays but thought they were somewhat unnecessary”. 

Almost a year after the national shutdown in the United States the global pandemic still greatly impacted LMSD schools. This time though, our schools had switched to four-day learning weeks, keeping asynchronous Fridays in existence. At this time, LMSD allowed all students to come into school every day of the week, while keeping the
virtual learning option present. Teachers and students had finally returned to a more normal form of teaching and learning. Additionally, students who were in opposite cohorts were now able to reconnect in school. The whole school could now continue doing extra curricular activities and full class activities again. Removing the idea of cohorts was a huge step forward to a more normal school experience.

The start of the 2021-2022 school year came with even more changes to the district’s COVID-19 guidelines. All students were required to come into school for all five days of the school week, or else, they would be marked absent. This change allowed clubs to fully reactivate, including playoffs and competitions. Social distancing guidelines were also altered, allowing for the return of assemblies and eating with friends.    

On February 27, 2022, following updated CDC masking guidelines, LMSD announced that all students and teachers would be allowed to go mask optional in LMSD buildings, except when on buses. This step to mask optional was highly encouraged by some LMSD parents, while others strongly opposed it. One LMSD parent in favor of mask optional
believes that “a mask optional policy would simply leave it to individual preference and interpretation of available data and guidelines.” Another parent responding to the change in masking guidelines thinks that “the immediate switch to mask optional doesn’t give students time to adapt to the new
changes.” It seems that LMSD schools are approaching normal almost two years after the shutdown. From start to present, COVID-19 has proved to greatly damage many school normalities, but things seem to be trending positive.

Graphic by Annie Zhao ’24

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