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Lusher Letter September 7, 2020

Dear Families,

Just as pioneers blazed their way to new territories, we find ourselves designing new trails with each new challenge. As soon as a plan is developed, changes come our way. Fortunately the data remains at a level the health experts believe is safe to return to school.

Hearing from many of you provides a perspective of where you are with your own family, what you have heard other schools are doing, what you think Lusher should be doing, what your personal experience has been with COVID-19, and your heartfelt concern about equity for our community.

Your most pressing questions now revolve around the return to the classroom and the experience students that remain at home will receive. Why aren’t there pat answers? Our teachers are outstanding. Everyone has a passion and very high standards for what they provide their students. We trust their integrity and teamwork. That is why we give them parameters to work within but the autonomy to create and deliver instruction with their own expertise.

Teachers will be providing “concurrent classrooms” for the first time in their careers. They are under scrutiny from your homes and are vulnerable to your praise and/or criticism while they attempt to deliver the excellence of their face to face teaching within a Google classroom. Soon, they will be doing both. Many options have been discussed and decided upon. They have been given permission to tweak those decisions as instruction rolls out. Some ideas may not work out but we are not afraid to try them and adjust.

Our goal is to maintain academic excellence, equity, and the arts whether a student is learning from home or is present at school. Adjustments may be made as these numbers vary by quarter. Although each classroom may look different, they must include multiple opportunities for students to receive direct instruction and to connect with the teacher beyond Community Circle. An extra planning period given during the week must be used to connect with virtual students.

First and foremost, you must decide what is best for your situation and family. The administration is here to support that decision and do what is best for students, faculty and staff. Each day, I commit to being grateful and doing my best to balance the spices in this big pot of gumbo!

In resilience,

Mrs. Rice

Thanks to all who attended our first Parent Coffee of the new school year! It was great to hear from so many families who are new to Lusher this year (and of course we love seeing familiar faces, too!) Our first PTSA board meeting of the year is Tuesday at 6pm. Here's the link to join.

Overheard at the Parent Coffee....

  • “We are excited to be here.” - Jamal, parent of new 5th grader
  • “All the behind-the-scenes work going on here…WOW!” - Andrew, parent of new 3rd grade student
  • “We feel very excited to be part of the Lusher family. It’s amazing how adaptable these kids have been.” - Erica, parent of new Kindergarten student
  • “Teachers have made this such a seamless, natural experience.”
  • “It was my girls’ dream to come to Lusher...Teachers are extremely supportive. Thanks to the administration--communication is amazing.”- Maria, parent of new 3rd grade students
  • “Our hearts go out to the teachers and administrators who are working so hard. We appreciate that the teachers understand the struggles we are experiencing.”- Kasey, parent of returning 3rd and 5th graders
Third graders read the story, A Fine, Fine School and discussed the artist, Vincent Van Gogh, during the past weeks. Students used some of Van Gogh's techniques in their own artwork entitled, LUSHER STARRY NIGHT.
Lusher Cub Scouts from Pack 56 recently did their best work at this trash pick-up day.
Catch virtual Morning Meeting with Ms. Rice and Friends every day except Wednesday! Here's the link.

Every home has received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Louisiana’s self-response rate is just under 57 percent, which is below the national average. The 2020 Census count impacts the federal funds that communities receive each year for programs and services that are critical for schools, students and younger children, such as: Special education, Head Start, after-school programs, and classroom technology; Food assistance, including free and reduced-price school lunches; Maternal and child health programs; Planning, preparedness and recovery efforts for national emergencies, including COVID-19. Self-responses, which can be completed online here, by phone or by mail until Sept. 30, ensure federal funding to support Louisiana students.

A handy spot on the school website, here, has been added for all of your Covid-related questions. Resources include tech tips, mental health resources, distance learning plans, and much more.

Free Virtual Tutoring: Remote Learning Buddies pairs local college and high school students with elementary or middle school students for free virtual tutoring. The initiative was started by four Tulane seniors to provide additional support to students in the New Orleans area impacted by COVID-19 and help overwhelmed parents who have taken on the additional task of supporting virtual learning. Tutoring sessions for students of all ages are set up through Zoom or phone calls to be as adaptive as possible to each student's technology. Tutors can help with any subject and each session will be personalized to best help each student. If you are interested, email Lee Sandel (lsandel@tulane.edu).

Lusher Letter Submissions: Please e-mail lisa_collins@lusherschool.org with school-related news and photos. Submissions must be ready for print. Pictures of school events are welcome, though we can’t promise to include everything that’s submitted. Deadlines are Thursdays at 8 pm.

Moved recently? Contact info changed? If so, please contact liz_laufer@lusherschool.org (Willow campus) or cynthia_lejeune@lusherschool.org (Freret).

Lusher Charter School does not discriminate in the rendering of services to, or regarding employment of, individuals because of race, color, religion, sex, gender, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis.

Lusher Strategic Planning - Vision for Impact In 2030, Lusher Charter School is nationally recognized for its holistic educational excellence offered in beautifully renovated historical buildings with spaces that complement the diverse interests, talents and backgrounds of more than 2,000 students in its K-12 program. The school collaborates with its students, teachers and families, as well as external partners. Through the arts, deep learning experiences, research-based instruction and development of character, Lusher’s model develops successful alumni who are productive, creative, responsible and kind contributors to communities across our ever-changing world.