Virtual Learning at Lincoln Academy, March-May 2020

LA COVID-19 Response Updates:

Virtual Learning at Lincoln Academy 2.0

Dear LA Students and Families,

Based on recommendations from the Governor and Maine Department of Education, we now know that we are looking at virtual learning through the end of the year. While the school will be ready to return to campus if the situation changes, we have to plan to work virtually for the rest of the year.

Losing this spring on campus is a huge sadness for all of us. I don’t know of any teacher or student who wouldn’t rather see each other in person. This isn’t how any of us wanted to see the year end. However, it is worth remembering that the entire country is experiencing this same loss. This year will forever be remembered as something different and historical. Our goal in this time is to make the most of a difficult situation, to do our very best in the face of hardship. 

As students, you have faced many obstacles in the last month, and generally you are persevering and succeeding. You should be proud. And when you feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and try to make a small connection with school. Each step matters. We are here to help.

We truly appreciate your feedback in the recent parent and student surveys. That feedback is helping us design the rest of the year. While there are real struggles in virtual learning, we also have some real opportunities right now. We have the freedom to pick and choose the best possible learning in this format, at this moment in history. Many of you are learning skills that will serve you for the rest of your life, even if they aren’t the skills we planned as the 3rd Trimester curriculum. 

As you read on you will find an outline of the rest of the year. Please read this information carefully, send us your questions, and give us your best effort during this next phase of virtual learning. Remember, we are here to answer questions, hear your frustrations, and help you solve problems. This is not the time to retreat in the face of struggle, this is the time for us to work together.

Logistics

Calendar:

April 27-May 22: Virtual Learning Instruction. 

Classes will continue to meet using the established weekly schedule. The last new instruction and assignments will be delivered on Friday, May 22nd. 

May 26th-May 29th: 

Students submit their last week of assignments. Teachers are available to assist students who are struggling to complete the trimester’s work. Teachers will also be at work preparing for the closing two weeks.

June 1-June 12: 

Grade level final reflections & activities will be conducted through Advisory groups. These reflections and activities will replace our traditional final exam period. Seniors will complete these tasks by June 5th. Details on what these activities will look like coming soon!

Graduation/Final Senior Activities

A group headed by Jenny Mayher has been formed to design the activities that will make up the closing activities for the Class of 2020. This small group of teachers and administrators will work with an advisory council of students and parents from the class of 2020 to find ways to celebrate and commemorate this graduation. 

Canvas Usage

Teachers will continue to use Canvas as the primary method of sharing assignments, grading work and communicating with students. Canvas Conferences and GoogleHangouts will be used for optional live sessions and one-on-one tutoring. 

Every staff member is expected to post a weekly Canvas module. This module will include the following:

  • An agenda for the week that lists the weekly expectations. This agenda should appear as an assignment or discussion with a due date. Students should submit that they have seen this on the day that it is assigned – this often counts as a participation grade for the students.
  • 3-4 separate assignments, each of which has a due date one week from when it was assigned. 
  • Each assignment should also appear on your calendar view.
  • Long assignments should be broken into weekly chunks with separate assignment dates

A full selection of screencasts and instructions for Canvas for both parents and students can be found here

Please contact Stephanie Cheney cheney@lincolnacademy.org if you are having difficulties using or accessing Canvas.

If you have questions about academic work, please contact Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Kelley Duffy, duffy@lincolnacademy.org

Late/Missing Work

Teachers at Lincoln Academy understand that a variety of circumstances (time zones, shared devices, work, power outages etc) may make it difficult to adhere to a fixed timeline during Virtual Learning. Teachers will enter zeros for missing work as this helps provide everyone with a clear picture of work submitted, HOWEVER, students may submit late work and have those zeros replaced with a new grade. Students should communicate with teachers if they fall behind. Teachers will be happy to help students prioritize work and catch up!

Attendance/Engagement

Attendance does not mean the same thing in the virtual world, however engagement is key to success. Teachers will track student engagement in several ways:

  • Responding to weekly agendas (often a participation grade)
  • Submitting weekly assignments
  • Connecting with the teacher through email/Canvas messages or participating in optional live sessions

Teachers inform our Student Support Team (SST) weekly regarding students who have had low engagement and the Student Support Team works to connect with students and helps them re-engage in virtual learning.

Advisor

Advisor groups are still an important part of the Lincoln Academy experience – even during virtual learning. Advisors will check in with advisees weekly through email or group video chats. Advisors will continue to check advisee grades and will continue to serve as a front line resource for parents and students.

Office Hours

Office Hours occur twice a week on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Teachers are available for the following activities during these times:

  • One-on-one video conferencing, phone calls or emails with struggling students
  • Video chat, phone calls and/or emails with advisees

Students and parents should reach out to teachers to set up time to talk during Office Hours if they are struggling with any aspect of Virtual Learning. 

Trimester 3 Grading Protocols

Virtual Learning creates new challenges for assessment. Several goals were weighed when trying to determine how to grade in this situation:

  • Building a system that is fair to students who are significantly disadvantaged by virtual learning.
  • Building a system that continues to motivate and reward students for their effort in this difficult time.
  • Ensuring that the grading system provides information of value to students, parents, teachers, and colleges

During Trimester 3, teachers should grade and assess using traditional practices and departmental guidelines. However, final trimester grades will appear differently this trimester to reflect the unusual circumstances that students and teachers are working under.

  1. All 3rd Trimester classes will be graded Pass/No Credit. A student may petition to reveal their passing grade if desired. The only students who should do this are students who have done markedly better in T3 than their T1/T2 average, or who have excelled in a trimester elective.
  2. In year-long courses 
    1. Students who were passing for the year and receive a “Pass” in 3rd Trimester will receive credit
    2. Students who were passing for the year and receive “No Credit” or students who were failing for the year and pass in T3 will be reviewed to determine if they can receive credit for the year. 
    3. T3 grades will not be averaged in Class Rank and GPA numbers for 2020. Guidance will append a note to transcripts explaining the calculation of these numbers.
  1. Regarding 3rd Trimester Elective courses
    1. Students will be allowed to retake any T3 Elective course that they wish to repeat in a subsequent year (ex: Acting – b/c they didn’t obtain the experience they hoped)

June 1-12

Trimester 3 instruction will end on May 22 although students will be able to submit work through May 29th. Students will spend June working with their advisor on a culminating reflection activity. These activities will take the place of final exams. Each grade level will have slightly different reflection activities. The details of these culminating activities are still being hammered out by a small group of Department Heads. Details will be shared soon.

Food deliveries and weekly pick up at the Student Union will remain in place for the rest of the school year!

Statement from the Maine Principals Association

April 9, 2020

It is with regret that the Maine Principals’ Association announces the cancellation of the 2020 spring athletic season. Please know that this was not a decision that was taken lightly, but one that the leadership at the MPA felt necessary to help support the recommendations from our Governor’s Office, the Maine CDC, and Commissioner Makin, and the Department of Education, that schools across the state not come back in session and provide remote and distance learning opportunities for the remainder of the school year. We understand the importance that these athletic and performing arts programs play in the lives of students, their families, and their communities, but also recognize that these education-based activities are a part of the overall educational experience and at this time of uncertainty to adhere with the recommendations of staying at home, maintaining social distancing, and avoiding face-to-face instruction and large group gatherings, is crucial for us to persevere.

We want to recognize the efforts of the hard-working dedicated educators across the entire state as they provide distance learning opportunities to students in Pre-K through 12th grade and to thank them for their work during this COVID-19 crisis. We also want to recognize the important role that coaches and advisors play in the lives of our young people and would encourage them to continue to reach out to their team members to provide the emotional support that so many students need during this time of uncertainty.

The Maine Principals’ Association is a professional association representing Maine’s K-12 principals, assistant principals, and career and technology center directors. The Association dates to 1921 and focuses its work on promoting the principalship, supporting principals as educational leaders, and promoting and administering interscholastic activities in grades 9-12.

Michael Burnham
Executive Director – Interscholastic Division

Maine Principals’ Association
50 Industrial Drive
Augusta, ME 04330
207-622-0217 x125
207-622-1513 Fax

Click on this link to learn more details about important services that are now being offered remotely by members of our Student Services Team. The document includes information about Special Education, contacting the Health Center and Social Workers, food delivery, and more. 

Message from the Head of School

As I write this letter on a rainy Tuesday, our faculty are finishing their training and starting to head home. It has been a productive two days of preparation for this new reality of delivering educational content remotely. I am proud of this faculty: their dedication, leadership, and commitment to students. While so many of the aspects of the last five days have been anxiety-producing for me, knowing that our faculty and staff are fully and enthusiastically engaged in this work has made me grateful. That gratitude extends to our students and parents who have shared questions, concerns, and a great deal of support as we take our first step into new adventures in education.

Included here is a comprehensive document entitled Virtual Learning at Lincoln Academy, which will serve as our academic guide for the next four weeks. As we begin remote learning next week, this document should serve as your guide and first stop with questions. In addition to a basic overview of the academic schedule and expectations for LA virtual learning, the document lays out the responsibilities of faculty, administration, students, and parents, and offers a quick “who to call when” directory.

If students need to retrieve items from school, please refer to this page with notes about how and when to access the LA campus in the coming weeks. These guidelines help our facilities team do the difficult work of cleaning and sanitizing buildings, as well as keep our residential population safe and healthy as they work on social distancing within the dorm and other areas of campus.

I stand firmly with the Governor, the State Health Department and our nation in support of our efforts to flatten the curve. Please take these next two weeks to connect with your family, play games, take walks and find comfort in our shared purpose of slowing the spread of covid-19 in Lincoln County and the greater community.

It is with a grateful heart that I continue to welcome the challenges we face, and I am buoyed by all of your support and investment in Lincoln Academy.

We will continue to communicate through email in the coming weeks. Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we make the best of a difficult situation.

Jeffrey S. Burroughs
Head of School

Access to Lincoln Academy Between March 16-April 27

During this next period of time, we will be restricting access to campus in order to support our custodial staff and residential program.

WEEK OF MARCH 16-20

Faculty & Support Staff:

  • Monday and Tuesday, you are welcome on campus.
  • Wednesday-Friday: it would make Bill’s life easier if you restricted your time on campus to 8am-12pm each day.
  • Please ALWAYS enter and exit using your key card at the Main Office doors.
  • Please sign in and out at the front office. This helps custodians know who is here and what needs to be cleaned.

Students

  • May come to campus to collect any necessary materials from their lockers between the following times: 9-12 Wednesday through Friday. Please enter the building through the Main Office doors and sign in at the front desk.
  • In the (very rare) situation in which a student needs to connect with a teacher, this appointment must happen during the hours listed above, must be arranged with the teacher and the front office needs to know about the visit ahead of time.
  • In addition, the Band Room will be open for students to pick up instruments from 3-6pm on Tuesday, March 17.
  • We are asking all visitors to minimize their time and movement on campus. Students may not visit with students in the residential program at this time or socialize with other people on campus.

MARCH 23-APRIL 27

Faculty & Support Staff

  • While we understand that teachers may need to access materials in their classrooms or photocopiers etc, we would like to limit movement around campus.
  • The building will be open in the mornings from 8-12.
  • Please ALWAYS enter and exit using your key card at the Main Office doors. Please sign in and out at the front office. This helps custodians know who is here and what needs to be cleaned.
  • Even if you work in one of the other buildings (Hall House, ATEC) please start at the Main Office so that we know who is here.

Students and Other Visitors

  • We are asking all visitors to stay off-campus during this time period. If there is a specific circumstance that you feel requires a visit to campus, please contact the administration.
  • There will be some situations in which students need to get specific resources from the school (technology, food etc). We have designated the Student Union as this “pick up” spot. The Student Union is located in the basement of Hall House and can ONLY be accessed from the doors across from the turf field.
  • The Student Union pick up will be available every Wednesday from 8-12 and a Lincoln Academy staff member will be present.

Following guidance from the Maine CDC, local health and safety officials, and AOS 93, and with approval of our Board of Trustees, Lincoln Academy will suspend all in-person classes effective immediately until Monday April 27th.  

Faculty and staff will use the week of March 17 to finish the implementation plan for virtual learning. Students and teachers will make contact with teachers through Canvas or email between Wednesday, March 18 and Monday, March 23 to test problems with access, and virtual instruction will begin on Monday, March 23. 

Please continue to monitor this page, student email and social media in this time of rapidly changing events.

Letter from Lincoln Academy and Heartwood Theater about the Guys and Dolls production scheduled to open Friday, March 20.

It is with heavy hearts and a great deal of regret, that we have decided not to move on with scheduled performances for Guys and Dolls. Nearly sixty students poured their time and energy and hearts into rehearsals for two months and stand ready to perform to 7 sellout audiences.
If, if if … perhaps there can be a few performances later this spring.
Thank you for being part of our would-be audience; it’s a fabulous show!
(We cannot film this, as many have asked. Licensing restrictions are very strict and do not permit live filming and reproduction.)
With hope for your continued good health and an eye to the special joys of shared live theater, in the future ~
Griff and Joy Braley, Heartwood
Jenny Mayher, Lincoln Academy

Good Morning,

As you all know, implications from the Corona Virus have hit Maine. This being said, we have been in contact with the Maine CDC, DOE, Governor’s office, and other health agencies in regards to the best way to provide services that people need while keeping them safe.

Yesterday, Governor Mills had a press conference stating that they are encouraging “Social Distancing.” By her definition, “social distancing” means groups of 250 or more people attending non-essential events should be delayed or postponed.

Because of this, the MPA Board of Directors and Interscholastic Management Committee voted today, March 13, 2020 to delay the start of the 2020 Spring sports pre-season practice until April 27, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and will make the appropriate changes as needed to ensure the safety of all students.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Holly Couturier, Executive Director, Professional Division

Mike Burnham, Executive Director, Interscholastic Division

Mike Bisson, Assistant Executive Director

The worldwide Coronavirus outbreak is a dynamic situation that changes daily. With that in mind, we are working to make the best possible decisions with the information we have on any given day. Our chief concern is to protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and community.

At this time LA will stay open for all classes and extracurricular activities. However, we recognize that this outbreak may impact our ability to educate students over the next few months, and having access to a digital learning platform may provide options. For this reason academic advisors are gathering information about whether students have access to the technology needed to complete classwork remotely, which would include internet access and a laptop or chromebook suitable for academic work. We are looking for options that will help all students connect to school digitally from home.

While this virus can be transmitted by people who are asymptomatic, the vast majority of transmissions happen through the respiratory secretions of people with a fever (100.4f/38C) and a cough. These symptoms and a person’s travel history are the basis health professionals are currently using to make determinations about likelihood of an illness being COVID-19. We are in regular contact with LA Health Center Medical Director, Dr. Andy Russ, to stay up to date as recommendations change with the spread of this illness. If someone in your household experiences a cough and fever, please notify the LA Health Center at 207-563-3596 ext. 134.

Vacation Planning

The school takes seriously the risks posed by upcoming travel. We have canceled the April break trip to France as well as the Alternative Education trip to Washington DC and the pre-vacation Band Trip to New York City. 

The Office of Residential Life has been working with dorm students to offer alternatives to international travel, and families of residential students have been extremely understanding of this request. The LA Health Center will help ensure that residential students have a safe re-entry to campus after vacation, using best practices laid out by Maine Health and the CDC.

Families of day students must make their own decisions about traveling over April break. That said, we respectfully ask that all LA families help protect our community’s health using the following guidelines.

  • Do not travel to places where the risk is high.
  • Take common sense precautions while traveling, even to places with low risk.
  • Monitor symptoms vigilantly, and self-quarantine immediately if fever and cough present.
  • Contact school nurse Eric Duffy (eduffy@lincolnacademy.org or 207-563-3596 ext. 134) with any concerns about travel or re-entry to the school community.

Keeping our community safe requires that we all consider the public good when making decisions. While healthy teenagers are at low risk for serious illness or death from COVID-19, they can be carriers and infect higher risk populations, including older people and those with underlying health conditions like asthma and diabetes. For the sake of our neighbors, relatives, classmates, and colleagues, we ask all members of the school community to exercise an abundance of caution at this time.

Parents are invited to the LA Parent Association meeting this Thursday, March 12, at 6 pm in the LA Library, where Head of School Jeff Burroughs will discuss LA’s response and answer parent questions.

Thank you for your efforts to keep our community safe during anxious times.

Jeff Burroughs, Head of School
burroughs@lincolnacademy.org

Eric Duffy, Director of Health Services
eduffy@lincolnacademy.org

Jenny Mayher, Communications Director
mayher@lincolnacademy.org

Lincoln Academy is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This is a rapidly developing situation, and LA’s response will evolve as public health information becomes available. School decisions will continue to be made in coordination with recommendations from the U.S. and State of Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as Lincoln Health and the AOS 93 Superintendent’s Office. Updates will be posted on the LA website as well as Facebook.

As media have reported extensively, cases of the coronavirus are now on every continent in the world, except Antarctica, and it continues to spread. There are still few confirmed cases on the East Coast and the CDC indicates that currently public risk remains low. As a result, all classes, sports, and extracurricular activities at LA will continue as normal.

We ask that all LA families let the Health Center (attendance@lincolnacademy.org or 207-563-3516 ext. 134) know about any flu-like illnesses in your household to help us contain and understand the situation in the school community. We also encourage everyone, including students, parents, and staff, to use common-sense precautions: wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially before and after eating, using the bathroom, or coming in contact with commonly used surfaces (desks, door handles, etc). Avoid shaking hands. Most importantly, students should stay home if they are sick, especially if they have a fever of 100.5 or higher with a cough. The school will make every effort to accommodate students who stay home when they are ill so they do not fall behind in classes.

Lincoln Academy is taking proactive steps to prevent and prepare for the possibility of a COVID 19 outbreak in our community. To this end, we restricted residential student travel during February vacation, and are strongly recommending that residential students not travel internationally over the upcoming April vacation. We have also canceled the International Club trip to France that was scheduled in April. We made this decision out of an abundance of caution and the concern that families could suffer a financial impact if we waited any longer, only to have advisories change after it was too late to get a refund on travel expenses.

While LA’s day student families must make their own travel decisions, the spread of COVID 19 within the United States is on the rise, and both domestic and international travel may increase the risk of infection. As a result, we ask that if you do choose to travel this spring that you remain proactive in preventing the spread of illness, and keep us informed should you experience any flu-like symptoms.

To prepare for the contingency of a significant local outbreak that would require us to close school, our Director of Curriculum and Instruction Kelley Duffy is working with Technology Coordinator Stephanie Cheney to make plans for continuing classes remotely if necessary. While this is unlikely at this point, we want to be prepared for every possible scenario.

The school will continue to monitor COVID19 updates closely and respond accordingly. Please visit www.lincolnacademy.org for updates, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions, whether they are regarding the school’s policy and response or concerns specifically related to your family. We will post updates as the situation develops.

Thank you.

Jeff Burroughs, Head of School
burroughs@lincolnacademy.org

Eric Duffy, RN, Director of Health Services
eduffy@lincolnacademy.org

Jenny Mayher, Communications Director
mayher@lincolnacademy.org

Andy Russ, MD
Medical Director, LA Health Center

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