April 1, 2020
Greetings LLA Family,
Throughout the many forms of media these days, one hears a common message:
We are in this together.
We are apart but united.
We will get through this.
And, of course, this sentiment is true.
It is amazing to think how much we have had to adjust to since Friday, March 13 when we scrambled to announce that school would be switching to off campus learning starting the next Monday. “Social distancing,” “Shelter in place,” “quarantine,” “respirators,” and “Frontline medical heroes,” have become common words and phrases around the world. And only in war have we daily followed such drastic casualty reports.
Not withstanding the loss of life, the other losses we all feel are real as well. At Loma Linda Academy, we pride ourselves on the whole educational experience we offer. The excellence in the classroom as well as the rich opportunities outside the classroom is what makes up a powerful school year at LLA. Since March 13, so much has changed.
Of course, this has been repeated across society. Churches, businesses, families, and government have shared the same loss of experiences and traditions.
So, here we are. In a short time, our team of professional educators has had to retool. With the same passion for student learning, and with many new methods, our teachers are determined to provide excellent education. We appreciate your patience with the learning curve. You can expect our teachers to work hard to learn these new skills and to teach our students in this new normal. While we sadly have greatly reduced our hourly staff, we continue to pay our salaried staff. We know that finances are compromised for many in our school family. We do not wish to process any withdrawals based on this crisis. While normal tuition will be billed, please contact Brittany Min (bmin@LLA.org
) if you need to discuss tuition aid. We will also waive late fees for those needing more assistance or more time.
I listened in on several Zoom workshops during Monday’s in-service and heard teachers asking questions about how they can do things better, not how they can do less. We hear of districts and schools providing only enrichment opportunities to students. At LLA, we propose to provide for our students a viable, Christ-centered, teacher-led curriculum with a continuing sense of community while completing the school year with students prepared for the next level of schooling in August.
I want to say a word about our Children’s Center. Except for the scheduled week off during Spring Break, they have continued to serve our community with excellent pre-school and childcare. This is an important part of supporting our local health care institutions. We have increased standard hygiene practices and have modified our program to follow state guidelines for this crisis time.
What will the rest of the year look like? We are instructed to follow the lead of the Redlands Unified School District. Therefore, we will be continuing off-campus education at least through May 1. There will be daily school experiences Monday through Friday that will include real time (synchronous) and recorded (asynchronous) instruction for all grade levels. While we hope that we can return to school in May, we think it is probable that the no “on-campus school” order will ultimately be in effect for the rest of the school year. Expect one or two more in-service days and possibly a free day for all to catch their breath. We are already beginning to consider what the final days of school will look like. Certainly we are thinking of graduations and imagining alternative ways of celebrating. Should state or local health requirements make that necessary, things will be different but we can still make the time special.
We pray for you, our school, our nation and our world during this great health challenge. Thank you for your prayers. Remember, wash your hands, remain together but six feet apart, and be kind to each other.
Loma Linda Academy