March 2021

Dear Lackawanna Students and Parents,

In a few weeks we will begin the 4th marking period of the 2020-2021 academic year.  We have accomplished so much, and we have so much to celebrate.  Educating our students throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic for more than a year has been a team effort and has been solidified through a partnership between the community and the school district.  Let’s keep it moving forward as we near the home stretch! If you have been in the buildings for in-person instruction I hope you will continue to do so, and if you selected a virtual option via our one-to-one Chromebook initiative, I hope it is temporary and you will consider coming back into our brick-and-mortar classrooms soon. Our goal is to increase the number of students enrolled for in-person instruction in each building in the 4th marking period.

The primary reason for our success has been our collective effort to keep everyone safe.  Prioritizing the universal and correct wearing of masks, social/physical distancing, frequent handwashing, avoiding prolonged periods of time in crowds, and regular cleaning and disinfecting of our common areas have been critical in keeping our elementary and secondary school open for in-person instruction.  In addition, the majority of our employees have been vaccinated, making themselves and those around them less likely to contract and spread COVID-19.  These layers of mitigation measures are precisely what the Centers for Disease Control recommends to safely open school.

When the elementary or secondary school needed to pivot to full virtual instruction for safety reasons it was done quickly and efficiently, and I am confident this trend will continue if we do not let our guard down.  The district consistently follows guidelines from the Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control when determining when to pivot and for what length of time. Although many were disappointed that traditional “snow days” were not utilized this year, the continuity of education was consistent, and we are on track to complete the academic year on June 9th.

Outside of our schools, rates of community transmission have decreased.  This is great news as well, but once again it does not warrant letting our guard down.  What happens in our immediate community impacts our school, and what happens in our school impacts our community.

Recently the Centers for Disease Control announced that schools which distanced their students three feet apart in classrooms did not have higher levels of COVID-19 spread as compared to those which distanced their students six feet apart in classrooms.  That does not mean we will immediately end our six-foot spacing when feasible guideline, but it reflects that Trail has been implementing safety protocol successfully, and it gives us more leeway if we reach our goal of increasing the number of students enrolled for in-person instruction.

At Lackawanna Trail several layers of mitigation measures are in place to keep everyone protected as much as possible from COVID-19, we are committed to following CDC and DOH guidelines, and I hope this gives everyone confidence that our buildings are safe places to be educated.  I deeply appreciate everyone’s collaborative efforts, and I encourage more students to join us for in-person instruction.

Sincerely,

 

Matthew Rakauskas

Superintendent

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The mission of Lackawanna Trail School District, in partnership with our community, is to provide a safe and challenging learning environment where all students will develop to their fullest potential. The educational programs provided will enable students to become productive, responsible, technologically literate, contributing members of a global society who respond effectively to an ever changing world.

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