La Lumiere Announces Reopening Plans for the Fall Semester

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On August 17th, La Lumiere students will return to the school’s wooded, 190-acre campus to begin the academic year. Each new school year offers unique changes and challenges, but it is no surprise that this year will look significantly different for the students and teachers arriving on campus.  

“All schools face a herculean task right now. La Lumiere is extremely fortunate—given our small class sizes and expansive campus—to be able to put together a plan that significantly reduces the risk of potential COVID-19 exposure while keeping our foot all the way on the gas with teaching and learning. The best learning happens in person, and we will be able to continue to do what we do with the same key ingredients we’ve always relied on: an emphasis on personal relationships and a faculty that’s uncommonly committed to the holistic formation of every single one of our students,” said Head of School, Adam Kronk.

欧洲杯哪里投注Taking advantage of their unique setting, Kronk and his team are creating 11 outdoor classrooms which will be covered, open-air, and connected to WiFi. Dotted along the lakes at the heart of campus, these structures will be the setting for almost all of the classes for as long into the fall as possible. The few indoor classroom spaces that will be utilized (primarily for science courses) are carefully reconfigured oversized spaces. Masks will be worn at all times inside, and social distancing and frequent disinfection via electrostatic sprayers will further mitigate risk.

欧洲杯哪里投注La Lumiere is also leveraging another critical asset: its access to medical and health expertise within its own school community. Adam Kronk explained, “From a renowned Chicago epidemiologist who happens to be [Development Director] Susie’s brother to three local parents who specialize in pandemic preparedness, oversee an emergency room, and run one of the best hospitals in the area and the leaders of the area’s best hospitals, the personal relationships that typify La Lu have given us the the ability and ‘know-how’ to get this right.”

In addition to baseline testing that will be required of all students, faculty, and staff, the entire school community will be asked to complete daily health questionnaires and temperature checks before leaving their homes or dorms. School leaders also anticipate that pool testing will become an integral part of the testing protocols as they move through the fall semester.

A carefully calibrated combination of screening, social distancing, mandatory face mask usage, cohort scheduling, outdoor learning, and general common sense, gives the administration confidence that in-person teaching can still be done, and done well.

Roughly 40% of the students at La Lumiere are boarders. Once past an initial testing and distancing period, they hope to operate in small cohorts or “family units” within their dorms. This will allow small groups of students to interact without having to wear masks or socially distance within certain living spaces. Periodic testing will be performed, and should a member of a pod test positive, quarantine and contact tracing will be relatively straightforward, given the cohort structure. The school has also designated one specific dorm with 12 single rooms as a quarantine location, should it be necessary.

欧洲杯哪里投注While learning and living strategies have largely been designed and implemented for the coming year, the school is still weighing the details of various co-curricular activities and athletics. “We are working on several scenarios for each program we typically offer and considering everything from holding ‘regular’ seasons to creating options for conditioning and skill development to intramural activities with modified rules. Physical exercise is a critical component of the formation of our students, and we will, if necessary, create new offerings for students if certain options aren’t available,” Kronk said. 

欧洲杯哪里投注And just like last spring, La Lumiere is ready to pivot to remote learning if needed. Andrew Hoyt, Academic Dean, described that, “Strong relationships and high expectations are at the heart of our academic philosophy, and our faculty will be prepared to offer synchronous remote learning, should it become necessary, so that students continue to feel connected and to grow in learning and scholarship.”

In-person classes for the fall semester are set to run until Thanksgiving Break; after the holiday, students will finish their review and final assessments remotely. Details on the spring semester are not yet solidified, but the school will adjust as the year goes on and as more up-to-date information on the trajectory of the pandemic is obtained. 

“Every year, our prefect board (student leaders who have roles similar to student councils at other schools, but with a paradigm of servant leadership) picks a theme for the year. This time it’s ‘Together, we will … .’ They put the ellipsis in there intentionally, given the uncertainty of what lies ahead,” recounted Kronk. “And we are heading into this unknown as one. That’s how we do everything here, and it’s why I know we’ll not only get through this, but emerge stronger than ever on the other side.”