LCS COVID Response

Current Covid Cases (over the past 14 days)
Elementary K-6  High School 7-12
 0 0

Tear Down This Wall!
By: Torgun LovelyLCHS Principal and Casey Churchill, LCS Principal

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” This memorable line was delivered by President Ronald Reagan during the Berlin Wall Speech in West Berlin in June of 1987. The Berlin Wall had separated West and East Berlin since 1961. I remember that speech from the 80s and I feel like this explains a lot about what is happening here at Liberty this summer. While we may not be unifying Germany, our students have been separated by barriers since August of 2020.
Last year at this time, we were emailing families about all the risk reduction measures taking place around the school to ensure students could attend Liberty for in-person learning. This summer we are “tearing” these measures down. The 2021-2022 school year is going to be a normal year. The “Desk Masks” are down, face masks will be optional, there will be no remote learning, and schoolwide events such as our elementary-school festivals, carnivals, and concerts as well as high-school and junior-high dances, game nights, sporting events, concerts, and theater performances are being planned. This coming year is going to be great!
There are a few things we discussed as a staff at the end of the year and decided to keep. While the pandemic caused definite setbacks in regard to a few policies and procedures, some systems we liked. At the elementary school, we liked the idea of the students coming in the building directly when they arrived. This coming year, we will ask parents to drop off students no earlier than 7:30 AM. We will then let them in the building at 7:40 AM. This allows students plenty of time to settle in for the day. No more storming the halls to get to class. At the high-school drop-off and pick-up will go back to normal with the Stoa open before school starts and after school ends.
We also greatly appreciated the parent support in keeping students home when they are not feeling well. The Liberty staff did the same thing. This was likely the number-one factor that kept in-person learning sustainable for the entire year. We need to work as a community to continue this habit. When sick students stay home, they can heal and return faster than if they had come to school. Rest is the number-one cure leading to recovery. We highly encourage all families to continue to follow this policy. With that said, we will no longer be giving perfect-attendance awards at the end of the year. This end-of-year award has had a perverse effect on overall school attendance.
Keeping the buildings clean is also a top priority. Our custodial staff will continue to maintain a clean and healthy school environment for our students, and staff. Students are encouraged to play a role in this endeavor by thoroughly washing hands throughout the day. The school was outfitted last year with needlepoint bipolar ionization. This system will continue to clean the air even after the pandemic is over. These are good ongoing good practices we will keep for years to come. 
The pandemic has shined a light on the success and benefits of charter schools. While other large districts struggled to get their feet about them due to pressures from unions and a democratic disorganized management system, Liberty was able to pivot on a dime. We used our money wisely and made necessary changes to ensure students were in-person. There was no learning loss at Liberty last year. No summer schools need to be developed to get students caught up from the pandemic. Our students have received the prerequisite knowledge to move on to the next grade level.
We are excited to have our students and families back to Liberty come August. We are working hard this summer to make building improvements before the first day of school. At the elementary school, we have installed new carpet in several rooms, reroofed above the gymnasium, resurfaced the gym floor, installed new windows upstairs, and landscaped the back of the school. At the high school, we have installed air-conditioning systems in the original part of the building, installed new carpet in a couple rooms, refinished the Colosseum floor, repainted several rooms, and done a deep cleaning of every classroom. Our buildings have never looked better. 
Summer camps and enrichment activities were successful with classes full of students eager to continue their learning over the summer. Mrs. Nichols started the summer with an art camp where the class participants created fun whimsical paper mâché birds. We also hosted reading and math classes for students in grades 1-6. Thank you to Mrs. HarmonMrs. MurphyMrs. WoodMrs. Howe, and Mrs. Cardenas for teaching the academic camps this summer. Mr. DybzinskiMr. HultinDr. RobinsonMr. SkerjanecMs. Erdevig, and Mrs. Deitrick helped students bridge gaps as well as take care of a couple of required courses in some cases. These academic classes have been critical in helping students get needed academic enrichment during the summer. Our teachers worked hard last year and they haven’t stopped. They work over the summer as well to ensure our students are ready for the next year.   
Our students need normalcy after last year. We hope Liberty Common families are enjoying summer with life back to normal while they relax and unwind. We can’t wait to see our students’ “full” faces in August. Classical education was meant to be taught face- to-face, not via remote learning or through a polycarbonate “desk mask.” Expressions of joy or confusion are necessary feedback when teaching. Not having masks or shields will allow students to better interact with the teacher and with their classmates. We have torn down the walls! See you all at our elementary-school Back-to-School Social on August 19th, and our high-school Torch Trek on August 20th.


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