Last Wednesday, August 26, was a special and unique first day of school for our entire campus. While our Kindergarten through 8th grade students started the 2020-21 school year with remote learning, our preschoolers and pre-Kindergarten students were able to safely return to campus. With a very low student to teacher ratio, large classrooms and an extensive re-opening plan to address safety on campus, everyone from families to staff and faculty felt safe and at-ease returning to in-person learning, and most importantly at this age, in-person socializing!
It was, for some of our little ones, their very first encounter with school, which always means a few tears along the way. However, it was without a doubt a happy sight to witness our preschool playground filled with laughter and noise again. Not to mention finally seeing our families back on campus after such a peculiar Spring and Summer. Our pre-Kindergarten students coming back for a second year at our campus were all smiles and particularly excited to see their friends and teachers after such a long time outside of school.
While the routines may be a little different for our youngest students in the time of covid-19, our caring and dedicated staff and faculty were there to help them get used to a modified school environment, and also educate them on the importance of handwashing, and wearing a face covering. Despite their young age, all of them adjusted quite well to their new classroom organization and new routine. Having a consistent schedule of activities, same recess time, and the opportunity to enjoy their favorite subjects certainly helped tremendously.
As for our Kindergarten through 8th grade students, they benefited from the relentless work of our pedagogical team across all of the LILA campuses, as well as our Orange County Director and OC teachers. After receiving detailed information regarding the new format, and their homebase sites with meeting links and schedules, all students in Kindergarten through 8th grade were ready to start the school year strong. Although our very first e-Learning Plan in the history of our campus back in March was a success, it also taught us some important aspects about making it work even better this year, to make our students and families' lives easier. Our Team unveiled a modified 2020-21 remote learning plan shortly before back to school. To ensure students could all progress at the same pace and reduce the amount of independent work needing assistance from parents, the current e-Learning Plan includes lengthier and more frequent online sessions. Most of the school work is now done live with the presence of the teachers on-screen, similar to what is done in a regular classroom.
We are proud to see how much work our faculty and staff have put into the preparation of this very unusual first day of school. We are also proud of the support received from our families. We hope you enjoy this gallery of photos from our back-to-school!