COVID-19 (a.k.a. Coronavirus)
20200330- Email to families
Dear Lolo School Families-
Lolo School will remain closed through April 10 as directed by Governor Steve Bullock. Thereafter, on March 26, Governor Bullock issued statewide restrictions to stay home and limit contact with others. Certain functions of school such as distance learning and food services are considered "essential" and exempt from the order. The exemption includes personal travel for parents and students accessing essential school services (i.e. it is okay to come to the school for food and schoolwork).
Grab-and-go breakfast and lunch is for anyone 18 and younger. 10am-1pm M-F. Please eat!
The next round of learn-from-home materials can be picked up Tuesday, March 31, 2020 from noon until 4:00pm. Similar to last week, we will provide curbside service. We encourage you to take free breakfast/lunch for kids while you're here. In order to facilitate appropriate social distancing, please remain in your vehicle. We'll move things along as quickly as possible.
Teachers and staff have compiled work for approximately two weeks. Don't let the size of the packet overwhelm you or your child. Two weeks is a long time and with regular check-ins from staff, it'll race by. Remember that teachers are checking email, keep regular office hours from 10am-2pm M-F, and may be available at other times by appointment. Please don't hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher(s), even if just to say hello. K-4 273-6686, 5-8 273-6141.
We strongly encourage you and your children to comply with all guidelines for frequent handwashing, social distancing, cleaning/disinfecting, and staying at home whenever possible. Supplemental resources are added to our COVID-19 webpage periodically so check back from time to time.
Wishing you good health from Lolo School District,
Dale Olinger, Superintendent
20200324- Second Email to parents
Dear Lolo Families-
During an afternoon press conference, Governor Bullock announced an extension of his March 15 Executive Order to close Montana K-12 public schools, now effective through April 10. Lolo School will remain closed to the public, and all activities cancelled for this timeframe. The Governor's update today also included more strict orders regarding social distancing and keeping nonessential gatherings to less than 10 people. Lolo School is doing its part to model this behavior by encouraging staff to work from home, calling limited staff to work on site for essential functions, and striving to keep at least six feet apart while working.
Learning is still our mission. THANK YOU to the many parents who are working hard to keep their child’s skills sharp; your partnership in education makes it possible for students to learn during this challenging time. The school will continue to develop its distance learning strategies and capacity. Teachers will maintain weekday "office hours," generally from 10am-2pm unless other arrangements are made, to answer questions from parents and students. Call 273-6686 for K-4 teachers & counselor or 273-6141 for 5-8 teachers & counselor. Call either number to reach art, music, health enhancement, library, or Title I. Later this week or weekend, the school will be in touch with families via email with information on the next cycle of learning materials ready for home.
Lolo School will continue to provide free, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch for anyone 18 years old and younger, M-F from 10am-1pm near the cafeteria. The only question we ask is how many young people we're serving. We are allowed to give the meals to family, friends, and neighbors for delivery.
Remember, the first round of distance learning materials will be ready at noon on Wednesday 3/25, and if your teacher talked about a physical packet of material, the packet can be picked up at the upper parking lot from 12-4pm on Wednesday 3/25.
Stay healthy, Lolo! We're all in this together.
Dale Olinger, Superintendent
20200324- Email to parents:
Dear Lolo School Families-
Lolo School remains closed through March 27. There has been a great deal of speculation about an extension of the closure, but we do not have official information one way or another at this time. We will certainly communicate with families when we know more. Please ensure your telephone numbers and email are up to date. Also, please download the Lolo School smartphone app from the Apple Store or Google Play. Please see additional information below regarding learning, nutrition, plus a few helpful links.
Dale Olinger, Superintendent
Teachers are working primarily from home. Most of you have heard from your student’s classroom teacher. If not, be watching for a phone call from a school number, an unrecognized number, or a ‘private caller.’ Each family and each grade are unique. If your teacher-team has a packet of materials for your child, pickup will be from 12pm-4pm Wednesday March 25 at the school’s upper parking lot. Please stay in your vehicle. We’ll have staff ‘runners’ checking in with folks as they arrive, gathering the needed materials, and delivering them to you car-side. If students are able to safely walk or ride to school, they can certainly pick up their own packet. Like the weekday meals, we’re glad to send materials with older siblings, neighbors, etc. so long as it is prearranged with the recipient and proper precautions (social distancing, sanitation, etc.) are taken at final delivery.
Teachers and staff are working hard to make this successful! Keep in mind that we’re as new to this process as you are. Please be patient as we work out and continue to adjust the system.
Free breakfast and lunch for anyone 18 and younger is served grab-and-go style each weekday during the closure. 10am-1pm, in the upper parking lot of the school. Curbside service. Youth do not need be present. If a parent wants to pick up meals for two kids at home, we can do that. If an older sibling needs to take a meal for herself and two meals for the little ones at home, we can do that, too. A family friend or neighbor could also help with delivery. We’r e trying to be as flexible as possible to make sure kids are eating.
Busy minds and bodies
The increasing time at home can be tough for kids and parents alike. We strongly encourage everyone to follow all guidelines for social distancing, handwashing, and staying home whenever possible. Though not part of our curriculum, here are some resources for families who have access to the internet at home. (These resources are not owned or moderated by Lolo School. Any information you choose to share with the providers is entirely up to you.)
ABC Mouse & Adventure Academy
A Principal’s Idea List
20200320- Email to parents:
Dear Lolo Families-
Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented and dynamic global crisis. Society's response to the COVID-19 situation has changed drastically since we departed for spring break just one week ago, all with the critical intention of slowing the spread of infection. The school is continually shifting to comply with closure, while continuing to be responsive to our educational mission. We will get through this, and we’ll do it as a team.
School buildings remain closed to the public at this time and will remain closed through March 27. At this time, we do not know if the closure will be extended by the Governor or local health authorities. We will share information on extension or reopening as the information becomes available.
Free Food for Youth, starting Monday 3/23
Lolo School will serve free, grab-and-go style breakfast and lunch each weekday from 10:00-1:00pm, starting Monday 3/23. The meals will be served together. Food available to ANYONE 18 years old or younger, regardless of income, residency, enrollment, and so on. Lolo students, homeschool students, high school kids, etc. Weather permitting, food will be distributed outside the East cafeteria entrance (or just inside the East cafeteria entrance in foul weather). In keeping with necessary preventative measures, please practice appropriate social distancing, take meals home to eat, and thoroughly wash your hands often.
On Monday 3/23, teacher teams will begin to plan for distance instruction opportunities. The process will start with teachers reaching out to families, primarily via telephone, to take inventory of the resources available to each student. This will help teachers tailor instructional materials to meet each student's needs at home. Our current goal is that by Wednesday afternoon, families will have the first collection of lessons from their child's teaching team. If the school closure is extended beyond March 27, teachers will provide ongoing lessons, likely on a weekly basis. Teachers will be available by email and telephone to answer questions from students and parents, and to give feedback when possible. Additional details will be coming from the teacher or teaching team when materials are ready. We will gladly send materials electronically when it makes sense and works for the student. The school will provide hard copies to students who don't have adequate internet access at their home.
In addition to nutrition and learning, we understand that your student may have an important item left at school. If your child needs something from the school such as medication, an inhaler, eyeglasses, or another important personal item, please call the school office starting at 8:30 Monday morning. We will attempt to locate the item, let you know when it is ready to be picked up, make arrangements to have the item waiting for you. Please do not attempt to make these requests in person since the buildings remain closed to the public. We are not clearing out desks and lockers at this time.
K-4 Office 406-273-6686
5-8 Office 406-273-6141
Even though there is no known exposure to COVID-19 at Lolo School, the school is following CDC guidelines for disinfecting the buildings during the closure. First, the maintenance staff is following the regular cleaning process. Then, we will move ahead with a procedure for disinfection, room by room, building by building, including common areas inside and on the exterior of the building. Additionally, Lolo staff is applying a disinfecting solution to common-contact surfaces on playground equipment at least once each weekday during the closure. Upon reopening, the school will adjust the disinfection process as necessary. Our primary goal upon return is to have students and staff enter school buildings with confidence.
Thanks again for your patience. You’ll be hearing from your child’s teacher early this coming week, and we hope to have an initial rollout of learning materials ready by the middle of the week. Your partnership and participation is greatly appreciated as we continue adjusting to this exceptional situation.
Dale Olinger, Superintendent
20200315- Lolo School is committed to the health of our students and families. We are aware of Governor Steve Bullock's Declaration to close Montana K-12 public schools until March 27, 2020. Lolo School District will comply with the Executive Order. Lolo's existing school calendar had already identified spring break during the week of March 16-20 which will not change. During this time, school leadership will be planning our next steps and communicating to our families. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together for our students' health and safety. More detailed information will follow in the coming days. Please monitor the website and your email for updates.
Lolo School District does not have any cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at this time. Were there to be a case identified at Lolo School, we would initiate communication protocols as necessary to let our families know and provide instructions. We will communicate primarily through this website and school email, but may also utilize text messaging and social media. Lolo School continues to collaborate regularly with primary resources including the Missoula City-County Health Department and the Missoula Office of Emergency Management for up-to-date information and recommendations. You, too, can visit the Missoula City-County Health Department’s webpage for more information, or you can call their staffed coronavirus telephone line at 406-258-INFO (4636).
At this time, we strongly encourage these common-sense practices for everyday health. These practices are known to be effective in deterring influenza (flu) viruses, the common cold, etc., and should be used at all times to help keep yourself and your children healthy. Please help encourage the use of these techniques with students, family, coworkers, and friends.
What YOU can do now:
- Stay home when ill. Infecting others with whatever you have helps no one. Do your part to reduce exposure.
- Wash hands regularly. Use soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Here’s how to do it right.
- If handwashing is not possible, use hand sanitizer.
- Cough and sneeze into a disposable tissue and dispose of it immediately afterward. Use your elbow if no tissue is available.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, & mouth.
- Students and school staff should stay home when they are ill. Spreading illness to others magnifies the problem exponentially. Voluntary social isolation is a very effective means of preventing the spread of illness.
- Avoid being around others who are ill.
- Consider delaying non-essential domestic and/or international travel
- Visit the Missoula Health Department, CDC, and Montana DPHHS websites for accurate, real-time information.
What Lolo School District is doing now:
- Encouraging the practices listed above.
- Discouraging handshakes, high fives, and hugs. Go for an elbow bump!
- Providing additional surface sanitizing supplies to teachers for classroom use on common-contact hard surfaces such as desks, tables, handrails, doorknobs, light switches, etc.
- Encouraging frequent handwashing when possible.
- Providing hand sanitizer in classrooms. (Also thanks to PTSA for funding this!)
- Bringing in additional custodial staff for cleaning/sanitizing during school breaks
- Maintaining close communication with the City-County Health Department for updates, information, and recommendations
The CDC, DPHHS, and City-County Health Department are not recommending school closure as a preventative measure at this time. Should that recommendation change, we will adjust as needed. Most schools, Lolo included, are not fully prepared to make a quick switch to remote learning. We are making plans to the best of our ability in the event we need to change the way we instruct and teach. School closure and/or remote instruction has major impacts on families and is a decision that will not be made in haste.
We will update this webpage with relevant information as it becomes available from the Health Department.