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School Updates & Announcements: COVID-19 Crisis
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Greetings Lutheran East Families and Students, 


It’s hard to believe that it’s already almost November. It’s been a pleasure to see students learning and growing both in the building and via engagement in SOLE.


Our school is guided by the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association (CLHSA) and our Superintendent’s office. Currently, the CLHSA is closely monitoring the recent increase in COVID-19 spread in Cuyahoga County and in the State of Ohio. We are aware that our county is approaching purple -- the highest level in the state’s classification system for local and regional spread. We are praying for our communities and those that continue to be affected by COVID-19, and we hope you will join us in doing so.


To reiterate and clarify our plan as laid out when school reopened in August, the status of our schools remaining open is not directly tied to the county-by-county color classification. Our plan specifies that our school may, at the discretion of the Superintendent, temporarily move to exclusively SOLE classes for all students if one or more of the following is true:


  1. 10% or more of the student body at Lutheran East is exposed to COVID-19 and/or is actively isolating/quarantining

  2. There is a state or county mandate that requires the shutdown of in-person classes.

  3. Other factors cause administration to believe that it is in the best interest of our students and personnel to pause in-person learning.


We are blessed to have already put in place and successfully utilized our SOLE platform. We are confident that if a transition to SOLE for all students becomes necessary, Lutheran East has a system in place to effectively and seamlessly continue delivery of quality instruction to each student. If your family independently determines that SOLE is the best option for your student at this time, transitioning to SOLE is always an option regardless of whether classes continue to be held in-person.


That being said, the CLHSA is committed to offering in-person instruction unless it becomes absolutely necessary to make a transition. We believe that an in-person learning option is vital for the academic, social, emotional, and spiritual health of our students, and we are continuing to pray that holding in-person classes remains an option throughout the school year.  We plan on continuing our current in-person and SOLE academic options for parents through the remainder of the calendar year.  We will be evaluating this decision weekly by looking at the relevant information from our state, our county, and our school community.  


In addition, I want to remind you of two additional measures to further ensure the health and safety of our school community. Staff, students, and families need to disclose COVID-19 exposure if a co-habitant has been diagnosed with or medically presumed to have COVID-19. That disclosure form is available on our website and through this link. As you look forward to holiday plans, it is worth noting Ohio’s Travel Advisory that requires individuals to quarantine for 14 days after traveling to states with a positivity rate greater than fifteen percent. That information is updated weekly and can be viewed by following this link.


As in the spring, we will communicate all developments in a timely manner so that your family can be as informed and prepared as possible.


Andrew Prusinski, Principal


Friday, August 7, 2020

Dear Lutheran East Families,

I’d like to take this opportunity to provide an update on our opening of school plans.

Our school administration and Board of Directors has been closely monitoring the recommendations made last week by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the guidance from the State of Ohio. Our intention to care for the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being of our students. We believe this goal is best achieved in person. We also believe in each family’s autonomy to choose the learning environment that is best for their student(s). For this reason, following a special board meeting held last night, we have decided to continue with our existing reopening plan with a few key adjustments.

Student orientation days were originally scheduled August 17th through 20th. This schedule has been adjusted to the following:

SOLE Orientation conducted online - Tuesday, August 25th
Senior, Junior, and Sophomore Orientation in person - Wednesday, August 26th
Freshman Orientation - Thursday, August 27th
 
All students will now begin classes on Friday, August 28.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health specifically recommends that schools conduct weekly reviews of the COVID-19 statistics that pertain to their specific surrounding communities. We have allowed an extra eight days before starting the year so that we can monitor the latest information on COVID-19 spread.

Because Lutheran East’s reopening plan has always included an option for synchronous online learning (through our SOLE option), we are confident that families who feel that their student(s) should remain at home have the option to make that choice, while families who feel comfortable sending their student(s) back for in-person learning should be able to do so.

Families who wish to opt into SOLE to begin the school year can still choose that option by completing the parent survey that was included in the email version of this announcement.

Under what circumstances would Lutheran East move all students to remote learning?
Although we are committed to continuing to offer in-person classes if permitted, we are aware that if conditions of the COVID-19 outbreak deteriorate, it may be deemed necessary to temporarily pause in-person school attendance. Under the following circumstances, Lutheran East may move all students to remote learning:
- 10% or more of the student population has been diagnosed or has had known exposure to COVID-19
- There is a COVID-19 outbreak known to be tied to Lutheran East school attendance
- A government entity mandates a closure

What should families expect when someone in our community (student, faculty, staff, coach, or administrator) is diagnosed with COVID-19?
Regardless of any measures put into place, COVID-19 cases may occur among members of our school community. The reality is that we expect this to occur at some point -- or at multiple points -- throughout the school year. We ask that you keep in mind another reality: a positive case of COVID-19 in a member of our school community does not necessarily mean the case was contracted while the individual was at school.

When a COVID-19 case occurs in a member of our school community, you CAN expect:

- Notification from the school that a member of the community has had a positive diagnosis.
- If your student has had exposure to the individual(s) as defined by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (see below for details), you will be notified apart from the school-wide communication.

When a COVID-19 case occurs in a member of our school community, you SHOULD NOT expect:

- The name(s) of the individual(s) who have been diagnosed. Disclosure of this information or any other individual health information would place our school in violation of HIPAA regulations.
- School administration has spoken with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to determine a protocol for positive cases within our school community.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health defined ‘exposure’ as being less than six feet apart for more than 15 continuous minutes (meaning the clock resets each time persons distance themselves from one another more than six feet). The plexiglass partitions we have purchased for all students will mean that students can be within six feet of one another without meeting the exposure definition.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health additionally set forth these recommendations for our school should a positive case or cases be identified in our community:
- The school will call the CCBH to report the case
- The CCBH will follow up with the person who tests positive once their test results are reported by their physician
- The CCBH will perform tracing; this may include contacting other individuals who meet the exposure criteria.
- The school will notify specific individuals who have met the criteria for exposure to the ill individual.
- The ill individual should quarantine for 10 days and should not return to school if symptoms are unresolved or if fever is still present (fever free without the use of fever-reducing medication)
- Individuals who meet the CCBH’s criteria for exposure should quarantine for 14 days.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we navigate this school year together.

In Christ,
Andrew Prusinski, Principal
 
 
Thursday, July 2, 2020
 
Greetings Lutheran East Families,

I hope you are enjoying summer vacation thus far.

Today, Governor DeWine provided guidelines for the reopening of schools this August. We’re excited that the guidelines have been published so that we may move forward with plans for starting up again at the onset of the 2020-21 school year.  

At this point, we are confident that we will be able to offer in-person instruction once again beginning in August. We are also developing plans and enhancing our technology resources to be able to offer an alternative at-home learning platform for students who are unable to return to school or whose families are not yet ready to send them.

During the remote learning period and into this summer, our administrative team has been working diligently to prepare for a wide range of scenarios this fall. With today’s guidelines, however, we can now develop more specific plans and we plan to share those with you as quickly as possible.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the students and family members who took the time to complete the remote learning survey we sent out several weeks ago. Your feedback is invaluable as we put plans into motion.

We look forward to a detailed plan with you in the coming weeks.

In Christ,

Andrew Prusinski
Principal, Lutheran East 
 

Monday, April 20, 2020
 
Greetings students and families,

Governor DeWine announced today that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio schools will remain closed for in-person classes for the remainder of the school year. We are saddened that we will not return to school this year, but we are fully prepared to continue remote learning and finish the school year strong!

Today marked the beginning of Phase 2 of our engaged Distance Learning Program which you can find more information about by following this link. Distance Learning at Lutheran East is more than simply enrichment. The lessons and work your students are doing follows our curriculum to ensure that students have every opportunity to advance in their high school career. I’m proud of that fact, the work that our teachers are doing, and the ways that our students are meeting the challenge and learning!

In light of Governor DeWine’s announcement, there are a couple of additional factors that I’d like to address at this time:

The school year will officially end at the conclusion of the school day on Friday, May 22nd.

Because of these unique and unprecedented circumstances, students will not take comprehensive final exams this semester.

Students can contact the school by phone or email at [email protected] and [email protected] to reserve a time to clean out their school locker. We will maintain a strict schedule in order to follow physical distancing and safety protocols. Items left behind will be donated or disposed of on May 22nd.

The education that students are working for and receiving is real! Continue to do your best in a tough time, and it will set you up for success when we are back in-school in person!

Finally, many of you have questions regarding the school celebrations that mark the end of a year including graduation and prom. We understand it is difficult to imagine a senior spring without these celebrations -- please know that everything possible will be done to recognize and celebrate this year’s senior class. Now that the announcement by Gov. DeWine is official, we will be finalizing plans and will communicate those with our senior class and families this week.

Please join me in praying for our school, our community, and our world at this unprecedented time.

Andrew Prusinski

Principal
 

Monday, March 30, 2020
 
Greetings Lutheran East families and students,

During Governor DeWine’s press conference today, he announced that Ohio schools will continue to be closed for in-person classes through at least May 1st. Although I’m disappointed that we won’t be back in-person as soon as we anticipated, I choose to remain hopeful that we will return to school in-person this year.

Here are the basics of how the extended school closure affects Lutheran East:

Distance learning will continue as previously scheduled through the end of this week and will now resume after Easter Break.

Easter Break is unchanged and is scheduled from Monday, April 6th through Sunday, April 19th.

Following Easter break, Distance Learning will resume on Monday, April 20th and continue through Friday, May 1st.

In-person instruction is scheduled to resume on Monday, May 4th. It's worth noting that this is subject to change based on Governor DeWine’s orders and the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I want to share how incredibly proud I am of our school community over these last several weeks. From our students and families to our faculty and staff, we have risen to the challenge! I will be sending out additional communication later this week regarding Phase II of our Distance Learning Program, which we have been preparing for in the event that the closure was extended. You can be assured that we will keep our focus on the academic and spiritual growth of our students!

Let us also be encouraged by these words from Hebrews Chapter 12: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” 

No one could have predicted that part of the “race marked out for us” was going to be a national pandemic. So let me pray that as your eyes are fixed on Jesus that you’d be blessed with a spirit of perseverance during the uncertainty and difficulty of our present time.

In Christ, be well.
Andrew Prusinski, Principal   
 

Thursday, March 12, 2020 
 
Dear families, 
 
Out of caution and the prioritization of the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, Lutheran East will be CLOSED starting tomorrow, Friday, March 13 through April 19. Although we will be closed, students are required to complete distance learning lessons and assignments starting Tuesday, March 17 through April 3. Our Easter Break will then be extended by two days so that it runs from April 6 through April 19. We anticipate resuming school in here in our facility on Monday, April 20. 
 
At this time, no student, faculty member, staff member, administrator, or frequent visitor to our school has been tested for COVID-19 nor confirmed to have the virus. An update will certainly be provided in the event that that changes.
 
At this point, we are asking the following of our students and their families:
 
Students need to log on to Google Classroom daily to complete online lessons. Students are expected to complete assignments daily.
 
Students currently on athletic teams should maintain contact with their coach/program director to determine plans for independent training.
 
Do not attempt to come to school to use the facilities in any capacity.
 
As a family, continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC, The Ohio Department of Health, and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
 
I will be providing more detailed information in the coming days regarding distance learning requirements for students.  Again, although school will not be held in our building, the distance learning is required and mandatory. We are thankful to partner with you to provide your students a Christ-centered education during this time and always. 
 
In Christian Service,
Andrew Prusinski, Principal
 
 
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
 
Dear families,

You are surely noticing the response from school districts and colleges/universities following yesterday’s press conference by Governor Mike DeWine regarding coronavirus.

Please be assured that the CLHSA and Lutheran East administration are closely monitoring the latest information and the recommendations from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the Ohio Department of Health, and the CDC.

In addition, please note the following:

- Governor DeWine recommended limiting attendance for extracurricular activities. In turn, the Ohio High School Athletic Association has set new rules for the Regional and State Basketball Tournaments. Per those rules, general admission fans will not be permitted to attend upcoming games. This includes Lutheran East's Regional Semi-Final Game which will take place this Thursday, March 12th and the Regional Championship Game scheduled for March 14th. As a result all plans for a Lutheran East Fan Bus have been cancelled. For up to date information regarding the OHSAA's rules please visit their website: www.ohsaa.org.

Between now and March 31st the following events have been cancelled or postponed: The Northeast Ohio College Fair, field trips during and after school, and athletic rentals involving spectators. However, all regular school activities on our campus will continue to be held including chapel, sports practices, and drama rehearsals.

Throughout the past several weeks, administration has thoroughly reviewed and supplemented our emergency protocols and procedures for cleaning and disinfecting our facilities.

Plans are being put in place to provide students with e-learning options in the event that our schools must temporarily close.
 
Students, faculty, and staff are being encouraged to thoroughly wash their hands.

We will communicate with you as soon as additional information or developments become available.

In Christian Service,

Andrew Prusinski, Principal
 
 
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