By | September 4, 2020

September 4, 2020

Lake Lure- In early August Lake Lure Classical Academy’s (LLCA) Board of Directors decided to allow the school to resume in-person on campus learning for those students whose parents opted to send their children back to campus. First day of on campus student instruction was Aug.17th. This was a bold move as all the surrounding public schools opted for remote learning only.

The Board had agreed to a Covid-19 screening and cleaning protocol for all students and staff. To see the guidelines on their website click here. It was noted by several in the community that the Board agreed to allow children and teachers to return to in-person education yet they continued to have online Zoom Board meetings due to their safety concerns about in-person meetings at the school. If you would like to address any concerns their next Zoom meeting is scheduled September 10th. For the online link to the meeting please click here.

Karen Powell

On Aug. 28th two students apparently tested positive with less than ten days of on campus instruction. Upon hearing this an email was sent to Karen Powell, Director of Foothills Health Department concerning the protocol for handling this type of situation in a school settling.

On September 2nd a phone call was received from a concerned family member stating that two more students supposedly tested positive with a potential third (sibling of the two positives) yet to be confirmed. As this would constitute a cluster event per NCDHHS guidelines once again an email was sent to Karen Powell for procedure clarification and to LLCA Board of Director Chairman Mark Hamann for school specific policy regarding public notification.

Of major concern to the family member who called was that one of the positive children noted on the 28th was a classmate of an unrelated child who tested positive on or before the 2nd and that they were both in the same classroom. As this could potentially be a contact specific case this is a serious concern for every student not only in that class but the classes of their siblings and the children on the school buses that they might ride. Due to the current safety restrictions these numbers are much smaller than they normally would be.

This is a situation that all schools must face once in person learning has resumed. (Rutherford County resumes in person learning on September 8th.) Covid-19 is a virus and as such regardless of the best of protections there will be contagion. Fortunately it does seem to leave the 0-17 year old age group without many lasting effects as far as we know at this point. For more info on Covid-19 in children click  the NCDHHS link here.

NCDHHS Sec. Dr.Mandy Cohen

On August 17th NCDHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen spoke concerning schools “We’re monitoring things closely,” Cohen said, pointing to the state’s back-to-school guidelines issued earlier this summer. “If folks are going back in person, we wanted them to have the maximum number of safety protocols in place, which means masks for everyone, social distancing in place for everyone, cleaning protocols, screening protocols. All of those are meant to layer on top of each other to add additional layers of precaution.” Cohen said “officials delayed Phase 2’s expiration for a longer period of time than previous extensions — five weeks — specifically, to see how school re-openings impact the state’s virus numbers.” To see full interview click here.

Lake Lure Classical Academy released a letter to the public yesterday on their website and through their social media page addressing how they are handling their experience with Covid-19 in the classroom. Some of the points addressed are ones that all schools resuming in person classes will be working hard on in the upcoming weeks..

“We will strive to find that balance of normalcy and safety to the best of our ability. Unfortunately, as we have all seen with the recent rise in lab-confirmed cases throughout our region and North Carolina, we know we will see additional COVID-19 cases. What is most important is how we all work together to mitigate that impact and strive to keep our communities as healthy and safe as possible. As you know, that lies not only in what we do as a school and community but also in what we do as individual citizens, following the necessary precautions to keep each other safe.

Barbara Cohen

We aim to provide transparent communication while protecting privacy to maintain trust with the communities we passionately serve. As we are made aware of confirmed cases, LLCA will follow the lead of our health partners, who will initiate communication with individuals as necessary. Please know that LLCA has not, nor will it ever intentionally keep helpful or beneficial information from our families.”

LLCA, like all institutions of learning, is in the fight against Coronavirus for the long-haul. As you all know, schools and universities around the state and the nation are dealing with positive COVID tests, as health officials have warned would be the risk. Given the abundance of information and warnings from national health professionals, it was never a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when’ positive tests would be identified at LLCA.”

Mark Hamann

“If there is an outbreak – five or more cases – or a school closure, we will share those we will share those communications with our families and with the media. However, at the moment, we do not believe it would be a wise practice to get into a routine of schoolwide or media communications each time we are notified of an individual positive test. Please know that if you are ever in doubt about anything that you have heard or read outside of an official form of communications from LLCA, do not hesitate to contact us directly.” -Barbara Cohen, School Director and Mark Hamann, Chairman of the School Board. To read the statement in its entirety please click here.

To contact Barbara Cohen directly  you may email her at bcohen@llcharter.org or call the school at 828-625-9292 ext 112. To contact Board Chairman Mark Hamann please email mhamann@board.llcharter.org. For information on LLCA Board members click here.

As more schools are opening up it is reassuring to both the parents and the community to know that schools will be open and transparent about living and working with Covid-19 in an educational setting.  We all appreciate the hard work and effort that the Lake Lure Classical Academy Board of Directors and staff have put into formulating a plan to safely educate their students during this health crisis. It is and will be an on-going process. Hopefully we can all work together as a community to better understand each other and our roles during this time. Communication, transparency and respect will be the key to make this happen.

*Updates will be posted as more information is available.

If you have any information or questions about a Covid-19 situation at a business or institution that you would like investigated please contact me at debkellercares@gmail.com 

(all communications are confidential)