August Update from the Head of School

In his letter to the Linsly community, Mr. Zimmerman expresses how eager we are to begin the school year.
Dear Linsly families,
 
We hope this message finds you well. We are eager to begin the year, and excitement for the start of school is increasing daily. We cannot wait to have students back on campus!  This is what we love to do - helping students learn, develop, and grow. It will happen! 
 
COVID-19 Updates
The overall health situation in Ohio County, WV, continues to be good, and this week we have seen a decline in new cases of COVID-19 within the county. We need that to continue. In light of the announcement from West Virginia’s Governor Justice this past Wednesday, how schools operate will be determined on a county-by-county basis, and health metrics will decide if we are able to operate in person or if we must be in a blended or virtual model. More details about the specific metrics should become public knowledge by the middle of August, but like you, we do not know what specific metrics will be analyzed for those types of decisions. I want to encourage everyone to continue to do the right thing, practice social distancing, wear masks, and limit exposure as much as possible. 

As we prepare for the year ahead, know that Linsly teachers have been working harder than ever to prepare for the needs of our students and COVID-19. All summer, teachers have engaged in guided reflection, participated in organized professional development regarding online learning, and evaluated their curriculum so that it meets the needs of our students, but also can be delivered and taught no matter what teaching scenario is required (in person, blended, or virtual). These are challenging tasks, but our faculty is well-positioned to deliver an amazing education because of their commitment, our focus on the appropriate utilization of technological resources, and the professional development we have been doing. 

We learned a great deal last spring when we quickly transitioned to online learning, and we have made significant improvements based on student, parent, and faculty feedback. We will have a more uniform approach to instruction and will more consistently utilize Schoology as an educational delivery platform. We also have invested in cameras for teachers to make video recordings and streaming classroom instruction more effective. I am genuinely excited about what I am seeing and hearing from teachers and look forward to watching our students re-engage with their teachers in deep and meaningful ways. 
 
Accessing Course Lists & Ordering Textbooks
We are in the process of finalizing our master class schedule. You will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to view the course list in My Backpack on Wednesday, August 12. Once you have accessed your classes on Wednesday, you can order books online through our online bookstore using these instructions: MBS Direct.  MBS Direct Online Book Store will offer free shipping from August 12-26.
 
PLEASE NOTE: While there is still plenty of time to receive books on time for the start of school, parents should be prepared to reference their child's course lists on Wednesday, August 12, and order books as soon as possible to ensure timely delivery. Parents are welcome to purchase books from other outlets, such as Amazon; however, we ask that you ensure the ISBN matches. 
 
In addition, if you haven't already done so, please take a moment to review the Upper School and Middle School supply lists on our start-of-school website, as they have been recently updated.
 
Finally, thank you for your patience, understanding, and cooperation as we navigate the uncertainty of this global pandemic. We continue to evaluate our plans every day, will continue to make adjustments as needed and are committed to creating the safest and best education available to our students and families. 

We look forward to starting the year!

Sincerely, 

Justin Zimmerman
Head of School 
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