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Lawrence Public Schools Response to Coronavirus and School Closure

The opening line of Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities reads, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,...”

 

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak throughout our nation has brought challenges. These are uncharted waters. The collective response has generated widespread care and kindness as people pitch in to keep each other safe.

 

Lawrence Township Public Schools (LTPS) is no exception.

 

After closely monitoring the outbreak and its rapid changes, Superintendent Ross Kasun took a proactive approach and on March 13, 2020, he closed all LTPS schools beginning March 16th through April 13th.  This was prior to Governor Murphy’s directive to close all schools starting March 17th.

 

“The health and safety of our students and staff are paramount,” related Kasun. “We knew closing schools for this period of time would be challenging for our district and staff and to our families as well. However, we felt this unprecedented step was warranted to do our part in helping to limit the virus’ spread. It is heartwarming to see the breadth and cooperation of all LTPS staff as they, on short notice, put contracts aside and developed and implemented plans to continue providing services to our students. I am so proud of our staff.”

 

A new area of the district website (www.ltps.org) is dedicated to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The site provides general information about the flu and COVID-19, a COVID-19 FAQ, district communications, continuity of operations, the district’s cleaning and disinfecting practices, and preventative measures or resources provided by outside agencies such as The Centers for Disease Control. Additionally, links to home instructionresources for grades K-12 are posted on the site.

 

The home instruction resources will be updated Sunday evenings. Alternate plans are in place for students who do not have internet service at home.

 

Plans during the closure include providing lunches for students eligible for the free or reduced meal program. The district contacted those families directly and notified them of the distribution schedule. The district’s dining services and transportation department cover the logistics of providing these services.

 

The district is not registering new students during the closure.

 

Staff are working remotely. Most district staff, including teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, and secretaries are responding to email. General questions may be directed to Lana Mueller at lmueller@ltps.org.

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