As we continue down this path of uncertainty and its impact to our daily lives grows, it is in our mutual best interests to keep looking towards the future we hope to create for your children at LDI. While it is our hope that we can return to ground-based instruction by April 6th, we are working on a parallel online track to maintain continuity of scheduling, student engagement, and service delivery. Either way, we are planning on continuing instruction on April 6th.
Our staff are working tirelessly to prepare an exciting, completely different delivery of educational services to our students through rolling out a form of a virtual classroom, should it become necessary if/when further restrictions on travel or work become more broadly enforced. I will provide progress updates as this is in the development process with specifics such as onboarding using Zoom Rooms for students/parents, a weekly schedule with assignment instructions, live class times, check in times for instructor support, and student advisement times.
It is a process that will take time to get all the pieces together, and we are thankful for your support during our ramping up of this effort as it requires EXTRA patience, kindness, compassion and empathy to help each other out and keep some level of meaningful attention devoted to continuing educational development of our students/your kids.
LDI staff will be in contact with you this week, to find out from you what kind of technology (laptop, iPad, PC) is available at your home for your child to use for classes to ensure equal access to instruction and support. It is our goal to keep students engaged and parents informed through consistent communication, meaningful interactions, and clear expectations of ongoing performance/accountability using this learning community approach. We will begin weekly messaging/conversations with your child, with contact from their direct Advisor or Emotional Support Advisor.
In the meantime, it is our priority to translate our face to face learning to a digital space and develop a comprehensive yet easy to understand/use onboarding process that will be central to a successful launch for our faculty who are also learning how to use this platform in place of ground-based classroom instruction. We are looking at Best Practices in using digital classrooms, as offered by Zoom Rooms, ASU for You, Edpuzzle, and Cognia for guidance in creating/implementing this approach.
We are also developing an online summer program that will provide additional opportunities to keep our high school student body connected, help other special needs learners, and maintain operations at current levels. We have been encouraged by other School Tuition Organizations (STO) to offer this summer programming, as they say no other special needs schools are planning anything for the summer months. It is also our understanding, that LDI student eligibility for these scholarship funds will be given priority and top consideration. This funding is only for Arizona families who have K-12 aged children with special needs.
For day student parents, please make sure you have applied to as many STO’s as possible, indicating your hope for summer funding for Extended School Year programming. Guidance will be forthcoming on the specific steps you need to take, if you want your child to be enrolled for these courses. Arizona families using Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) may use any extra funding they might have to pay tuition as well.
We will be here to serve and as always, key staff are on duty and available to you for questions, concerns, or stories of hope and laughter to help us remember our human needs/foibles!
Rob Crawford – CEO
Veronica Lieb-Crawford – President