~~ INDEX ~~
1.) Message from Lyons Elementary School Principal
2.) School activity Photographs
3.) Message from Lyons Middle/High School Principal
4.) Summary of the March 2021 – March 2022 School Year
(based on articles in the Recorder)
Lyons Elementary School
Schools have definitely looked a bit different during the era of COVID-19. With infection rates on the rise, early concerns about transmission rates, viral intensity, and concerns for overwhelming our public health agencies, we went through many early iterations of schooling. We worked to forge strong family and student relationships along the way, sometimes online, sometimes in smaller hybrid groups, but largely in person with layers of protocols designed to minimize the spread and impact of the virus.
All along, it was our school and district’s priority that we do everything in our power to keep students in person while maintaining our commitment to the health and safety of our students and community. We were largely guided by Boulder County Public Health, in conjunction with state and federal guidance. Throughout the many iterations of schooling, we modified our instructional approaches and our strategies for student engagement to keep our focus on positive student outcomes.
At the onset of the pandemic, our focus was keenly aimed at student skill building with technology, essential literacy and math skills, and lots of social connections. We learned to use break out rooms within our video conferencing platform to encourage small group discussion, and we developed collective capacity to interact with content in various online platforms. It has been a huge learning curve and period of societal growth
As in-person learning returned in January of 2021, students wore masks, and we created small cohorts of students in classrooms. Students spent the majority of their indoor time working with the same small group of students in homeroom, in specials (art, music, physical education, and library), and at lunch. We built systems to support this level of detail within the building, and focused a lot of our attention on contact tracing in order to ensure that any potential spread was managed by quarantining students who may have been exposed to COVID. This level of detail created new networks for communication between our health team, our parents and our school.
When students are quarantined, they have to stay at home for a period of time to ensure that if symptoms emerge they are not at risk of spreading the illness. During this time, those students participate in their core classes remotely, logging into the classroom from their District issued iPad. Our District did an incredible job of equipping students with devices, and teachers with training, which allows us to successfully teach our students simultaneously whether in person or at home. It has been a huge effort.
Despite the complexity of this work, we learned a lot about our internal processes and procedures, from facility systems to lunchroom procedures. We learned to take advantage of our outdoor spaces, and we learned to take advantage of in-person learning, which we will never take for granted!
We learned to see beyond masks, to read facial expressions through the eyes and body language. We learned to listen with increased patience as families expressed their concerns and entrusted us with their precious children. We learned to communicate with humility and gratitude as we changed protocols and learning modalities time and time again. We learned that family values intersect with school in ways that can make us stronger, and that our commitment to student success must never waiver.
Over the course of the 2021-2022 school year we saw the Delta variant, and then Omicron, move through our communities. These variants brought increased concern, even as rates of vaccinations increased. During these tenuous times, we held closely to our protocols, focused on student learning, and worked with courage and tenacity to maintain our commitments to our school community. We are proud of the work we have accomplished and the growth our students have achieved.
As we take stock of the present and look forward into the future, we anticipate a great deal of joy as we return to historic community-wide events at school. With many of our restrictions being lifted, we are in the early stages of planning favorite year-end events, such as our Talent Show, grade-level music performances, and New Games Day. This return to larger celebrations and activities will punctuate the end of the school year with parental participation and student celebrations.
More than anything else, I am grateful for our parents, teachers, and District-level support. We never waivered with our commitment to proactive communication, appropriate resource allocation, and student care. It has been a long road, and we have traveled well together.
………….Andrew Moore, Principal, Lyons Elementary School
Lyons Middle/High School
Wow! What an interesting and challenging year it has been for us, AND we have also celebrated some amazing successes as our students and staff have thrived in the face of adversity. We have grown more connected as a community, and we are proud of our perseverance and dedication to meeting student needs.
January 2021 was a very interesting transition for us. Students were returning on a “hybrid” model and attending in-person and online. However, we leveraged our small size, and we were able to invite a lot of our students to come in-person four days per week to best support their learning. This was a tremendous advantage over some of the larger middle schools and high schools. Having students in our building four days each week helped all of us get into a stronger rhythm and better adjust to the new sense of “normalcy.”
We had sports back! The order of the seasons was altered, but we were able to have activities. This gave us a feeling of school spirit and contributed to a positive vibe in our building. Our student athletes were so grateful to be able to compete and pursue their passions. Throughout the spring, we began to better plan some key events for our students: senior night, prom, 8th grade continuation, yearbook signing, and graduation! All of these events were planned around the COVID guidelines from Boulder County, but we were proud of our efforts to be flexible and thoughtful in creating these important opportunities for our school. It was absolutely lovely to be able to celebrate our students the way they deserve to be celebrated.
Our Senior weekend included a parade, a prom, and Senior night! It was a BUSY weekend, but our hearts were full. We planned an entirely outside prom event…only to have some inclement weather roll in. We pivoted to an indoor setup, and our students LOVED the event. We had the highest participation we have ever had at a high school dance!
We had some amazing mask-free summer programming to support students as they transitioned to middle school and high school. Our teachers worked hard to plan project-based experiences for our students. We got to know our new students in a way that helped ease the transition, and were able to start our school year with some really great professional development time to renorm as a staff.
The mask mandate went into effect again in August, but we were prepared to build and cultivate a positive school culture around students feeling safe. We learned how to work together to deal with what felt like a setback, and our amazing and resilient students rose to the challenge. We implemented outside mask breaks to support students, and we found that these frequent yet small breaks gave staff and students time to connect and build even stronger relationships. Such a silver lining!
This winter saw a surge in COVID numbers with a new variant, and, once again, our students and staff rose to the challenge. We provided robust online learning opportunities for students who needed to stay home, and we created new communication structures to make sure that students, parents, and staff all understood the timelines around isolations and quarantines. We worked closely with families of students at both the elementary and middle/high to ensure that everyone understood the new guidelines. We leveraged our small size to help bring that individualization to the situation. Another small AND mighty moment!
The winter also saw a smashingly successful Open House where prospective students enjoyed learning about our school, and we opened our brand new auditorium! Our December concerts were absolutely stunning, and it was such a gift to get to perform in front of an audience in our beautiful new space.
While 2021 dealt us some challenges, we are so very proud of our students and our community. We have grown as a school because of the adversity that we have overcome. Our students and staff are resilient and dedicated.
…………Andrea Smith, Ed.D. Principal, Lyons Middle Senior High School
PHOTOGRAGHS ARE BEST SEEN ON A COMPUTER SCREEN (VS CELL PHONE) – ALL PHOTOS ON THIS PAGE ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED.
Highlights of School year (taken from Lyons Recorder articles over the “2nd year with COVID”)
The CMAS standardized testing in spring 2021 in Colorado shows that students’ education has suffered… but low participation issues must be considered when drawing conclusions from the results.. Statewide assessment results show decreased participation, lower CMAS scores than previous years, across all tested grades and subject areas. Participation in metro area schools on CMAS tests was between 51% and 72%.
Free School Lunch
Meals will continue to be offered at “no charge” for any child age 1-18 through June 2022. Parents need to fill out the Application.
Contact the school to exchange or get your i-Pad.
Sports – September 2021
HIGH SCHOOL: Football, Softball, Volleyball games have started. Come cheer them on. No Spectator limits this season.(must wear masks indoors). There is a gate cost for entering athletic events. MIDDLE SCHOOL Volleyball and Cross County. — No spectator limits. No masks required (except when indoors). September 4, Friday, Community BBQ on High School Football field is back
Cross country runners had the top 10 individual finishers for the 2A girls and boys race.
Wrestling team went to Regional tournament; two made it to State tournament, won medals.
Boys Basketball team; Varsity finished 9-3 in league and 12-8 overall; Junior also winning season.
Girls baseball team played in some of the toughest 3A league games in Colorado, fall 2021.
Cheerleaders finished 14 out of 24 teams; final score 63.5, with no technical deductions.
==MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL WELCOME PROGRAM fall 2021
The Middle/High School was excited to have in-person outdoor Back to School Night on Wednesday, August 25th. It was called both ”a learning opportunity” (about other students, teachers and classes); as well as a social Meet and Greet. This year it was held outside on the track/football field to allow for a safe and fun experience. They had teacher tables and some fun activities and games with prizes.
==ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WELCOME PROGRAM
August 18-19, the PTO board had “a ton of fun” each morning, after student drop-off, serving up free coffee and pastries, talking to parents about what the PTO does and how to get involved, and selling “spirit wear.”
New SCHOOL AUDITORIUM: Scheduled to Open in October 2021; 1st concert in December; grand opening March 2022.
The 14,500 s.f. addition to Lyons MSHS, includes a lobby, auditorium with stage and front and back of house spaces. It cost $14.5 million. Alan Ford architects designed the steel and structural masonry facility. There will be auditorium seating, and an additional direct entrance from the outside parking lot.
Spring 2021 – Fall 2021: Elementary School brought back the Jogathon, Scholastic Book Fair, and Halloween Games. May Family Virtual Bingo Night and Basket Raffle went on; and will also be virtual in 2022.
The PTO planned “Afterschool Playdates” for elementary school kids (& their parents) so that they have an opportunity to connect, which has been hard with all the COVID restrictions.
April – classes now only in classrooms; no masks required outside.
Spring 2021 – Fall 2021 – Spring 2022: Middle/High School brought back the Future Leaders Program, and summer Innovation Nation. Graduating students did the car caravan through town again (2nd year), and had a normal Prom 5/15/21, and After Prom party. Graduation was outside in the sports field, with limited tickets for guests. Arjen and Zack C. who were accepted into BOTH All State Band and All State Orchestra
HOME SCHOOLING / HYBRID / IN-SCHOOL
MARCH 1st 2021
Message from high school principal 3/12/21: Two weeks ago our district announced that all secondary schools would be returning 4 days per week in-person (Monday-Thursday) with asynchronous Fridays. Students will also still have the option to commit to attending school remotely from home. There will no longer be a hybrid option! Students will either be full time in person or full time at home. We are working hard to prepare for this full return in a way that keeps students safe and healthy. To that end, if students are planning to attend remotely for all of Quarter 4, we need a parent to fill out the google form linked below.
SEPTEMBER 1st 2021
In Person Learning 5-days a week
The SVVSD plan is based on guidelines issued by Boulder County Public Health, who have mandated that all students, teachers, and staff wear masks indoors. (See head of School District Letter in Lyons Recorder.) In addition to this, parents seeking a medical exemption for their child can fill out this form (mask exemption form) and turn it into the principal for approval. This form needs to be completed, processed, and approved before a student can be permitted to not wear their mask while at school.