This is William Cameron, Superintendent of the Lenox Public Schools. In addition to this voice message, you will receive a written copy by e-mail. The text of this message will also appear on the District’s website, as well as on the Morris and LMMHS websites.

The School Committee is moving toward completion of negotiations with the Lenox Education Association, and we anticipate reopening Morris Elementary School to students on Monday, October 5, and reopening Lenox Memorial Middle & High School on Tuesday, October 6. The reopening plan is a hybrid model: Morris students will be in school five half-days each week; LMMHS students will be in school four half days each week. On Mondays LMMHS students will participate in remote learning.

As we did prior to resuming remote learning earlier this month, we will hold meetings for parents and guardians so that they can learn more and pose questions about the hybrid model the School Committee has adopted. These will be virtual meetings lasting up to one hour. They will be held on the following schedule:

Grades K – 2: Monday, September 28 at 5:30 PM
Grades 3 – 5: Monday, September 28 at 7:00 PM
Grades 6 – 8: Tuesday, September 29 at 5:30 PM
Grades 9 – 12: Tuesday, September 29 at 7:00 PM

The virtual meeting addresses for these events will be posted on the Lenox Public Schools website on the day of the meeting.

Information regarding Morris students’ placements in the morning or afternoon cohort, as well as other important information, was sent by first-class mail today to the parents or guardians of Morris students. Comparable information for LMMHS students will be sent by e-mail not later than the end of the day tomorrow, Friday, September 25.

Planning for instruction and student transportation is complex. To do it satisfactorily we must have accurate information about who will be in school on and after October 5. We must also know definitively who requires transportation so that our bus contractor can plan routes accordingly.

Therefore, parents or guardians who have not yet told their children’s school that their children will definitely return for in-person instruction, and who intend that their children return, need to do so by 12:00 Noon on Friday, September 25 . If you have not committed to your child’s return to school in person by 12:00 Noon tomorrow, then your child will remain in remote instruction at least until Monday, February 1, 2021. This is the date when those in remote instruction, or when Lenox residents who are home schooling their children, can rejoin in-person instruction in our schools.

Some may perceive this deadline as needless rigidity when what’s desirable is flexibility in moving back and forth between in-person and remote learning, or remaining uncommitted for a longer period of time. In fact the deadline is a necessity if we are to accommodate students returning safely, with adequate spacing in instructional areas, and if we are to provide continuity of instruction for returning students.

The principals, the Director of Student Services, and I look forward to meeting with you next Monday and Tuesday.

Thank you.