Lutheran High School West News Article

School Updates & Announcements: COVID-19 Crisis

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Dear Lutheran West Families,

Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.  This email provides some information regarding COVID-19 reporting over the holiday weekend and remote learning period.

The school office will be closed from Wednesday, November 25 to Sunday, November 29.  If your student or a family member tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19, please follow the instructions below for reporting:

  1. Seek immediate medical advice from your healthcare provider

  2. Follow the quarantine and isolation protocols prescribed by your physician

  3. Communicate any COVID-19 cases or exposures to the school nurse at [email protected]

The nurse will follow up with your family when we return to school on Monday, November 30.

Additionally, if your student or a family member tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19 during the remote learning period (November 30 - December 9), please continue to report those positive tests and exposures to the school nurse.  Our school needs to continue to track and report cases in accordance with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

Blessings on your Thanksgiving holiday and stay safe,

Michael Waugh

Principal, Lutheran West

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Greetings Lutheran West Families, 

It’s hard to believe that it’s already almost November. It’s been a pleasure to see students learning and growing both in the building and via engagement in SOLE this fall.

Our school is guided by the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association (CLHSA) and our Superintendent’s office, led by Superintendent Chris Steinmann. Currently, the CLHSA is closely monitoring the recent increase in COVID-19 spread in Cuyahoga County and in the State of Ohio. We are aware that our county is approaching purple -- the highest level in the state’s classification system for local and regional spread. We are praying for our communities and those that continue to be affected by COVID-19, and we hope you will join us in prayer for our school.

To reiterate and clarify our plan as laid out when school reopened in August, the status of our schools remaining open is not directly tied to the county-by-county color classification map. Our plan specifies that our school may, at the discretion of the Superintendent, temporarily move exclusively to SOLE for all students if one or more of the following is true:

  1. 10% or more of the student body at Lutheran West is exposed to COVID-19 and/or is actively isolating/quarantining
  2. There is a state or county mandate that requires the shutdown of in-person classes.
  3. Other factors cause administration to believe that it is in the best interest of our students and personnel to pause in-person learning.

We are blessed to have already put in place and successfully utilized our SOLE platform. We are confident that if a transition to SOLE for all students becomes necessary, Lutheran West has a system in place to effectively and seamlessly continue delivery of quality instruction to each student. If your family independently determines that SOLE is the best option for your student at this time, transitioning to SOLE is always an option regardless of whether classes continue to be held in-person.

Currently, the goal is to remain open for the entire semester which ends on Friday, December 18.

That being said, the CLHSA is committed to offering in-person instruction unless it becomes absolutely necessary to make a transition. We believe that an in-person learning option is vital for the academic, social, emotional, and spiritual health of our students, and we are continuing to pray that holding in-person classes remains an option throughout the school year.  We plan on continuing our current in-person and SOLE academic options for parents through the remainder of the calendar year.  We will be evaluating this decision weekly by looking at the relevant information from our state, our county, and our school community.  

As we did this past spring, we will communicate all developments in a timely manner so that your family can be as informed and prepared as possible

Mike Waugh, Principal

Friday, August 7, 2020
Dear Lutheran West Families,

I’d like to take this opportunity to provide an update on our opening of school plans.

Our school administration and Board of Directors has been closely monitoring the recommendations made last week by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, as well as developing guidance from the State of Ohio. It is always our intention to look out not only for the physical health of our students, but also to facilitate their mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. We believe this goal is best achieved in person. We also believe in each family’s autonomy to choose the learning environment that is best for their student(s). For this reason, following a special board meeting held last night, we have decided to continue with our existing reopening plan with a few key adjustments.

Student orientation days were scheduled for Monday, August 17 through Friday, August 21.  These orientation days will now be held virtually rather than in person. Freshman Orientation will be moved to Monday, August 24th, in-person.

Laptop pickup will take place for 10th through 12th graders the week of August 17th.  Students should allow approximately 15 minutes to pick up their laptop, walk through their schedule practicing one way hallways, and buying parking passes ($25 if needed).  

All upperclassmen are required to attend, but they can come at their convenience between the hours of 9 AM - 2 PM using the following schedule:

Monday, August 17  - Seniors
Tuesday, August 18 - Juniors
Wednesday, August 19 - Sophomores
All students will begin classes on Tuesday, August 25. 

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health specifically recommends that schools conduct weekly reviews of the COVID-19 statistics that pertain to their specific surrounding communities. Conducting the orientation days virtually allows for one more week of review and monitoring as Cuyahoga County manages its current COVID-19 levels.

Because Lutheran West’s reopening plan has always included an option for synchronous online learning (through our SOLE option), we are confident that families who feel that their student(s) should remain at home have the option to make that choice, while families who feel comfortable sending their student(s) back for in-person learning should be able to do so.

Families who wish to opt into SOLE to begin the school year can still choose that option by completing the parent survey here.

Under what circumstances would Lutheran West move all students to remote learning?
Although we are committed to continuing to offer in-person classes if permitted, we are aware that if conditions of the COVID-19 outbreak deteriorate, it may be deemed necessary to temporarily pause in-person school attendance. Under the following circumstances, Lutheran West may move all students to remote learning:

- 10% or more of the student population has been diagnosed or has had known exposure to COVID-19
- There is a COVID-19 outbreak known to be tied to Lutheran West school attendance
- A government entity mandates a closure

What should families expect when someone in our community (student, faculty, staff, coach, or administrator) is diagnosed with COVID-19?
Regardless of any measures put into place, COVID-19 cases may occur among members of our school community. The reality is that we expect this to occur at some point -- or at multiple points -- throughout the school year. We ask that you keep in mind another reality: a positive case of COVID-19 in a member of our school community does not necessarily mean the case was contracted while the individual was at school.

When a COVID-19 case occurs in a member of our school community, you CAN expect:
- Notification from the school that a member of the community has had a positive diagnosis.
- If your student has had exposure to the individual(s) as defined by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (see below for details), you will be notified apart from the school-wide communication.

When a COVID-19 case occurs in a member of our school community, you SHOULD NOT expect:
- The name(s) of the individual(s) who have been diagnosed. Disclosure of this information or any other individual health information would place our school in violation of HIPAA regulations.

School administration has spoken with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to determine a protocol for positive cases within our school community.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health defined ‘exposure’ as being less than six feet apart for more than 15 continuous minutes (meaning the clock resets each time persons distance themselves from one another more than six feet). The plexiglass partitions we have purchased for all students will mean that students can be within six feet of one another without meeting the exposure definition.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health additionally set forth these recommendations for our school should a positive case or cases be identified in our community:

- The school will call the CCBH to report the case
- The CCBH will follow up with the person who tests positive once their test results are reported by their physician
- The CCBH will perform tracing; this may include contacting other individuals who meet the exposure criteria.
- The school will notify specific individuals who have met the criteria for exposure to the ill individual.
- The ill individual should quarantine for 10 days and should not return to school if symptoms are unresolved or if fever is still present (fever free without the use of fever-reducing medication)
- Individuals who meet the CCBH’s criteria for exposure should quarantine for 14 days.


I have a 10th, 11th or 12th grader - will they attend an orientation day?
Yes, but not in-person.  Mr. Waugh will email out videos of orientation information on Thursday, August 20.

I have a 9th grader - will they attend an orientation?
Yes, all 9th graders will attend in-person on Monday, August 24, from 8:15 AM - 2:30 PM.  During orientation, Freshman will walk their schedule, meet their teachers, receive their laptops, and go through orientation.  This includes 9th grade SOLE students.

How will 10th, 11th, or 12th graders get their laptop?
Laptop pickup will take place for 10th through 12th graders the week of August 17th.  Students should allow approximately 15 minutes to pick up their laptop, walk through their schedule practicing one way hallways, and buying parking passes (if needed).  All upperclassmen are required to attend, but they can come at their convenience between the hours of 9 AM - 2 PM using the following schedule:

Monday, August 17  - Seniors
Tuesday, August 18 - Juniors
Wednesday, August 19 - Sophomores

Note: The student must be present for laptop pickup. Parents cannot pick up a laptop for their child(ren).

How will 9th graders get their laptop?
Freshmen will receive their laptops during Freshman Orientation on Monday, August 24.

Will the Lutheran West bus be running during laptop pickup days and Freshman Orientation?
Yes, the Lutheran West buses will run August 17-19 and August 24.  If you have signed up and paid for the bus, expect an email from Mrs. Gartman late next week regarding schedules.

When is the first day of school for all students?
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

When will school pictures be taken?
We will reschedule at a later date in the fall.

Further questions? Email [email protected]
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we navigate this school year together.
In Christ,
Michael Waugh, Principal

 Thursday, July 2, 2020
Greetings Lutheran West Families,

I hope you are enjoying summer vacation thus far.

Today, Governor DeWine provided guidelines for the reopening of schools this August. We’re excited that the guidelines have been published so that we may move forward with plans for starting up again at the onset of the 2020-21 school year.  

At this point, we are confident that we will be able to offer in-person instruction once again beginning in August. We are also developing plans and enhancing our technology resources to be able to offer an alternative at-home learning platform for students who are unable to return to school or whose families are not yet ready to send them.

During the remote learning period and into this summer, our administrative team has been working diligently to prepare for a wide range of scenarios this fall. With today’s guidelines, however, we can now develop more specific plans and we plan to share those with you as quickly as possible.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the students and family members who took the time to complete the remote learning survey we sent out several weeks ago. Your feedback is invaluable as we put plans into motion.

We look forward to a detailed plan with you in the coming weeks.

In Christ,

Michael Waugh
Principal, Lutheran West

Monday, April 20, 2020
Governor DeWine announced this afternoon that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio schools will remain closed for in-person classes for the remainder of the school year. We are saddened that we will not return to school this year, but we are fully prepared to continue remote learning and finish the school year strong.

The plans Lutheran West has already put in place regarding remote learning will continue to be in place for the remainder of the school year.  As I stated in a previous communication, the state legislature has already approved remote learning as a viable option for students to earn credit.  Because of the measures Lutheran West has taken, our school year will end on time.

Here are some other specifics regarding the end of the school year:

- There will be no final exams (defined as assessments counting 15-20% of a student’s grade) in core classes (English, Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, Religion, World Language).

- Tests and projects will still occur, following the pattern teachers have already put into place.

- Most classes will still have a test or project to end the year, but this is different from a final exam (defined above).

- Seniors' last day of remote learning will be Thursday, May 21.

- Last day of remote learning for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors is Friday, May 22.

Regarding end-of-year celebrations like prom and graduation, seniors, you already received a communication earlier today regarding new dates and times.  Please check your email for a revised event calendar for May.

Finally, please let me continue to say how proud I am of our students, teachers, and parents as we manage these unprecedented times together.  In a time of uncertainty, our goal has been to provide an approach to learning that continues to fulfill our mission of providing an educationally rich, Christ-centered experience for our students.  Thank you for your partnership in this endeavor this spring and blessings to all of your families at this time. 
Thank you,
Mike Waugh, Principal 

Friday, April 3, 2020
Good afternoon everyone and greetings from Lutheran West,

Please allow me to take a moment to say how incredibly proud I am of our students, teachers, and parents for their ability to adapt, overcome, and find success at a time when I know many students are struggling around our country and our world. I just read a statistic over the weekend that 1.5 billion students worldwide (87% of the world’s student population) are no longer able to attend school face-to-face. Even worse, the vast majority of those students are receiving no instruction at all.

I have been speaking with a number of students and parents over the past few weeks and as a result of those conversations, we have decided to make two important upgrades to our remote learning platform.  I do believe these upgrades will be welcomed by students and teachers alike.  This will take effect starting Monday, April 20, when we return to remote learning.

First, Wednesdays will now become a “Communication and Homework Day” for students and teachers. This means that every Wednesday for the remainder of the school year is reserved for teacher and student communication.  No additional lessons or assignments will be posted on Wednesdays for students. Students will still have assignments from Monday and Tuesday that can carry over into Wednesday, but this change now allows students to have more time to complete assignments. While the amount of work will not decrease, it will allow students to budget their time more appropriately throughout the week knowing that Wednesday is a day for communication with teachers and homework. Teachers are still working every day and will be available!

Secondly, many teachers have already been implementing live teaching tools, like Google Meet and Zoom, into their lessons. This will continue after the Easter break and allows students and teachers to be in community together and maintaining a classroom atmosphere. To join these sessions, teachers will post a link to join the meeting on their Google Classroom page. Students can click the link and enter the video conference.  Due to conflicts this may cause with scheduling these sessions, we will be using the regular, Monday bell schedule for those live teaching sessions.  That would mean that yes, if you have a first period class, your live teaching session could begin at 8:15 AM. Again, this will not occur every day, only by appointments set by the instructors within Google Classroom.  If you do not have a live session scheduled, the 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM time frame for remote learning is still in effect.

Finally, all assignments, content, and daily lessons will still appear on Google Classroom. There are no changes to the Google Classroom platform.

To summarize these upgrades, starting April 20:

Wednesdays will now become a “Communication and Homework Day”

The Monday bell schedule will be used by teachers to schedule live teaching sessions (bell schedules can be found here)

Further updates regarding events previously scheduled in May are forthcoming, but as of now all events starting Monday, May 4, will continue as scheduled.

God’s blessings to each of you and your families over the Easter break as we all continue to manage this crisis together.

Monday, March 30, 2020
Dear Lutheran West Students and Parents,

Governor DeWine just announced that schools will now be closed through Friday, May 1. Lutheran West will fully comply with the Governor’s mandate.

Here are the following implications for Lutheran West:

Easter break is still scheduled from Monday, April 6 through Sunday, April 19 (no change).

Remote learning will resume on Monday, April 20.

Remote learning will continue through Friday, May 1.

All practices are canceled through Friday, May 1.

All events starting Monday, May 4 will proceed, as scheduled, at this time.

Finally, please allow me to offer a prayer for our students, our families, our community, and our nation’s leaders for protection and wisdom as we continue to walk through this crisis together.

God’s blessings to each of you at this time,

Michael Waugh
Principal, Lutheran West 

Friday, March 20, 2020
Dear Lutheran West Students and Families,
One week of remote learning is now complete. I want to thank  everyone -- students, teachers, parents, and support staff -- for their understanding and commitment to educationally rich, Christ-centered education this week. It was a successful week in launching our remote learning platform. Teachers were able to cover the regular content in their courses within the remote setting and students are not missing out on any content. All students will continue to be prepared for the next grade level.
Here are two important improvements for Week Two of remote learning:
1. Teachers are going to have fewer assignments due by 3:00 PM.
2. There will be more multi-day assignments and deadlines for students. 
I made both of these changes because students were asking for more time available during the school day to complete assignments. Students also asked for the ability to work ahead in some classes. Our remote learning platform in Week Two of remote learning will allow for both of these changes.
Finally, I wish I had more updates for you at this time other than we are still planning on returning to school on April 20. Spring Break will still be from April 6-19, meaning no assignments will be posted on these days. When we have more official information from the Governor and the Ohio Department of Education, we will notify you of those updates as soon as possible.  
Mike Waugh, Principal 
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
This is a reminder that remote learning begins today. Teachers are live and able to answer questions through 3:00 PM. The easiest and fastest way to connect with your teachers is by email or messages through Google Classroom. 
A few helpful reminders:
- Each class will have a lesson each day.
- Some classes will also assign homework, depending on the day and topic.
- Due dates will be set by teachers and posted to Google Classroom.
- All lessons are posted to Google Classroom - stop by your class pages first each day.
- Renweb is still the official gradebook and will be updated weekly.
- If you are ill and unable to learn, please have your parent/guardian email [email protected]
Finally, remember that all of your lessons consist of real content from your teachers. These lessons follow the unit plans and curriculum maps that were already in place.
If you have questions,  please ask your teachers - they want to help you!
Blessings on your day,
Mike Waugh, Principal 

Monday, March 16, 2020
Good morning and greetings from Lutheran West. I pray your families are safe and healthy in the coming days. The following is an update concerning expectation for remote learning. Our mission is to provide an educationally rich, Christ-centered experience in a 21st century learning environment. While a remote setting may not be ideal and we would all rather be in school, our teachers will still be able to deliver our academic material with rigor and excellence.
Expectations for students regarding remote learning:
- It is the student's responsibility to log in to Google Classroom for each class on a daily basis (Monday - Friday) between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM. 
- Students should begin work at 9:00 AM each day and, as needed, ask questions to the instructor. Instructors will be available until 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Like a normal school day, instructors will have limited availability after 3:00 PM until the next morning at 9:00 AM.
- Assignments and homework will be completed and submitted by the due dates as indicated by each instructor in Google Classroom.
- Assignments and homework will be graded by the instructor. Grades will be transferred into Renweb, which is still the offical gradebook. 
- If students are incapable of logging in to Google Classroom due to a technical error, they should email Mr. Fenske at [email protected]
Attendance procedures:
-  If students are incapable of logging in to their classes, absences will still need to be reported to the Attendance Office at [email protected] Absences received by the Attendance Office will still be marked in Renweb.
- If students do not complete daily assignments, they will be marked zero unless their absence has already been excused by the parent/guardian and reported to the school (see above). It is also recommended that students email their teachers if they happen to be absent and need extended deadlines.
- Students will be responsible for making up missing work. Policies for missing work are still in effect.
One note regarding the educational content that will be delivered remotely. Our teachers will continue the logical progression of content that was delivered last week. We are still following our curriculum maps, which are mapped to state standards. While the setting has changed, the content is still the same as it was before.
Finally, you will continue to hear authorities from our state calling for the closing of schools and/or rolling back of academic standards in the coming weeks. While I understand the predicament that many schools are in at this time, I still believe our students at Lutheran West require the best education we can provide in spite of the challenges that remote learning presents. I believe our students, teachers, and entire community can come together and support each other through this crisis. Please pray for our young people that they can get the education they deserve.
May God bless your families.

In Christ,
Mike Waugh, Principal  

Friday, March 13, 2020
Dear Lutheran West Students and Families,
Greetings from Lutheran West. In addition to the information I shared with you yesterday regarding Governor's DeWine's order to close schools for the next three weeks, this message contains new information about remote learning and spring break.
Lutheran West is still closed from today, Friday, March 13, through Friday, April 3.  That means that no students are permitted on campus and practices for all extra-curricular activities are cancelled. That information was shared yesterday via email to all students and parents/guardians.
Remote learning with begin on Tuesday, March 17 and will continue through Friday, April 3. There will be no remote learning assignments posted for students on Monday, March 16. 
Spring break will start three days earlier than originally scheduled, but will still occur in April. This means that spring break will start on Monday, April 6 through Sunday, April 19. As of today, face-to-face classes are scheduled to resume on Monday, April 20.
Specific instructions for remote learning will be sent to each student and parent/guardian on Monday, March 16. Students should plan on logging on to Google Classroom and learning each day from 9:00 AM through 3:00 PM during the days that remote learning is in session (see above). Teachers will be available during these times for questions students may have regarding lessons.
At Lutheran West, especially in these challenging times, our teaching staff is committed to the mission of providing an educationally rich, Christ-centered experience for each student.
May God bless your families, may you remain safe, and we look forward to returning to school in April.
In Christ,
Michael Waugh
Principal, Lutheran West 

Thursday, March 12, 2020
Dear Lutheran West Community,

Out of caution and the prioritization of the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, Lutheran West will be CLOSED from Friday, March 13, through at least Friday, April 3. 

At this time, no student, faculty member, staff member, administrator, or frequent visitor to our school has been tested for COVID-19 nor confirmed to have the virus.

At this point, we are asking the following of our students and their families:

Students need to log on to Google Classroom daily to complete online lessons. Students are expected to complete all assignments daily.

Students currently on athletic teams or in drama rehearsals for ‘Newsies’ should maintain contact with their coach/director to determine plans for independent training or rehearsal.

Do not attempt to come to school to use the facilities in any capacity.

As a family, please continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

We also pray that God continues to keep our community safe at this time.

Updates will be communicated as they become available.

Michael Waugh
Principal, Lutheran High School West 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Dear Lutheran West Community,
You are surely noticing the response from school districts and colleges/universities following yesterday's press conference by Governor Mike DeWine regarding coronavirus.
Please be assured that the CLHSA and Lutheran West administration are closely monitoring the latest information and recommendations from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the Ohio Department of Health, and the CDC. 
In addition, we are taking the following measures at this time:
  •  Following the recommendations by the Governor, our school will be cancelling or postponing certain events. Please see specific events listed below.
  • Throughout the past several weeks, administration has thoroughly reviewed and supplemented our emergency protocols and procedures for cleaning and disinfecting our facilities. 
  • Plans are being put in place to provide students with e-learning options in the event that our school must temporarily close.
  • Students, faculty, and staff are being encouraged to thoroughly wash their hands. 
The following events will be canceled or postponed:
  •  Indoor athletic contests, games, tournaments
  • Meetings after school involving community members
  • Youth Gathering event (3/12)
  • Youth Indoor Soccer Tournament (3/13-3/15)
  • Christian College Fair (3/16)
  • Chic Unique Boutique and Dress Resale Event (3/28)
  • Field trips during and after school
However, the following events will continue as scheduled:
  • All school activities between 8:15 AM and 3:10 PM
  • Chapel
  • Sports practices
  • Drama rehearsals
  • Any facility rental not involving spectators 
Please be assured that the health and safety of our students and all those in our community are of the highest priority. 
We will communicate additional information or developments as they become available. 
Michael Waugh
Principal, Lutheran West

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