Banks School District
Beaverton School District
Clackamas Education Service District
David Douglas School District
Forest Grove School District
Gresham-Barlow School District
Hillsboro School District
Parkrose School District
Portland Public Schools
Riverdale School District
Sherwood Public School District
Not on the list?
The 2019-20 school year ended with nearly three months of distance learning, and with many parents wondering what a return to school will look like in the fall.
The Oregon Department of Education provided some guidance, via a broad Operational Blueprint for Reentry released on June 10. The framework was updated on June 30 to include a more concrete definition of comprehensive distance learning, but ODE officials said most schools would not begin the 2020-21 school year using that model.
The June 30 update also included a short term distance learning plan that schools can use in response to an outbreak: Schools using an on-site or hybrid model would quickly shift to a 4-week distance learning period, and then use that time to determine whether it's appropriate to return or to switch to a fully remote comprehensive distance learning system.
So Oregon will begin providing in-person instruction in schools again in the fall, according to OED Director Colt Gill. But because we're still living with COVID-19 "and community-wide immunity is many months off," each school will decide how much instruction will continue through distance learning.
Plans for each district will vary widely. As we learn more about what each district's back-to-school plan looks like--even if they're still in the early stages---we'll add that information to this story.
If you don't see your district listed, it means we haven't seen their plans yet for the 2020-21 school year. We have reached out to the following districts for more information: Centennial, Corbett and Reynolds. We also reached out to the Clackamas Educational Service District.
The Operational Blueprint for Reentry includes six key principles for reducing students' exposure to the coronavirus:
- Physical distancing — minimizing close contact
- Hand hygiene — frequent washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer
- Cohorts — conducting all activities in small groups that remain together over time with minimal mixing of groups
- Protective equipment — use of face shields, face coverings, and barriers
- Environmental cleaning and disinfection — especially of high-touch surfaces
- Isolation of sick people and quarantine of exposed people
- And with the above considerations foremost, outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities.
Each school's blueprint must be reviewed by its local school board and published on the district website; written plans must be submitted by August 15, according to the governor's executive order. Statewide guidance updates will be released again on July 21, and Aug. 11 on the Ready Schools, Safe Learners website.
As the 2019-20 school year wrapped up, many districts across Oregon and Washington were still having a tough time adjusting to distance learning. While most kids had participated in some form of distance learning, there were some in the last week of school who hadn’t even logged on yet.
School district officials: If your district is not on the list, or the information here needs to be updated, please let us know by sending us the updated info right here.
Chapter one: Banks School District
The Banks School District has not yet sent out plans for its back-to-school framework, but Superintendent Jeff Leo told KGW on June 25 that they had planned to send an update out to parents during the week of June 29.
Chapter two: Beaverton School District
The Beaverton School District on June 24 released a more specific look at how its students may resume their schooling in the fall, noting that plans have not yet been finalized.
"We’re in the process of developing a comprehensive plan that addresses a variety of issues: how to protect students and staff from the spread of COVID-19, how to safely distance students during school and while being transported by bus, and how to ensure students continue to make progress on their academic goals," the district said in a press release.
To try to balance those needs, the district is offering two possible paths for students: Attend regular BSD schools or enroll in a fully virtual K-12 school program called "FLEX online."
Attending BSD schools
"Given the health protocols mandated by the state, it won’t be possible for all of our students to return to school at the same time. We simply can’t guarantee the 35 square feet per child, as required," the district said.
So attending Beaverton schools would be done under a hybrid model in which student groups attend in-person classes with staggered schedules. Half of the students may go to school one day, while the other half learn online from home. Then the groups would switch the next day.
"The exact schedules will vary based on the different grade levels: elementary, middle school and high school," the district said.
The district also recognizes that some parents will not be comfortable sending their kids back to in-person classes in the fall, so students will also have the option of completing Beaverton School District classes online from home until they're comfortable returning to their school buildings.
Enrolling in FLEX Online K-12 program
Students who enroll in FLEX Online will be enrolled in the district, but will be taking part in a curriculum designed specifically for online learning. This program is intended to be a "permanent school" option, the district said; students wanting to switch from FLEX Online to the BSD hybrid learning program will have to wait until the end of a semester.
Anyone wanting to enroll a student in FLEX Online has to apply between July 1 and July 24. The district said the short timeline is necessary so it can figure out staffing levels.
Beaverton School District will be hosting several virtual Q+A sessions in July to hear feedback and answer questions about the back-to-school options:
MONDAY, JULY 13
- 2:00 p.m. Return-to-School Plan
- 7:00 p.m. Flex Online only
TUESDAY, JULY 14
- 2:00 p.m. Flex Online only
- 7:00 p.m. Return-to-School Plan
WEDNESDAY, JULY 15 (SPANISH ONLY)
- 2:00 p.m. Flex Online only
- 7:00 p.m. Return-to-School Plan
Chapter three: Clackamas Education Service District
The Clackamas Education Service District serves all 10 Clackamas County school districts and works with them on a regional service plan for their schools and communities.
The most recent school-related announcement came soon after Gov. Kate Brown's Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidelines were released on June 10:
On June 10, the Oregon Department of Education released its guidelines for returning to school in the fall, offering districts a range of options to protect health and safety of students, staff and their families and meet the needs of their individual communities. The guidelines will continue to be updated as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
Also on June 10, Gov. Kate Brown announced she will convene a Healthy Schools Reopening Council to advise her and the Oregon Department of Education on the K-12 school reopening process.
Canby School District
The following was posted by Canby School District Superintendent Trip Goodall on June 24:
Dear Canby Families,
In the two weeks since the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released its “Ready Schools, Safe Learners” guidance on returning to school for the 2020-21 school year, our district has been working on developing plans to equitably serve all students while following the directives designed to keep students, staff, and families safe in our buildings.
The district will be required to submit an operational blueprint that requires plans in eight different areas:
- Public Health Protocols - including a communicable disease management plan for COVID-19, plans for physical distancing in schools, cohort models (groups of students consistently together), and screening and isolation procedures
- Facilities and School Operations - addresses enrollment, attendance, technology, meals, transportation, and cleaning/disinfecting
- Response to Outbreak - covers prevention and planning, response, and recovery and reentry
- Equity - ensures all students are served equitably and provides guidance on how to make equitable decisions
- Instruction - outlines instructional time, models, schedules, considerations, and precautions instruction that is at high risk for disease spread
- Family and Community Engagement - details communication protocols for planning and notification around exposure and infection
- Mental, Social, and Emotional Health - provides planning tools and resources and strategies to keep students mentally, socially, and emotionally well
- Staffing and Personnel - directs how districts must support and train staff
The requirements in the ODE guidance make it clear that school will not be “business-as-usual” when we open our doors later this summer. According to the guidelines, the district is required to provide a minimum of 35 square feet per person while providing at least six feet of physical space between each person. That means a classroom that once held 25 students is now limited to 14 students, due to the physical distancing spacing that is required.
With these mandates, we will be unable to bring all students back into our buildings at the same time. The district is reviewing how best to use all of its facilities, including Ackerman Center, to serve as many students as possible, in-person at the same time. The plan must also take into consideration the staffing constraints to teach students in all these physical spaces.
In order for districts to meet ODE and Oregon Health Authority guidance, we are examining cohort models that limit the number of students in a school due to social distancing requirements. All districts in our region are exploring a hybrid model of learning that will include some in-person instruction and some independent study on the days a cohort cannot be in school, due to distancing restrictions.
District and school administrators are reviewing staff, student, and parent survey feedback as they develop plans. As we move forward, we will continue to combine community feedback, staff input, and the state’s guidance into our planning. Updates to the ODE guidance are expected next week. We will continue to provide you updates as we move closer to determining models that meet the requirements of the ODE guidelines.
We understand this has been a challenging time and future uncertainty makes things even more difficult. We must balance educational needs, health and safety, and state requirements into our planning for the 2020-21 school year. We will provide a first draft of our plan to you in the coming weeks.
I hope that you and your family will have some time to relax over the holiday next week.
Get the latest updates from the Canby School District
Colton School District
The Colton School District has posted answers to a list of frequently asked questions about the 2020-21 school year, and has publicly posted the draft operational blueprints for Colton Elementary School, Colton Middle School and Colton High School.
Get the latest updates from Colton School District #53
Estacada School District
Get the latest updates from the Estacada School District
Lake Oswego School District
The Lake Oswego School District has created a comprehensive section on its website dedicated to school reopening updates.
Get the latest updates from Lake Oswego School District
Molalla River School District
Molalla River School District Superintendent Tony Mann sent out the following information to parents on July 1:
“Ready Schools. Safe Learners” is the new guidelines from Oregon Department of Education for the safe opening of schools in the fall. Over the last 2 1/2 weeks school districts around the state have been reviewing the guidelines and working with staff to begin to operationalize a plan that meets the needs of all learners within their districts while adhering to the new safety requirements outlined in their guidance.
Within days of our 2019-2020 school year ending, MRSD assembled a design team of principals, teachers, support staff, and operational leadership to begin to envision the pathways forward for our 2020-2021 school year. I am grateful for the hard work the team has invested in creating options for our students that support meaningful learning experiences in the coming year.
We are now at a point in the initial design work that we would like to get your feedback. Attached below are two links that will point you to some very important information. Your feedback and input is a critical piece of this process, and I would encourage you to take a few moments to watch the video below and then provide your thoughts by taking our survey.
The first set of links will take you to a school specific video that outlines the options or pathways that MRSD is currently considering. Please click on your school specific link.
The second set of links direct you to a survey where you can share your preferences on the pathways outlined in the video.
We appreciate your continued engagement and support while we work together as a community to develop and support a meaningful school year for our students.
Get the latest updates from Molalla River School District
North Clackamas School District
Superintendent Matt Utterback sent the following update to North Clackamas School District parents on June 26:
I hope you are well and enjoying the first days of summer. Normally, North Clackamas Schools (NCSD) would not reach out to families so early into the summer break. However, I know you have questions about the upcoming 2020-21 school year, and I would like to update you on the status of NCSD’s planning process.
On June 10, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released its Ready Schools, Safe Learners Guidance that outlines the requirements districts must address prior to reopening. This 50-page document identifies considerations in eight areas, including public health protocols, school operations, outbreak response, instruction, and more. ODE must approve school districts’ plans, called “Operational Blueprints for Reentry,” prior to reopening.
In response, NCSD formed thirteen workgroups that over the next two months will put the policies and procedures in place to reopen schools safely. These workgroups will take into account the enormous amount of feedback we’ve received from students, parents, and staff. We recently hosted a ThoughtExchange with families asking their thoughts about reopening, and the results of the exchange are here. Our immediate focus is selecting schedules for each level – elementary, middle, and high school. Workgroups are currently developing schedules that maximize face-to-face, on-site learning for all students. Operationally, the 2020-21 school year will likely be a hybrid that includes a combination of on-site and digital learning.
At this time, I expect the dates of the 2020-21 school year will not change from what NCSD has published previously. However, the specific school schedules have not been determined but should be available in early August.
NCSD’s Tentative Overall 2020-21 School Year Planning Timeframe
- July 10 - Draft school schedules available for family and community comment
- Week of Aug. 3 - Near-final school schedules released
- Aug. 13 - NCSD’s Operational Blueprint for Reentry shared with NCSD school board
- Aug. 14 - NCSD’s Operational Blueprint for Reentry submitted to ODE
- Sept. 8 & 9 - Official start of the 2020-21 school year
In addition to direct messages to families during the summer, information about NCSD’s plans for the 2020-21 school year can be found on this webpage, which will be updated as needed.
I know there are many questions that are not addressed by this letter, such as the status of fall sports, the ability of volunteers and others to enter school buildings, how NCSD will manage social distancing, etc. Addressing these issues and others will be NCSD’s priority over the summer as the district develops its Operational Blueprint for Reentry. Please look for more information about reopening over the coming weeks, and I wish you an enjoyable and safe summer.
Get the latest updates from North Clackamas School District
Oregon Trail School District
The Oregon Trail School District sent the following update to parents on June 24:
We know you are anxious to hear what school will look like when we reopen in the fall. Under the Oregon Department of Education’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance, we are developing an Operational Blueprint to reopen our schools. We are consulting with staff, school board, parents, public health, and other agencies. Next week you will receive a survey to help inform our planning.
While the guidance and regulations that come down from the governor’s office, the Department of Education, and the Oregon Health Authority are in almost constant flux, we will remain agile in responding - and we will keep you in the loop throughout the planning process.
Remember: Oregon Trail School District ranks 10th in Oregon for academic achievement and student progress, and we intend to remain innovative and agile to ensure that our students continue to thrive.
Get the latest updates from Oregon Trail School District #46
West Linn/Wilsonville School District
The district's plan hasn't been finalized but it posted a framework on its website with two options. The first option is a hybrid-model with a mix of in-person classes and distance learning from home. The other is a fully virtual online program.
The note from the district reads, in part:
As we approach the next school year, your students will have two learning options within the West Linn-Wilsonville School District for the 2020-21 school year.
- Option 1: Attend the regular neighborhood school using a Hybrid Model
- Option 2: Enroll In and Attend our New WLWV K12 Online Program
The district will be sending phone and email surveys in the coming days to gauge interest in this program. Families will be asked to make a commitment by July 24. For more information on the Online Program and application process, please go to the district website.
Updates from CESD's other districts:
Chapter four: David Douglas School District
The David Douglas School District put together a survey for parents to gauge how comfortable they are sending students back to school, whether the students would need transportation, and how they think a part-time return to school should be structured.
The district sent the survey with the following letter on June 25:
David Douglas School District administrators are beginning to plan for our return to school in September. What will school look like as we balance our priority of safety with our students’ need to continue to Learn, Grow and Thrive?
The Oregon Department of Education has developed guidelines called ‘Ready Schools, Safe Learners.’ These guidelines are based on three possible different models: A full return with all students in classrooms; Distance learning from home only; or a hybrid model that would be a combination of in-person and distance learning.
In David Douglas, we believe the most likely scenario is a hybrid model. This could mean that your child will be at school part-time, and learning at home part-time. This would allow us to have students in school, but in small enough numbers that they could continue to practice safe social distancing.
Ready Schools, Safe Learning requires students and staff at school to maintain social distancing, which will limit how many people can be in a classroom at any given time. And those classrooms must be thoroughly cleaned between cohorts of different students. Social distancing also must be maintained while students are on buses, on playgrounds, in the cafeteria, in PE class and anywhere else in the school environment.
Planning for our return in the fall is a challenge, and we do not yet know what will be possible for us to provide our families. Once we determine what is safely possible, we must determine what is the best model for effective student learning. We will be asking your help as we go through this process.
The district followed up on July 2 with the following:
Our District leadership continues to plan for reopening in September. This planning is based on Ready Schools; Safe Learners, the guidelines from the Oregon Department of Education.
But our planning is also based on your responses to two surveys that we have sent to you. Thank you for completing these surveys. They help to guide us, and we will be sending additional short surveys to you over the next two months so that you can continue to help guide us.
We have not worked out all the details, but we are planning for school to be a combination of some in-person classes at school, and some distance learning via either online classes or paper packets that can be picked up at school. We know it is important for students to receive some direct, in-person instruction from their teacher. But to keep students and staff safe requires that we limit the number of students inside our building at any one time.
We also know that things will change. This pandemic is constantly evolving, and so will we. During the next school year, we will see increases and some decreases in COVID cases. We will respond with corresponding changes in how we serve students in light of this changing landscape in order to keep everyone safe. What school looks like when we start the year may not be what it looks like when we end the school year. That was the case last year and, while different, it will very likely be true this year as well. At any time a large increase in COVID cases could again force us to move to distance learning only.
But our goals will remain the same. We care about you, your family’s safety and your student’s learning. We are steadfast in this commitment. But we want you to know that we are developing a plan…an agile plan…to respond to this fluid situation. With your help, we will continue to refine this plan over the next two months, and we will share it with you as it develops to get your feedback.
Chapter five: Forest Grove School District
The Forest Grove School District has put teams together to outline the back-to-school plan, according to Superintendent David Parker.
The district is also planning to reach out to the community around mid-July for feedback on reopening.
Chapter six: Gresham-Barlow School District
The Gresham-Barlow School District has not yet released a framework for returning to school, but has sent a letter to families with insight to the process. The district has created six "rapid response teams," made up of educators from all departments and levels.
The district has also shared a look at the instructional models it's reviewing, and is asking for feedback from parents in several different ways.
The following comes from the Gresham-Barlow School District website:
Rapid Response Teams
Health and Safety:
Create safety protocols aligned with the Oregon Health Authority.
Social-Emotional Learning and Mental Health:
Design plans for social-emotional learning and mental health supports for our students and staff.
Teaching and Learning:
Explore and identify the most effective practices and design professional learning to prepare for the learning model options.
Equity and Learning Recovery:
Ensure we are actively engaging with families to effectively support all students with social-emotional needs and academic progress.
Finance and Cost Control:
Support the other Rapid Response Teams in identifying ways to maximize efficiency and collaboration to ensure that available resources maximize safety of students and staff while minimizing disruption to instruction and core services.
Workforce and Legal:
Review and apply policies, state statutes, Oregon Health Authority guidelines, and contract language to support staff and address barriers related to learning model options.
Involving our students and families
We need your input for our plan to work. The District has an online Distance Learning Survey for families and students. We want to hear from you! Please share your thoughts and comments by filling out the survey. We are also surveying school staff for their perspectives.
In addition to our Distance Learning Survey, we will also need parent feedback in a variety of other areas including school operations and schedules. Please sign up to participate at this link: Parent Feedback Sign Up Form
Oregon Department of Education Guidance
The Oregon Department of Education has created guidance for school districts as we plan for the fall. “Ready Schools, Safe Learners” outlines statewide requirements and recommendations for health, safety, equity, and quality instruction. We will follow this guidance and incorporate it into our plan.
Our plan will not only include a model for the re-opening of the school, but we must also be ready to pivot if conditions change. We ask for your flexibility as we plan for a variety of scenarios.
Watch for updates throughout the summer months as we move forward. If you have questions, you can contact us with your comments or concerns by sending a message through our Let’s Talk online listening platform. We look forward to hearing from you!
Chapter seven: Hillsboro School District
The Hillsboro School District is posting weekly updates right here on its 2020-21 School Reentry Blueprint.
To meet the needs of the Ready Schools, Safe Learners statewide priorities, HSD announced it was putting together topical planning teams at the district level, and that each school will have ts own planning team. The district announced June 25 that those teams had met, and were considering the hybrid and distance-learning options.
"While the plans have not been finalized, we are considering options of full-time distance learning and a hybrid model, which would involve students coming to school part of the time and engaging in distance learning part of the time, with the ultimate goal being students’ return to campus full-time when it is safe and allowable to do so," the district announced.
A fully-online option for students, Hillsboro Online Academy, has been available from the Hillsboro School District since 2012 and it serves students in grades K-12.
Chapter eight: Parkrose School District
The Parkrose School District is asking for feedback from families as it works to put together a plan to reopen in the fall.
The following letter was sent to families on June 16 and posted in the district website's messages from the superintendent folder:
Hello Parkrose Families,
I wanted to extend our gratitude for all of your hard work to help your child finish this school year. We understand that our closure had a dramatic impact on your child's education and we are working to determine the best ways to safely reopen in the fall.
We kindly ask that you take a few moments to complete the survey link below to help us formulate a plan that meets some of your needs for the fall.
Our district received guidance from the Oregon Department of Education last week. The guidelines are very comprehensive and significantly cover three areas:
Health and safety: Cleaning, sanitizing, and contact tracing requirements
Hygiene: Our students and staff will learn new protocols about hand washing and the most effective ways to mitigate Coronavirus.
Social Distancing: These requirements establish how we can safely design schools and minimize risks of transmitting Coronavirus. Schools must provide 35 sq. ft per student, per space. This limits classrooms to approx. 19 people per class. Unfortunately, this means it's very likely we cannot offer full-time on-site instruction at our schools, particularly our schools that have a larger student population.
Your feedback will help us design a plan that has ideas from the community about how we can safely reopen schools full time. The more we know from you, the more effective we can be in our return in the fall.
If you're concerned about sending your child to school in the fall, we are interested to know what families would only want a virtual option for their child. We are preparing for a hybrid model, and we will have more information coming to you about the schedule by mid-July.
Here are the links to the 2020-21 Parkrose School Reopening Family Surveys:
Chapter nine: Portland Public Schools
Portland Public Schools sent a letter to parents on June 10, saying the district had been looking at options for the 2020-21 fall reopening since March. But PPS was still waiting for the guidance from the Oregon Education Department to be released.
The district sent a detailed survey to parents asking whether students should return to face-to-face instruction, switch to distance learning only, or resume school with a hybrid of both.
For the hybrid model, PPS would put together cohorts of students, or "groups of students that are consistently in contact with each other." Given the number of students in the average PPS classroom, schools would not be able to maintain safe physical distances without splitting the students into these cohorts. And during school hours when students are not attending in-person classes, they would be expected to continue remote learning.
Examples of hybrid options include:
- Half day - Cohorts attend in-person classes every day, one cohort in the morning and one in the afternoon
- Two consecutive days - One cohort attends in-person classes Monday and Tuesday, for example, and the other attends Thursday and Friday
- Two alternating days - One cohort attends in-person classes Monday and Thursday, for example, and the other attends Tuesday and Friday
- Weekly rotation - One cohort would attend a full week of in-person classes, and the other cohort would attend the following week.
Portland Public Schools has not yet released a framework for the return to school; the options above were just listed in the survey.
Portland Public Schools sent out the following note, emphasizing that any plan the district makes will be grounded in racial equity and social justice.
While there are still numerous details to finalize, we wanted to update you on where we are with our efforts to ensure healthy beginnings for the 2020-21 school year.
Of note, we are grounding all of our decisions in racial equity and social justice and following these guiding principles as we work through this process:
- Ensure the health and wellness of our staff, students and schools.
- Transform curriculum and instruction, and provide innovative learning environments to ensure a robust instructional core that provides cognitively demanding experiences and opportunities accessed by all students so they successfully build the knowledge, skills, and dispositions reflected in the PPS Graduate Portrait.
- Cultivate connections and relationships within our school buildings and with our broader community.
We will have much more detail and background information to share with you next week, but here's what we are focusing on as we finalize our plan for Fall 2020:
- Prioritizing our Black and Native American students, following our Theory of Action and engaging with groups who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
- Prioritizing our students who receive special education services and focusing on student needs and health requirements.
- Following Oregon Department of Education guidance, and strictly adhering to public health standards in response to COVID-19.
- Focusing on connecting with our students in order to access basic needs, including meals, computers, social emotional support and internet access.
- Working with our labor partners to discuss, determine and decide the best ways to prepare and train for what will be another atypical school year.
- Committing to provide the best possible learning experiences for our students, regardless of delivery model.
- Continuing to plan transportation, custodial services and many other operational services that are essential to our schools and students in order to accommodate the physical distancing guidelines and sanitization requirements.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to sharing more with you next week as we finalize our plan for Fall 2020. We wish you a safe, healthy and happy Independence Day weekend.
Chapter ten: Riverdale School District
The Riverdale School Board has completed a work study and put together a community partner team that will meet in late June, and then again in August, to review the district's ongoing back-to-school plans.
The district sent out the following letter for parents:
The health and safety of our students, staff and families is of the utmost importance. The Oregon Department of Education has provided guidance to public school districts on reopening, it is now up to each district to determine how. There are three instructional models for schools in the 2020-21 school year: On-Site, Hybrid, and Comprehensive Distance Learning.
Riverdale School District will select an instructional model or models based on multiple factors including but not limited to: local COVID-19 status, school facility capacity, staffing capacity, operational capacity, needs of high-risk students and staff, available space, student enrollment, budget, technology capabilities, and input from staff, students, family, and community members. It is possible schools may need to employ different instructional models throughout the course of the 2020-21 school year as factors and contexts shift related to COVID-19.
The district will submit to ODE and OHA an “Operational Blueprint for Reentry” before August 15, 2020. Up until early August, planning will continue for a wide range of possible models. During the first two weeks of August, we will shape our plans to meet known guidance and conditions likely to be our reality at the end of the month. With the participation of a partner team composed of parents, staff and district leaders, we are confident that we will be prepared for reentry in the fall.
In order to keep our community up to date on the latest guidance and information, come August 10, the district plans to continue the eblast cadence of every Tuesday and Friday. If you know someone who isn’t receiving emails from the district, please contact email@example.com.
The next two Riverdale School Board Meetings are Aug. 3 and Aug. 10. Parents in the district will receive instructions before then on how to attend.
Chapter eleven: Sherwood Public School District
The Sherwood School District is planning to offer in-person instruction as school resumes in the fall, as well as a more comprehensive and fully developed online learning program than the district was able to provide at the end of the last school year.
But the district is still working on the specifics of its back-to-school plan.
The district sent out following letter on June 25, which also mentions that summer athletic practices may be able to resume on July 1:
Dear Sherwood Students, Families, and Staff,
Last week, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), in collaboration with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), released new guidance for the 2020-21 school year, titled "Ready Schools, Safe Learners." This guidance, which will continue to be updated in the weeks ahead, provides a foundation for Oregon school districts as planning for reopening schools is underway. While the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic creates a level of uncertainty of what's to come, the Sherwood School District will be working closely with our state and regional partners to interpret the guidance and create a plan for the upcoming academic year. Our primary focus in this work is to provide for the needs of our students in the safest way possible.
We know our students, staff, and families have many questions and concerns about what the 2020-21 school year will bring. While we still have significant work ahead to create a cohesive plan for the upcoming year, some of this work is already underway. Here is what we know so far:
What is the District doing to respond to the guidance from ODE?
The District is forming teams for elementary, middle and high schools - composed of administrators, teachers, and classified staff - to pour over the guidance and develop plans for next fall. In addition, a district-level team has been formed to provide guidance and support to schools. The district-level team includes staff from various departments, including Teaching & Learning, Operations and Facilities, Special Programs, health professionals, and staff association presidents. This structure allows the school-level planning to be nimble and efficient, but also coordinated between departments and aligned in grades PreK-12.
Will students be returning to schools this fall?
We are in the process of determining what safe, on-site instruction will look like when students return to schools in the fall. The guidance provided by ODE provides specific public health requirements and best practices, and there are a few big picture things we know so far. First, to accommodate social distancing, we will need to consider smaller groups, cohorts of students, and rotating schedules. Based on the guidance, it is possible not all students will be able to attend school at the same time. It is essential that we explore options that will provide flexibility in responding to changing pandemic conditions.
Second, although we intend to offer on-site instruction in the fall, we also recognize that for some students and families in vulnerable populations, this may not be a feasible option. Therefore, a comprehensive Distance Learning option - much more fully developed than what we were able to do earlier this spring - will be available for families who choose not to attend in person next fall for safety reasons. We will be gathering input from families and update the community as we move forward with possible scenarios.
When will athletics and other student activities resume?
The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) that governs high school sports and activities has released summer practice guidelines for counties that are in phase 1 or phase 2 of reopening. While Washington county is in phase 1, the Governor's order that closed all school facilities through June 30 precludes us from allowing any organized activities on our school facilities prior to July 1.
The District has created a protocol that requires coaches/advisors to complete and submit a plan for summer practices that clearly outlines how teams will adhere to all health and safety guidelines. When the submitted plans have been approved, athletics and activities may begin to practice utilizing school facilities after July 1.
Currently, four District properties are undergoing significant construction, and many of our facilities are not available this summer. Once our new high school and Transformation projects are complete, we will have added a significant number of needed facilities to our community. Due to facilities limitations this summer, we will prioritize practices for school-sponsored teams. Once those activities are scheduled, we will work with youth and community organizations on a process for public rentals and reservations.
As our district continues to develop our plans for the 2020-21 school year, we want to hear the feedback and questions of our students, staff, and families. As this planning continues during the coming months, we encourage you to share your thoughts with our planning teams via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please stay tuned for ongoing updates as we continue to receive further guidance from both ODE and OHA.
Chapter twelve: Not on the list?
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