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Back to school in Oregon: What your district's plan looks like

Oregon has a framework for returning to school in the fall, but every district has unique needs. Here's a look at the plans for Portland metro area districts so far.

KGW Staff

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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.

Credit: ODE

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.