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One of the biggest questions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has been, when will students be able to get back in the classroom.

For Lincoln County, that may occur as soon as Fall 2020 to a certain degree.

Since March, the Lincoln County School District (LCSD) has tried a number of learning programs for its students, such as Supplemental Education (review learning) and Distance Learning For All (an all-online education program). But as teachers and students have started their summer vacations, the conversation has already shifted to the next school year.

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) recently provided school districts across the state three options for education models next year:

- All on-site (the site being schools).

- All online.

- A hybrid meaning part on-site and part online. It allows you to have smaller numbers of students at school at a time, which requires cohorts and very little mixing of groups.

LCSD Superintendent Dr. Karen Gray announced this week that they have chosen option three, spending part of the week at school and part of the week online using technology for learning and potentially some paper and pencil education.

“As you might wonder, there are about one million details to how we pull this off with all of the many safety and health requirements given to us in the 50-page guidance document. Safety is key,” Dr. Gray said in the announcement.

ODE provided a 50-page guidance document to school districts and LCSD has to develop a plan that will need to be reviewed by the county health department, approved by the Board of Education (next Board meeting is July 21) and a final application for reopening to ODE by August 15. Currently, Dr. Gray said details of their plan are limited.

“We have eight teams of professionals working on this as we speak,” Dr. Gray said. “This brief message is just to serve as a heads up about the general principle, which is that we are planning for a part week on-campus/part week off-campus hybrid model using many social distancing, cleanliness/sanitizing and safety precautions so that our staff and our children are safe at school.”

Dr. Gray said more information about their hybrid plan would be coming soon.

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