Following the State of Oregon’s and the Oregon Department of Education’s update to the reopening schools metrics, school districts across the state began to wonder what that would mean for them.
In the Lincoln County School District, it means all students will be back in the classroom within the next month.
LCSD Superintendent Dr. Karen Gray announced this week that they plan to take full advantage of the new metrics by getting all grades, K-12, back in school using a staggered start. Because Lincoln County has maintained relatively low COVID-19 case, LCSD are now eligible to return all students under a Hybrid model.
In a Hybrid model, students attend school in-person full time for two days per week in half-sized cohorts, either Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday. For now, Wednesdays continue to be not in person for any student. The remaining two days that students are not in person, they will receive instruction online.
“When students are called to return to school under Hybrid, the Comprehensive Distance Learning model for that grade is no longer available,” Dr. Karen Gray said. “We will be supporting our teachers in providing high-quality hybrid instruction, and the comprehensive distance learning model will come to an end.
“Teachers cannot be asked to teach under two different instructional models at the same time. It is simply not possible, and the state requires in-person instruction if the district is eligible with our metrics.”
Dr. Gray said students who are under isolation or quarantine orders will still be able to access instruction through the Hybrid Model, as well as individuals at high risk who have documentation from a medical provider.
If parents do not wish to return their child or children to school in the in-person Hybrid model, they can move to LCSD’s fully online program, Edmentum. Parents need to let the school know of any such decision as soon as possible. For all students, any changes to the student’s current instructional model for Term 2 must be decided by Thursday, Nov. 19.
“As we review the updated protocols for in-person instruction, we know there is much to consider before transitioning into a Hybrid learning model for all students,” Dr. Gray said. “We need to evaluate our planned cohorts to ensure class sizes that can accommodate the required social distancing in our schools… We are staggering the return of students in order to ensure a careful and systematic approach.
“Student and staff safety is essential to us, and we want to do this as carefully as we can and still have our kids back in school successfully.”
Dates for return are as follows:
• Grades 2-3 return on Nov. 9
• Grades 4-5 return on Nov. 23
• Grades 6,7,9 return on Nov. 30
• Grades 8, 10-12 return on Dec. 7
Before returning to the classroom, Dr. Gray said all parents need to make sure that they have updated their schools with their children’s most up to date medical information, as well as updating their schools with the most up to date contact information for each of their children.
“We are very explicitly watching for these primary COVID-19 symptoms every day at school: Cough, fever (temperature of 100.4°F or higher) or chills, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or new loss of taste or smell,” Dr. Gray said. “If your child has any of these symptoms (unrelated to a chronic condition) you will need to come to get your child right away. Please keep your child home if they have any signs of an infectious disease.
“Thank you all very much for your patience and understanding. It has been a tough road for everyone, and I think we are getting set for a positive move forward this school year.”