August 19, 2020

District update

Dear Students, Staff, Parents, and Guardians,

As I stated in yesterday’s post, state and county COVID-19 data must be in compliance with the metrics for a minimum of three weeks in every category.  The guidance we received from Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority entitled Ready Schools, Safe Learners gives guidance for reopening schools.  Limited in-person instruction for specific groups of students is one of the exceptions we have at our disposal.   The goal of this exception is to meet the needs of specific groups of students based on needed educational, relational, curricular, instructional, and/or assessment supports.  This includes, but is not limited to, provisions for supporting students experiencing disability, English language learners, as well as programs such as career technical education, CTE that may require hands-on demonstration of skills and the provision of a secure assessment environments.

Limited in-person instruction limits the size of each cohort to maximum of 10 including adults and they can only meet with two cohorts a day.  Additionally, a student can only have two hours of instruction a day.  With these parameters, our staff are planning a way to bring our students who meet these criteria onto our campuses as soon as possible.  The plan will be to provide opportunities for our students who are disabled on an IEP or 504, students learning the English language as a second language, our kindergarten and first grade students and our CTE students (i.e. welding, robotics and agriculture).  The building principals will have more detailed information available in the coming weeks.  We will provide comprehensive distance learning for second grade through twelfth grade for the first nine weeks.

Our comprehensive distance learning instruction will be far superior to last spring during the Governor’s Stay at Home Orders.  We will be using a new learning platform called Canvas at the high school.  Teachers will use the next two weeks in training and provide some training for students and families.   Student and parent training will be part of the new comprehensive distance learning available.  The elementary and middle school will use google classroom and zoom meeting with much more structure and rigor than last spring.  Teachers will work from their classroom and must have daily contact with their students.  Schools will be providing daily and weekly learning schedules, registration dates, as well as dates and times for orderly computer tablet pick up and distance learning orientation.

We will begin making plans for some form of hybrid in-person learning during the second nine weeks if possible.  Students, families, schools, districts and communities across the state and nation are wrestling with similar reopening issues.  In Harrisburg, our resiliency, can-do spirit, ability to adapt, and belief in each other to carry us through.  We are all in for students.

  Thank you for your patience.  We will gradually and safely step up to in-person learning for all students when given favorable data.  We will continue to keep you informed and updated.