As you are probably aware, late in the day on January 19th, Governor Brown along with the Oregon Department of Education released updated guidelines around what it takes to return to in-person instruction, and what protocols must be in place. You can watch a short 10 minute video summary of this new information from Director Gill, at this link: (click here). Since that time, I have been working with our staff, administrators, association leadership, and other community partners to formulate our plan here in Fern Ridge.
Since the beginning of the pandemic back in March, our district has relied on the expertise of our health partners to inform decision making regarding the return to face-to-face instruction. We have collaborated for months to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our buildings. We will continue to do that, now that the guidance has changed (Click here to review the ODE research informing the change in the K-12 Metrics Framework).
The logistics of our plan are beginning to come into focus. We will continue to work on some of the more difficult elements (that of transportation and meals) through the weekend. On Monday night, January 25th, I will share the specifics of the plan with the FRSD School Board and consider any input they may have.
On Tuesday, Jan. 26th I will hold a Community Q & A Zoom meeting, and the following night, each elementary school will hold a similar Q and A meeting. All of these will be at 6:00 PM. Below are the links.
Tuesday, Jan 26th, 6:00 P.M. FRSD Community Q & A Zoom meeting: (CLICK HERE)
Wednesday, Jan 27th, 6:00 P.M. VES Community Q & A Zoom meeting: (CLICK HERE)
Wednesday, Jan 27th, 6:00 P.M. EES Community Q & A Zoom meeting: (CLICK HERE)
While I will not have the final details until Tuesday morning following the board meeting, this is what I would expect:
Grades 6-12: Under the current guidelines, our county needs to be below 200 cases/100,000 before I will recommend to the board that those grades can return. Absent that, these students will remain primarily in CDL, with some students coming on campus for 2 hours a day of limited in person instruction. Returning before the county case count drops below 200 cases/100,000 places the district at an unacceptable level of liability, as we would NOT be following the recommendations of the Oregon Health Authority.
Grades K-3: In early February (exact dates will be known on Tuesday) we will get students in school every other day, all day on an A/B schedule.
Grades 4-5: One week later will will be adding 4th and 5th graders in the same every other day, all day, A/B model.
K-5 Bridges and SLC Classroom Students: We will be offering all day, 4 days a week of in-person instruction.
What if we do not want to return? This continues to be a work in progress, and really depends on the number of students and grades of students that need/request this option. I do know it will be limited, but we will be getting creative to provide something like this for families that need it. We have some new technology on order to assist in this area, but timely shipments of ANY K-12 technology is extremely challenging these days. Of course the FRSD fully online OPTIONS program will also be a choice.
Thank you for your continued patience, we all look forward to seeing more of our students in our buildings, beginning in February.