The District has finalized its return to in-person instruction plan. It was reviewed last night at 6:00 PM in a Community Q and A with Superintendent Carpenter. You can view playback of the meeting here. In addition, at 6:00 PM this evening, each elementary school principal will be hosting a Q and A for all parents. Links to those virtual zoom meetings can be found here:
To summarize, the District continues to use the Oregon Department of Education/Oregon Health Authority guidance and framework that was updated last week to guide our plans. The research that informed the recent changes to the K-12 Metrics Framework can be viewed here. The primary metric that determines when we can bring students back for in-person learning is the COVID-19 case count per 100,000 over the prior two weeks. When the case count is under 350/100,000 we can bring back elementary-aged students. When it drops below 200, we can consider bringing back grades 6 and above. These two week “look-back” rates are released each Monday.
The rates for Lane County for the past 5 two-week periods have been:
The last time the case rate in Lane County was below 200 (which would allow grades 6-12 to return) was in mid-November. We are hopeful that with the rollout of the vaccine and continued adherence to health and safety protocols, the case rate will drop back down again soon, allowing us to expand our return to in-person instruction for our older students.
Below are the specifics of our plan for returning elementary students to in-person learning:
Thursday, February 4th and Friday, 5th: All K-3 students return to in-person instruction in an A/B Hybrid Model, similar to what was done earlier this year. Due to transportation changes, whether or not you are an A or B day student may have changed. This will be communicated soon with our families. The school day will be from 7:55am-2:25pm. Teachers will communicate with families what the expectations are in regards to applied learning, or off days.
Thursday, February 11th and Friday, 12th: All 4th and 5th grade students return to in-person instruction in an A/B Model. Due to transportation changes, whether or not you are an A or B day student may have changed. This will be communicated soon with our families. The school day will be from 7:55am-2:25pm. Teachers will communicate with families what the expectations are in regards to applied learning, or off days.
Thursday, February 4th: For students in grades K-5 that are a part of our SLC or Bridges classrooms, the opportunity to return all 4 days each week will be offered. Please work with your student’s teacher and school principal if you have questions.
Returning all of our students in grades K-12 is our highest priority and we will be prepared to do that when the case rates drop.
Below is some additional general information on a wide range of topics around returning to in-person instruction that folks may be interested in:
HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS: Each building has a “blueprint” that outlines all of the safety protocols that will be in place. The list is too long to review here, but includes things like social distancing, wearing masks, cohort groups, hand-washing, limiting movement in the building, entry screenings upon arrival, dedicated entrances and much more. The blueprints, once finalized, will be updated on our District website.
TRANSPORTATION: Transportation is one of the larger logistical issues to solve. Please be patient as we work through this. Anyone that has the ability to transport their student, please know that is greatly appreciated. The goal is to have the routes and times up by early next week.
MEALS IN SCHOOL: Meals will look different. Breakfast will not be served at school but sent home so that students are able to eat prior to coming to school. Lunches for off days will also be sent home. Students will have an opportunity for a normal school lunch, on days they are in session.
VACCINATION: FRSD staff have begun to receive vaccinations. We are on-track to have about 20% of staff receive the first vaccination by this weekend. The vast majority of those staff are at the elementary level.
I DO NOT WANT TO RETURN, OR CANNOT RETURN DUE TO MEDICAL ISSUES: We have begun collecting information from families who do not want or cannot have their student return to in-person learning. Please inform your teacher and or building principal ASAP if you are in this situation. While enrolling in our online OPTIONS program is one choice a parent can make, we will also have a CDL (Comprehensive Distance Learning) option for these students. What it looks like exactly will, in part, be determined by how many students need to access this option. It may take a few weeks to get up to full-speed as we are waiting on some technology to assist with this that was ordered back in December. However, we are hopeful that it will include some packet work, as well as some live interactive connection with a teacher and a classroom each day (it might not be through their regular classroom teacher). More information on this in the coming days.
Thank you for your continued patience as we begin to roll this plan out next week. We all look forward to seeing our students in our buildings!–Gary Carpenter, Superintendent, FRSD 28J