FRSD Students, Families, and Staff,
Yesterday, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), in consultation with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released new health metrics and standards for opening schools. These metrics were discussed in an announcement by Governor Brown. What this means for Fern Ridge is that all students in grades 4-12 will participate in a comprehensive distance learning model to begin the school year. Our planning committee will be reviewing all of this information and guidance over the next few days. On Tuesday, August 4th, our planning committee will finalize our recommended structure (for all grades K-12) and it will be communicated to the community later that day.
At that time, it is my hope/goal to be able to share the following information on August 4th:
- General information about the registration timeline and process.
- The date of the first day of school for all grades.
- What the K-3 model/plan is in regards to in-person vs. Comprehensive Distance Learning, as well as dates and timelines.
- How long (at a minimum based on infection rates) students in grades 4-12 will be in Comprehensive Distance Learning before returning to in-person instruction.
- Any options for students with special needs for periodic, individual, or small group in-person instruction or technology support on campus.
- A clear description of our “FRSD OPTIONS” Program for families that want to engage in full-time online learning (K-12) for the remainder of the 20-21 school year.
I realize everyone is anxious to receive final confirmation of what the school year will look like, and that this news is frustrating for some, and a sense of assurance for others. The District will continue to use the metrics established by the health experts in the state to guide our decisions. In all our plans, flexibility will be critical, as guidance/directives from the state changes often. We ask that families be aware of this and understand that plans WILL change as needed.
In regards to what comprehensive distance learning will look like for Fern Ridge students, you should know that this model will be different from the student learning experience of this past spring. Our goal will be to start the school year prepared to provide all students with a robust learning experience.
The district understands the importance of getting our students back in our buildings as soon as it is possible to do so, and we will continue to work on our detailed health and safety plans so we are ready to make that transition. The district is fortunate to have supportive certified and classified association partners, parents, and community leaders that are collaborating with us daily. A return to in-person learning will occur as soon as possible, until then we look forward to meeting the needs of our students and families to the best of our abilities in this new, virtual environment.