Central Point School District #6

Looking forward

As the calendar year ends, there is some hope for a better 2021; initial vaccinations against COVID-19 have begun in Oregon.  Whether your focus is getting kids back to our campuses or being able to socialize with family and friends again, we finally have some hope for the not-too-distant future.  Further, Governor Brown has communicated with school district superintendents that her priority is to have Oregon students back in our schools by February.

Following the three weeks of “scaled back LIPI,” in December, D6 schools will resume or expand LIPI beginning January 4th. Specific LIPI programs and schedules are available from your principal.   January 2021 will also be an opportunity for schools to gear up for a hybrid learning model tentatively beginning February 2.  Every D6 school developed a hybrid plan in August and many of those plans will need to be revised or updated for current circumstances.

While we may have students back on campuses by February, school is likely to look much different from a year ago—the protocols that must be in place to assure staff and student safety and meet statewide guidelines will result in a “hybrid” model for most of our schools.  This means that many students will attend school for either partial weeks or partial days.  The “hybrid” model will vary by school primarily because our school buildings are so different—schools with lower enrollments and larger classrooms will be able to accommodate more of their students each day and week.  Schools with smaller classrooms and larger enrollments will be able to accommodate fewer of their students.  You will receive more information from your child’s school as these programs and schedules are finalized.

 

Is on-site learning really going to happen by February?

We honestly have no idea, but we’re optimistic and we want to be prepared.  Most of us have whiplash from the constantly changing guidelines, rules and COVID numbers.  We’ve learned a lot since March, primarily that all plans are subject to dramatic change.  Nonetheless, our goal is to have our students and staff back in schools as soon as possible, provided our schools are safe for kids and staff.

 

Why is the district pushing to get kids back in school?

Our kids need to be back in school for their physical and mental health and because school is where most kids learn best.  Many of our students do not have the resources and support they need to be successful in comprehensive distance learning and all of our students are missing the learning activities, collaboration and social aspects of on-site learning.

 

Is it safe to have kids and staff on site?

Our schools have been serving students on-site for months through LIPI and to date, we have not had a case of COVID transfer at a school site.   The Oregon Department of Education has referenced the following information regarding safety on school sites: click here to review the articles.  We recognize and respect the dangers of COVID and COVID transfer.  There is no such thing as “no risk,” but the protocols established for school sites are working, much the way the protocols for salons are working to prevent spread of COVID.

 

What are the protocols we can expect for on-site learning?

The “operational blue prints” for each school provide the specifics for the protocols (you can access those blueprints here) but the general protocols, across all D6 buildings include:

  1. Reduction of the total number of people on site
  2. Daily Screening for symptoms
  3. Face mask requirement (there are some very specific circumstances where a face “shield” may be worn)
  4. Sanitizing spaces between uses
  5. Physical distancing
  6. Personal hygiene, including handwashing/hand sanitizing

 

Will distance learning be available for my child if I am uncomfortable with in-person learning?

Yes.  We recognize that every family has different circumstances and needs.  Please keep in mind that the distance learning will likely look a little different once we move into a hybrid model—we want our students to remain in their regular classes and with their regular teachers, but teachers need time to integrate distance and hybrid.

 

There is currently a massive number of cases in our county, why plan for LIPI/Hybrid now?

Jackson County is experiencing a huge spike in cases, mostly the result of social events.  We have consulted with the Jackson County Health Department about our school programs, including LIPI, and on November 11th, The Jackson County Health Department recommended that all current LIPI in schools could continue.   Part of the health department’s rationale was a track record of safety at school sites and part was the role that schools play in contact tracing, allowing for swift responses to positive cases and exposures that would otherwise not be addressed for days, leading to more community spread.  In instances where LIPI has been canceled or scaled back in D6, it is only because the case count in Jackson County jeopardized our ability to provide necessary staffing.  Finally, we anticipate a change in guidelines or metrics to come from the Governor and ODE that will allow for a move to hybrid by February and we want to be prepared for our students’ return to schools.

 

Why doesn’t the district establish a LIPI program that is aligned across all schools?

Limited In Person Instruction (LIPI) is driven by two factors—need (student need) and resource (staffing and space).  LIPI is not intended to be a district wide program.  This means that elementary is likely to have more LIPI than secondary (in general, need for in person is greater for younger students and at secondary,) and schools with more space or lower enrollment are able to serve a greater percentage of their student body per day than schools with larger enrollment or smaller spaces.

Need more information?

More information about LIPI and the hybrid models will be available soon.  You may also contact your child’s school or contact me directly at samantha.steele@district6.org or 541-494-6201 (office) 541-840-5644 (mobile).

 

 

 

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