Canby School District shifts plans to distance learning
With Gov. Kate Brown's Tuesday, July 28 announcement that schools cannot return to in-person learning unless certain metrics are met in the county and state, Canby School District announced the next day that it is planning to begin the school year with students learning from home.
Canby Schools Superintendent Trip Goodall revealed the change in a letter to families Wednesday, July 29.
"This is not the news we were hoping to share," Goodall said in the letter. "We recognize the important role schools play in the lives of our students, families and for our community…The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is our priority."
Canby had on July 17 announced a fairly detailed hybrid plan including two in-person instruction days and three at-home learning days. Then the district held a series of Zoom meetings to engage the community regarding the plan.
However, in her announcement, Brown indicated that for any school district to return in-person, for three weeks in a row the county's COVID-19 case rate must be at or less than 10 per 100,000 people and the state's rate must be at or below 5%, with some exceptions.
In the last three weeks (beginning July 5, 12 and 19), Clackamas County's case rate per 100,000 was at 34.7, 34.7 and 34.4 respectively, according to data from the Oregon Health Authority.
In the last three weeks, the state's case rate has been at 6.2%, 6.6% and 5.1% respectively, per OHA's weekly reports.
While there is time to see those numbers meet Brown's metrics, Canby School District has made the call based on the current trend. District spokesperson Autumn Foster said if something changes, Canby could revise its plans. But for now, it's online for Canby students.
"We know we can provide high-quality education to every student through the learning models we are able to provide at this time," Goodall said.
Beginning Sept. 8, families have two options for learning: connected at-home learning or Canby Online Learning Academy.
The connected at-home learning is part of the hybrid model. Students under this plan will shift to hybrid and/or in-person learning "when the metrics allow," per Foster. Under this plan, Goodall said students will be part of their school community, learning through live, virtual, teacher-led instruction that is supplemented by online resources.
The learning academy is 100% online with self-directed curriculum through edgenuity.com for grades 6-12 and through odysseyware.com for grades K-5. Students must commit to this model for a term. They will receive support from Canby teachers as they work through the curriculum at their own pace. Students will also have on-demand access to live tutors. Goodall noted that students under this model too will remain members of their school community.
Any student who wants to enroll in the learning academy needs to complete an online enrollment form by Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Students under both models will be provided with a device. The school district will work with individual families to ensure access to the internet.
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