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Closures still have many families concerned about next year or thinking about other ways to educate their children

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - School closures still have many families concerned about next year, or thinking about other ways to educate their children.

The closing of public schools in March due to COVID-19 sent shockwaves through the public education system as schools scurried to transition to online and remote learning.

Those closures still have many families concerned about next year, or thinking about other ways to educate their children.

A recent survey by the Crook County School District has shown some families are interested in learning more about alternative learning options. This could include remaining fully online at home or a combination of learning opportunities that provide families with greater flexibility and choice.

"The old education model is changing, and we need to proactively come up with different ways of serving families. We're developing a menu of options next year for students who may not thrive well in the traditional school setting," explained Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson.

Crook County School District is planning to open all schools Tuesday, Sept. 8. The board presented a number of options to school board members at the June 8 CCSD School Board Meeting about contingency plans in case there are any changes. Dr. Johnson indicated that while opening in the fall is the priority, the district is planning ahead in case there's a spike in COVID-19 cases or if the Governor's Office directs otherwise.

"We're prepared to safely open schools in the fall, while also responding to the community's desire for an education system that's more responsive to their needs," said Dr. Johnson.

For parents who might be looking at alternatives, Crook County High School already offers an online option that is self-paced and allows students to develop their own schedule and access school athletics and other activities. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Joel Hoff, who heads up school improvement efforts, said that the goal of the school district is to build on that foundation and offer even more options to families with students in elementary, middle, and high school.

"We plan to work with families with students in all grade levels and tailor an experience that's unique to each individual child," said Hoff. "That could include going to school in the morning and coming home and working online in the afternoon or it could mean your child remains fully online."

The school district plans to hold a series of community forums this summer to collaborate with parents on the new choice-based learning model. The first forum was an online event June 12 via Zoom and the school district's Facebook page. More dates will be announced on the same format. It will also cover plans for reopening schools in September.

Principals are already reaching out directly to parents who expressed interest in the new learning model through the End of Year Survey.

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For more information, contact the Crook County School District Main Office by phone or email:

District Phone: 541- 447-5664

District Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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