Estacada School District gives thumbs-up to reopening plan
The 2020-21 school year will look different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Estacada School District is moving forward with a plan to ensure that learning continues smoothly.
During a meeting Thursday, July 9, members of the Estacada School Board tentatively approved an operational blueprint for reopening. Next, the plan was considered by the Estacada Education Association during a collective bargaining session on Wednesday, July 15.
For the upcoming school year, Estacada School District families will have the option of students participating in a blended online and in-person model or a completely virtual option, the latter of which about 14% of families expressed interest in.
Students who participate in the hybrid program will be divided into two cohorts designated through alphabetical order by name, as well as family members and other instances of students sharing a home.
One cohort will be in school buildings on Mondays and Tuesdays, and another cohort will be there on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Students will participate in classes online for the two days they are not attending school in person. There will not be classes on Friday to give teachers additional time to prepare lessons.
At the secondary level, classrooms will include both in-person and online students, while there will be designated teachers for in-person and online classes at the elementary school level.
Because of the current public health crisis, the building capacity for the upcoming school year is estimated at 50% of the student population at one time. There only will be around 15 students per classroom.
Students also will be placed in cohorts for transportation, grade level, core and elective classes at the secondary level and classes at the elementary level. This will allow school leadership to conduct contact tracing in the event of a positive COVID-19 test.
Meal services will continue, with breakfast being provided in the classroom and lunch in the cafeteria.
School buildings will undergo multiple daily cleanings, as well as a deep clean on Friday. Additionally, hand sanitizer will be available at multiple locations in each building.
Bus drivers, front office staff and specialists who work in close contact with students will be required to wear face coverings. Nutrition staff will be required to wear face shields.
On school buses, students will be required to have three feet of space between one another, unless they share a home. This will limit buses to approximately 25 students.
Along with having community members on the planning committee, school district leaders sought feedback on the proposal through a survey that was open from June 19-24.
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