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Middle and high school students will be returning to the classroom for fourth quarter.

As the Lake Oswego School District prepares to welcome elementary students back to classrooms starting Feb. 23, officials are also planning for the return of middle and high school students at the beginning of fourth quarter.

Executive Director of Secondary Programs Lou Bailey said an in-person orientation of sixth and ninth graders, to help in their transitions to middle and high school, is among tentative plans.

Additionally, the district is working to accommodate requests for switches between instruction models. Families at the secondary level must now decide if they want to move their child from the hybrid model into online-only learning or vice versa. Director of Communications Mary Kay Larson said the district will be asking for these requests in early March.

District officials are targeting a transition to in-person learning at the beginning of the quarter to avoid mid-quarter disruptions to students' class credits.

Bailey said transitioning to hybrid any sooner would lead to big schedule hurdles.

"They may not get the same teachers, they may not get the same period that class, the student's request for elective may not be offered with all those changes," he said. "It's a pretty daunting effort to change those in the middle of the quarter."

As for future planning, Superintendent Lora de la Cruz said the district is already getting questions regarding what school will look like next fall.

She said the district intends to hold school fully in-person in the 2021-22 school year, pending approval from the state.

De la Cruz mentioned that the decision depends on a number of factors, noting that state guidance currently allows full in-person learning only when positive COVID-19 cases are at or fewer than 50 per 100,000.

She said the district is also exploring the continuation of an online-only option for those who prefer it.

The district is also thinking about offering recovery classes during summer school.

"We would like to be able to, if the community supports it and our focal groups are on board with that, offer summer school for our students — having a very robust summer school like we've never had before," Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Schiele said.

She said it may be able to be funded through money from the Student Investment Account pending community support.

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