Middle schoolers in the Lake Oswego School District made their return to in-person learning this week, starting with sixth graders on Tuesday, March 16.
For students at Lakeridge Middle School, that return was momentous. Tuesday was the first time students stepped foot on the new Lakeridge Middle School campus for regular instruction.
Roughly 200 sixth graders at LMS shuffled into one of three entrances in the building and made their way in their cohorts to begin hybrid learning.
The building, which was completed in November 2020, was one of the big-ticket items in the 2017 capital improvements bond.
The building was built with sustainability, accessibility and mental health in mind.
It's an all-electric building, which means it could be modified in the future to run entirely on solar power, and has LED light fixtures and a plethora of "passive" systems that save energy. The energy saving systems include well-insulated walls, triple-pane glass windows and a passive heating and cooling system.
All classrooms and learning spaces are equipped with an AV system that allows for uniform sound throughout the room so students with hearing limitations don't have to sit in the front of the class. LMS Principal Kurt Schultz said the uniform sound feature is sure to make teaching though a face mask easier. The gym also has AV capabilities. Schultz said, for example, that if an activity required a lesson, like dance or yoga, the video could be presented on a projector in the gym, with audio being heard evenly throughout the gym.
Though the building won't be at full capacity for a while, Schultz said he's excited for students to get to experience their new academic home.
In the hybrid model, students will attend LMS for paired cohort courses — language arts and social studies or wellness and science.
Students report to one room with their cohort and their teachers come to them.
Other courses like math and music will still take place virtually.
Per state guidelines, each classroom at LMS will have no more than 21 students.
District Superintendent Lora de la Cruz attended the reopening at LMS. She said from the students she talked to, the general consensus was that they were nervous but mostly excited — typical for any sixth grader's first day.
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