Fate of an online program unclear for Lake Oswego School District
Students in Lake Oswego School District have had the option to access fully remote instruction since the start of the school year. When the district phased in its hybrid model, some opted to remain in online instruction referred to as LO Online.
Families were surveyed this spring about a potential online program for fall 2021, when schools are expected to be reopened for full-time, in-person learning.
Of the 3,800 students surveyed, only 2% wanted an online option.
Additionally, LOSD's policy has the teacher-student ratio target at 1-to-28 on average. In the survey, roughly eight students per grade on average districtwide expressed an interest in an online option — creating a much smaller ratio than the target.
Guidance from the Oregon Department of Education currently requires four "assurances," including a requirement that 50% of instruction be synchronous, if a district were to choose to have an online program next fall.
ODE expects to have updated guidance in late July, at which point LOSD will know whether an online program is required or not.
LOSD Executive Director of Elementary Programs Frank Luzaich and Executive Director of Secondary Programs Lou Bailey brought a recommendation to the Lake Oswego School Board at the Monday, June 21, meeting.
Should ODE require an online option or should the district choose to offer one, Luzaich said the district recommends the board adopt Stride Learning Solutions as its third-party online provider.
LO Online, which was created in response to the pandemic, was a district-run online program.
Luzaich said that a contract with Stride won't be signed until the company assures it can meet what both ODE and the district require of an online learning provider. It's unclear yet whether Stride will be able to meet the guidelines of ODE or those of LOSD. Stride does not currently offer synchronous instruction.
Luzaich said variables that still need to be worked out include quality, cost, class size and the student experience.
Despite the unknowns, the board approved adoption of Stride as its online learning provider, with the caveats that Stride is able to meet the state and district requirements.
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