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Schools in Newberg and Dundee plan for five days a week, fully in-person learning next school year.

In-person classes will be the norm rather than the exception come fall in the Newberg school district.

Newberg School District officials said May 26 that students in Newberg and Dundee can return to full, in-person learning five days a week next fall if they so choose. Whatever the new normal looks like in the classroom setting is on the horizon for students, teachers and administrators.

"We are planning for full, five days in-person with every student who chooses to be there," district communications coordinator Gregg Koskela said. "Students will automatically be enrolled in the in-person learning option unless they choose another option. We had a survey of folks about the different options that could be available and received strong feedback from about 1,800 people. We've taken that feedback to construct options for kids in the fall whose families choose not to do in-person learning."

Students and their families will have the choice of switching to fully online or partially online learning, but unless they specifically request otherwise, they will be enrolled in the in-person option and return to a "normal" classroom setting next autumn. Whether masks or social distancing will be required in those settings remains undetermined, but given the improving trajectory of the pandemic, district officials are confident that potential restrictions will be minimal or nonexistent when school resumes.

Students will not be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19, either.

"We do not have any plans to require the COVID-19 vaccines for students," Koskela said. "We will be looking for all the guidance that (the Oregon Department of Education) gives and will follow those … that's the only way we see that changing is if there are changes to ODE directives. We've got a long list of other vaccines that are required, but we are not planning to include COVID among those.

"We wanted to be consistent with the policy we had for our staff as well. We worked hard to make the vaccine available to our staff, but we did not require it as a condition for working. The decision for students came down to the same thought process."

Among students' other options beyond regular, in-person learning are various versions of the Chehalem Online Academy offered by the district. The traditional version is fully online, with self-paced completion of assignments. Another version mixes self-directed learning with real-time virtual meetings with staff/students, and the third version combines the self-directed COA program with options for in-person instruction in a neighborhood school.

For more information about the school district's plans for the fall, visit https://bit.ly/2SMe85d.


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