Nothing has been decided yet, but the St. Helens School District is edging closer to the kind of hybrid system that both the Scappoose and Beaverton school districts have already endorsed for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.
In the hybrid model, students will be offered the choice between traditional on-site learning or distance learning like they experienced during the final 2 1/2 months of the 2019-20 school year in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"The district has selected a hybrid model with the additional option of a fully online virtual program for families that choose not to send their children to our brick and mortar schools."
Scot Stockwell, St. Helens School District superintendent
In a letter sent to SHSD families in the second week of July, Superintendent Scot Stockwell wrote that "we have teams that are currently building the state's required "Operational Blueprint for Reentry" plan. The district has selected a hybrid model with the additional option of a fully online virtual program for families that choose not to send their children to our brick and mortar schools. We will post to our website and file our "Blueprint for Reentry" with ODE no later than August 15, 2020."
You can read Stockwell's complete July 9 letter by clicking here.
While the district has yet to take an official position on the architecture of the next school year, Stockwell began his letter by telling district families that work is underway to prepare SHSD's buildings, campuses and classrooms for school in the fall.
"This plan focuses on the reentry back into our buildings while providing the requirements we must meet to keep our students, staff, and community safe," he wrote. "This guidance is informed by what is now known about COVID-19 and with an understanding that we will all need to continue to navigate the State's evolving efforts to mitigate the spread."
Stockwell wrote that SHSD administrators' work is directed by recent guidance from the Oregon Department of Education in its Ready Schools, Safe Learners plan. The guidance allows schools to implement three possible instructional models: on-site, distance learning, or a hybrid of the two.
The St. Helens School District has not set a date to finalize its plans for 2020-21, with Community Relations Specialist Stacey Mendoza writing on Tuesday, July 21, that the school board's next work session is scheduled for Aug. 12, though no agenda has been listed yet.
"Currently, there is no plan finalized for any schools in the St. Helens School District," Stockwell added. "We will continue to work closely with public health and seek community feedback to assure the best plans for re-entry and keeping students, staff, and community safe."
The Scappoose School District announced its 2020-21 plans last week, opting for a hybrid system, with students attending in-person classes two days each week, either Monday and Tuesday, or Thursday and Friday, depending on which of two cohorts they're placed in.
Alternatively, families can opt for entirely online learning. On Wednesdays, the school will undergo deep cleaning.
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