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Superintendent Kathy Ludwig provides clarity on mask requirements, announces change to elementary school learning

PMG FILE PHOTO - West Linn-Wilsonville School District is formulating plans for the 2020-21 school year, which will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Linn-Wilsonville School District Superintendent Kathy Ludwig clarified a few points and announced a new change to the district's plan for the upcoming school year — which is designed to ensure safe learning during the COVID-19 pandemic — in a post on the district's website Friday, July 17.

For one, Ludwig wrote that the district switched from a model that would have required elementary school students to either attend school full time or take classes solely online. Instead, students can either spend part of their week in school and the other part at home, or take classes only online.

Ludwig wrote that the district made this change after collecting feedback from focus groups, which included parents, teachers and students, and hearing advice from health experts. Middle school and high school students were already slated to follow the hybrid-or-online model.

"Safety concerns with our previous model centered around: too many young children in the building at one time using restrooms, walking in hallways, accessing entrances and exits; too many young children on buses at the same time; and multiple cohort groups rotating with a team of teachers versus staying intact within one classroom teacher," Ludwig wrote.

Ludwig also clarified that face coverings will be required for students and faculty when they're at school. The district is providing one mask for each student and staff member and disposable face coverings will also be available at school. However, students who cannot wear a face covering for medical reasons will not be required to do so.

"Opportunities for students to safely remove their face coverings from time-to-time will be scheduled throughout the school day," Ludwig wrote.

Also, middle school and high school students will operate based on a quarter schedule where they will take three classes at a time rather than the normal semester schedule where they take six classes at a time.

"Feedback from Distance Learning last spring and our Focus Groups, affirmed that when students have fewer courses to manage either all online or through a hybrid (on-site/online) they are more successful," Ludwig wrote.

For more information on the district's plans, read our previous coverage:

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