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Reopening Update: Message from the SuperintendentPosted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 7/27/2020 8:00:00 AM
As we continue to develop our models for reopening school, the cases of coronavirus across our country and state continue to escalate, reaching daily records. We are hearing increased concerns from families and staff about the possibility of opening school with in-person learning in the fall. As you know, the health and safety of our students and staff has been and continues to be the top priority for our district.
In a recent meeting with health and state officials, we were told that even with the required safety protocols, physical distancing, cohorting requirements, and contact tracing, under these conditions with the infection rate as high as it is in our county, we WILL have virus outbreaks in our schools. These outbreaks would require the quarantine of students and staff for several weeks and the shutdown of in-person learning. Repeated opening and closing of classrooms and schools would continue until the virus is better contained.
We are increasingly worried that we will not have the necessary staff to either open schools--or keep schools open--to in-person learning under these escalating conditions. We struggled to fill substitute teaching positions prior to this pandemic, and we expect it will be far more difficult now.
We want to prepare our community for the possibility of opening school with Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL).
What is Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) and how is it different from last spring?
In the event that we need to start the school year with all students learning at home, we would implement a Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) model. Be assured that CDL in 2020-2021 would be different and more robust than what students and teachers experienced last spring.
Comprehensive Distance Learning in WLWV would include:
Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) is designed to be a temporary at-home plan for learning while we prepare for safe re-entry back into the Hybrid Model (at-home/on-site) or fully in-person learning as the school year progresses.
Keeping your child enrolled in their neighborhood school allows a family to make the best determination for how and when to allow their child(ren) safe re-entry into school. If a child starts with CDL and wishes to continue with it longer, even as the Hybrid Model opens, they may do so. The assigned classroom teacher will stay connected to each student, providing instruction, whether they are at home or at school.
Can you review the Two Options for families again?
(Click to see an updated graphic of our framework showing the Two Options.)
Option One: Attend your neighborhood WLWV school
We may begin the school year with students attending their neighborhood school through a Hybrid Model, of rotating A/B days, allowing students to be on-site 2-3 days a week with their teacher(s) and with fewer students in the building at one time. At our secondary schools (middle and high), we have shifted to quarters so that students will only need to balance three (3) classes at a time.
Or, we may begin the year with Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) and then phase into the Hybrid Model as it becomes safer to do so. CDL will be different and better than what students experienced in the spring. Students will do remote learning at home taught by WLWV teachers, supported by a digital curriculum. There will be daily synchronous learning opportunities; assessments and grading; a system of attendance to make sure students are accessing their learning and participating; and students in middle and high school would still only have their three (3) classes at a time to manage.
Families who keep their children enrolled in their neighborhood school (Option One) understand that the priority is to transition to in-person learning at school as soon as possible and when it is safe for students and staff to do so. Families may opt to stay longer with CDL and join the Hybrid Model later when they feel more comfortable to do so.
Option Two: Enroll in the new WLWV K12 Online Program
In this option, students would enroll in our district’s fully virtual, comprehensive K-12 program for the entire year. This is a more permanent plan. There would be no on-site learning at any time during the year, regardless the development of the pandemic. The program will include WLWV teachers and utilize FuelEd, an online curriculum, to serve as the learning platform.
We expect families to commit to this program for the full year. Earlier, we stated that students may be able to leave the program mid-year; however, if this program grows to over 500 students then any kind of wide-scale transition mid-year would be too challenging to accommodate. Therefore, families who enroll in this program must be committed to stay in it for the entire year.
The deadline to enroll in the K12 Online Program is still July 31. Students who want to enroll after that will be put on a waitlist.
Why Enroll in the WLWV K12 Online Program instead of an out-of-district charter school next year?
The benefits of staying enrolled in your home district outweigh transferring to an outside charter school. These benefits include:
Next week, there will be Zoom sessions describing the Hybrid Model and Comprehensive Distance Learning. The meeting dates and times were sent out yesterday to our community and are posted on our district website: https://www.wlwv.k12.or.us/Page/16159. Following those meetings, families can reach out to their school principals if they have more specific questions about their school or their child’s circumstances. The meetings will be recorded and posted to that same district webpage for families who can’t attend live. Recordings will be uploaded the same day as the meetings.
To learn more about what the WLWV K12 Online Program has to offer, we invite you to visit our website at https://www.wlwv.k12.or.us/Page/16141 where an informational video of a recent Zoom meeting is posted. You are also welcome to reach out to program director Carolyn Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 673-7052 if you have any questions.
Please Stay Accurately Informed
We realize there is a lot of information circulating in the community. To check on accuracy, please refer to our district website, "Reopening Schools 2020-2021" which we will continue to update regularly. You may also contact your school principal or anyone at the district office.
Thank you for staying connected and for your continued patience, grace and understanding during these complex times.
Kathy Ludwig, Superintendent
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