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School District News
2020-21 Reopening Schools Planning Updates
Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 7/3/2020 5:00:00 PM
Thank you for your continued patience as we plan for the reopening of schools. In our best efforts to keep our families informed, we want to provide a few updates to some specific aspects of WLWV reopening plans and our school district services.
Please know that plans are subject to change depending on possible adjustments in guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education. If you have not yet seen our framework “Two Options for Returning to School” in 2020-21, please visit the district website. Our website will continue to be updated with the latest information for families.
The Instructional Day: Plans to be Shared Soon
The detailed plans for how the school day will look at primary, middle, and high school with the hybrid model (at-site/at-home) are still being developed by teacher-teams and administrators. These teams are considering how to arrange the school day and courses so that students are most successful while at school and while at home. The schedules and flow of the day also takes in account limiting the number of cohort groups and possible interactions during the day. Students will be kept in as few cohorts (intact groups) as possible to minimize exposure to more people than necessary. Intermittent breaks and cleaning must also be included in the course of the day which effects schedules and time.
Next week, we plan to engage some students and parents in small focus groups for feedback on the ideas being considered. Further adjustments will be made after receiving their feedback. We plan to roll out the plans that describe the instructional day with families the following week.
Shortened School Day; No Early Release Wednesdays
We need to create a highly effective balance between academic learning for our students AND keeping a healthy and safe learning environment based on protocols from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). This means maximizing classroom time while students are at school for direct instruction from teachers and careful, effective use of collaborative time with peers. It also means frequent cleaning of high-use spaces and areas of the classrooms before, during, and after each cohort group. OHA also strongly recommends minimizing students to as few cohorts (intact groups of students) as possible during the course of the day to reduce the risk of exposure.
Therefore, our plan includes shortening the school day by 50 minutes. Each school day would last 5 hours and 30 minutes. A shortened day allows us to minimize the exposure of students and teachers to fewer cohorts each day as advised by OHA. The use of time after students leave will mostly be spent by teachers and staff to clean classrooms at the end of the day; that will follow with the usual time for meetings (virtual or on-site), teaming, and preparation time for the next day’s cohort of students, and connecting with students and families.
Due to the shortened school day, we will suspend Early Release Wednesdays for the 2020-2021 school year. Each school day will be a consistent length of time across the year.
At this time, we are planning to set school times for the 2020-21 school year to be:
Primary School: 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
High School: 8:40 a.m. – 2:10 p.m.
Middle School 9:20 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.
What is cohorting and contact tracing?
A stable cohort group would be a group of students no larger than can be accommodated by physical distancing guidelines and who will spend a sustained amount of time together. A group of students on the bus may be one cohort; a group of students in a class may be another cohort.Students can be part of more than one stable cohort during the school day. (According to OHA, students passing in the hallways or merely in the same building are not considered a stable cohort group.) The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) have advised schools to minimize the number of cohort groups during a day as well as restrict the interaction between students in different stable cohort groups. This is because with each new cohort there is increased risk of exposure.
Contact tracing relies on record keeping of each stable cohort so that in the event of a presumptive or positive case of COVID-19, OHA can reach out — through trained contact tracers — to inform those possibly exposed to the virus. Each school bus and each school will keep daily contact tracing logs of each cohort group.
Dual Language Program
The Dual Language Program will continue as usual next year for students who select the Hybrid Model (on-site/at-home). Unfortunately, the WLWV K12 Online Program does not have a dual language offering. It does, however, contain Spanish learning components and opportunities. All students may also continue using their Rosetta Stone accounts at home for practice and fluency. If a family selects the district Online Program for the year due to COVID-19 concerns, their student’s spot in the program will be saved and they will be able to return to the district Dual Language program the following year. No testing will be required to re-enter the program. Cohorts for dual language classrooms will be created using the same physical distancing guidelines used across all West Linn-Wilsonville schools and grade levels.
Students with an IEP or 504 Plan, TAG, or ELD services
All students who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), 504 Plan, Talented and Gifted Plan, or who receive English Language Development services will continue to receive the instructional supports and accommodations as described in their plans. For families enrolling in the WLWV K12 Online Program, a meeting may be required to determine how your child’s individualized plans would be implemented through the online model.
Bus transportation will continue to be provided to all schools next year. The WLWV School District and First Student are developing protocols for loading and unloading that includes visual screening for students exhibiting symptoms along with a log for contact-tracing. It will be expected that any student exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms would stay at home.
Students riding the bus will be spaced further apart from one another. Potential exposures on a bus are significantly reduced by three feet of distance, in combination with seatbacks that provide physical barriers between rows.
Buses will be cleaned frequently, with targeted cleanings between routes, and with a focus on disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces of the bus. Bus drivers will be required to wear face coverings.
Families are encouraged to drive their children if possible to help with physical distancing.
Packaged lunches will be made by the district and available for students to pick up and eat with their cohort group in designated spaces. There will be no self-serve, buffet-style meal service.
Visitors and Volunteers Suspended for 2020-2021
In order to minimize exposure of students and staff, we will be suspending on-site visitors and volunteers for the school year. Itinerant staff and substitute teachers are not considered visitors.
Will the 2020-2021 Calendar Year look the same?
The calendar will be adjusted to reflect the suspension of Early Release Wednesdays. It is also possible that once all the detailed plans are in place regarding school schedules and planning time/staff development days for teachers, that some additional adjustments may need to be made to the 2020-21 calendar. If so, we will share the changes with families as soon as possible.
District Website: Location for Reopening Schools Information
Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 6/29/2020 3:00:00 PM
The West Linn-Wilsonville School District has had teams of administrators, nurses, teachers and staff working diligently to unpack the many components of the Ready Schools, Safe Learnersguidance from Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA).
Their work will contribute to our district’s Operational Blueprint that addresses: how to protect students and staff from the spread of COVID-19, including physical distancing while at school and on the bus, and how to ensure rigorous learning environments for students.
The plan for delivering instruction hasn’t been fully finalized, but an overall framework has been determined and we would like to share that with you today. Your family will have a choice to make in the coming month, and we want to provide you with the general outline for our reopening plans now so that you can make an informed decision.
Welcome to the West Linn-Wilsonville School District!
Our incredible students, talented staff, supportive and dedicated community make this a tremendous place in which to learn and lead.
Our school district guides us with a compelling vision question, “How do we create learning communities for the greatest thinkers and most thoughtful people…for the world?”
This question challenges us to continually hone our practices and skills in creating exceptional learning environments for our students. The question also challenges us to implement practices that help our students grow as thoughtful citizens and compassionate humanitarians. Together, the vision question prompts us to continually engage our students’ minds and hearts. As the late poet, Maya Angelou declares, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
We pledge to do our best when working with the children entrusted in our care. This year holds great promise, great opportunities and great accomplishments for each of them.