Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 1/1/2021 3:00:00 PM
Dear West Linn-Wilsonville Students and Families,
As you have likely heard by now, Governor Brown announced new guidance for K12 schools on December 23 in a letter to Patrick Allen, Director of Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and Colt Gill, Director of Education in Oregon (ODE). The Governor’s announcement calls for schools to reopen in-person instruction as soon as possible, hopefully by February 15, 2021.
What is the new guidance from the Governor for K12 schools?
Beginning January 1, 2021 the Health Metrics for Returning to In-Person Instruction will transition from mandatory requirements to advisory recommendations. This change means that decisions about when to reopen will move through a local process, with involvement from various stakeholder groups, and guidance from local public health authorities and Oregon Department of Education (ODE). Each school district will make their own determination about reopening following local health advice and utilizing an updated Ready Schools Safe Learners (RSSL) Guidance document released in January. Districts will still be required to follow their approved Operational Blueprints outlining safety measures in place for on-site learning.
Schools will remain in Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) when we return in January
The majority of our staff return to work on January 4, at which time we will work collaboratively on a timeline to reopen school using our Hybrid (A/B rotation) model and the updated Ready School Safe Learners Guidance from ODE. A timeline for reopening will involve input from several stakeholder groups in the process (staff, parents/families, health professionals) and several key components:
- Consultation with Clackamas County Public Health to ensure any transition to Hybrid learning would meet all required guidelines with a framework that will prove safe and effective for all staff and students.
- Hiring staff who weren’t needed for CDL, but who will be required for Hybrid learning (e.g. campus supervision; supervision of safe routes to school; health assistants needed for screening and contact tracing).
- Determining staggered plans for reopening (primary, middle, high) that best allows for a safe and smooth transition.
- Mandatory training of classroom teachers and building staff for in-person health and safety protocols including: symptom screening, cleaning routines, social distance and face mask mandates, student traffic flow in buildings, adjusted learning spaces, and newly designed arrival/dismissal processes.
Planning a thoughtful and safe return
Getting students back in school, in person, remains our priority. We know there will be many questions during the transition period and many families will be anxious to start right away. We will need your patience once again as we work through the components mentioned above, collaboratively, with staff and families and health professionals. Thank you for your understanding.
We hope you are able to use the remainder of winter break to spend time with your families, enjoy the outdoors, and recharge for the rest of the school year.
Kathy Ludwig, Superintendent