Hybrid Model Update for 2020-21

Posted by Andrew Kilstrom on 4/20/2021 7:00:00 PM

Dear West Linn-Wilsonville School Community,

Last night, during the April 19 Board Work Session, I provided the School Board with the recommendation that all West Linn-Wilsonville schools continue in the Hybrid Model for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

District leaders came to this decision after close examination of the most recent Ready Schools Safe Learners guidance that allows for 3 feet physical distancing in classrooms, after identifying key barriers that prevented our school district from moving to a fully on-site model, and after consultation with teacher leaders. It was a recommendation that I did not make lightly, but that I believed was best for our students, staff, and school community. 

After deliberation, the School Board passed a motion confirming that grades K-8 will remain in Hybrid Learning through the last day of school but “directing district staff to re-open high schools 5 days a week, grades 9-12, by May 3, 2021”. 

To change our high schools to the Fully Onsite Model (5 days a week) would require both of our licensed and classified associations to amend the Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs), agreeing on new working conditions. In conversations today, both the licensed association (WWEA) and the classified association (OSEA) informed us that they would not amend the current MOUs again at this point in the school year. Therefore we are unable to move to a Fully Onsite Model as directed by the Board. The School Board will convene a special session to re-evaluate their direction to staff.  

In the meantime, our K-12 schools will remain in the Hybrid Model.

Expanded Learning Time On Site For Seniors and Other Students

We recognize that there are students who continue to struggle under current conditions academically or with consistent access to school. Using the same criteria of Limited In-Person Instruction, and while keeping with current 6 feet guidelines and safety protocols, school staff will extend learning opportunities for select students who need more than the every-other-day in-person instruction (hybrid) and prioritizing seniors. More information will be provided by each school by next week. 

What is the criteria for Limited In-Person Instruction?

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) provided the following guidance for Limited In-Person Instruction to be applied this school year. Examples of the criteria include:

  • Address connectivity issues, such as limited or no internet access
  • Provide academic support
  • Access assessment
  • Provide social, emotional, or mental health support
  • Build educator-to-student relationship

The District and schools are instructed not to use limited in-person instruction criteria based solely on disability, race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.  (ODE Guidance)

Summer Learning 2021 and Fully In-Person, Every Day in 2021-2022

District leaders and staff are in the early stages of planning for Summer Learning with grant assistance from the state. These opportunities will be communicated in May. 

We also encourage families to let us know their plans for the 2021-2022 school year when we look forward to serving all students back on campus, every day. It is still our plan to begin next school year with a full 5-day per week in-person learning schedule.

Finishing Strong

This has been a year of challenges and constant changes for our school district, for our communities, for our families, and especially for our students. We know there hasn’t been universal agreement over the district’s decisions from time to time.  But through it all we have never doubted our staff’s and parents’ commitment to our students’ success.  We have been confident in the learning environments our staff have created.  We have been grateful for parent support.  We look forward to finishing this year strong. 

Thank you for your continued partnership.

Kathy Ludwig, Superintendent