BYOM? Parents Advised to Supply School Children with Masks

With face masks now required in school, parents should plan on supplying children with their own, the Canby School District has advised.

Canby Superintendent Trip Goodall said in a communication to parents, students and community members that while the district should receive some masks to share with students who need them, the supply will be uncertain.

“While we expect to receive an allocation of face coverings, you should plan on supplying your student with face coverings for their in-person learning days,” he said. “Students who take the bus will also be required to wear a face covering while on board.”

In-person learning is expected to take place no more than twice a week per student, according to the current plan for the Canby School District: Tuesday-Thursday or Wednesday-Friday, depending on the cohort to which your student is assigned.

During the off days, students will receive instruction through distance learning, similar to last semester. Canby families may also skip the in-person days and opt for a fully online model, about which the district plans to release more information next week.

The Oregon Department of Education released new updates to its Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance for school districts this week, including new mandatory and recommended guidelines for face coverings, cohort sizes, grading, attendance, instructional minutes, and structure for at-home learning.

“We are reviewing the updated guidance to ensure our plans meet all of these new requirements,” Goodall said.

District staff plan to present the operational blueprints for reintroducing students to the classroom to the Canby School Board on Aug. 6. The plans will be published on the district’s website by Aug. 10.

Final plans must be submitted to ODE by Aug. 17.

Due to the additional safety training and professional development required for staff to implement the planned hybrid learning model this year, the school board voted to push the start of the school year back four days — to after Labor Day. The first day of school will now be Sept. 8 or 9, depending on the cohort.

“Your school will inform you about which cohort your student is in once principals complete the master schedules,” Goodall said. “We continue to collaborate with our associations to ensure safe working conditions for our valued staff members and students.”

Governor Kate Brown said this week that her office is working in coordination with the Oregon Health Authority to develop a set of metrics that will guide reopening plans for school districts across the state, which are expected to be available soon.

Goodall said the Canby School District will work with Clackamas County Public Health to ensure its plans and metrics meet the requirements.

While the district plans to open with a hybrid model, Goodall said staff is also developing a connected at-home learning program in the event the county’s Covid-19 numbers do not meet the requirements to safely reopen schools.

Photo by saravut vanset on Scopio.

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