The Canby School District is holding steady with its previously announced goal of resuming limited in-person learning for kindergarten through third-grade students the week of Feb. 8, Superintendent Trip Goodall said in a message to families Friday.
A definitive start date has not yet been set, but Goodall promised it would be provided by next Friday, Jan. 29. But the district did release a general schedule of what school days will look like in the hybrid in-person learning model.
K-3 students will be divided into two cohorts, designated Cohort A or B, which will alternate in-person learning days in order to comply with coronavirus restrictions that require smaller class sizes and greater distancing between students and staff.
Mondays will be similar to the current system, with all students learning from home.
In-person learning will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon, with the cohorts alternating each day. The afternoons will feature live remote lessons for the students that were not in-person that day.
Students who attend morning classes in person will be provided meals they can take home to eat.
“We are finalizing the entire plan,” Goodall said Friday. “We will be holding virtual community meetings before returning to in-person learning to go over the final schedule, health and safety protocols, and to answer your questions.”
Returning to school is not mandatory, the superintendent said. Families may continue Connected At-Home Learning if they are not comfortable returning to in-person learning.
Likewise, students currently enrolled in the Canby Online Learning Academy may continue learning there, or can notify their school that they’d like to transition into in-person hybrid learning.
Parents will not have to make a final decision about which model their student will partake in until after the virtual community meetings.
Goodall said the district was directed by the Oregon Department of Education to begin reopening schools with the youngest students in kindergarten through third grade.
“Once we demonstrate that we can successfully operate without contributing to the transmission of Covid-19, we will add grades 4-6,” Goodall said. “We are working on a plan for grades 7-12.”
The district expects to be able to bring small groups of 7-12 students into school buildings for some “limited in-person instruction” before launching an in-person learning model for all students who want to return.
“We look forward to welcoming students back into our classrooms over the next few weeks,” Goodall said. “I appreciate your flexibility as we finalize a plan that puts staff and student safety first.”
In a separate email Friday, Canby High School Principal Greg Dinse said a number of proposals are being developed to provide supplemental learning and support to students through the limited in-person instruction model — but admitted a traditional return at the high school level is unlikely this academic year.
“I can’t say definitively, but the metrics and requirements from the state will make it extremely unlikely that will be back in a traditional form,” he wrote. “The situation keeps changing, and we’ll keep you informed as to the developments.
“For now, small group learning through [limited in-person instruction] is the most likely course and the beginning of this process of return.”