Update from Superintendent Johnson: Reopening Planning for the 2020-21 School Year

Dear Creswell Staff, Students, Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for sharing your input on the survey we recently sent to you regarding reopening our schools! Your input is incredibly important to us as we develop our reopening plans for the 2020-21 school year. While we still have many details to consider and a little over a month to the start of school, we wanted to give you an update on where we are at with our preparations for a safe start for the 2020-21 school year.

At this time, the pandemic continues and will certainly be with us for many months to come. That being the case, the Governor’s guidance changes from week to week with the spread of COVID-19. This results in uncertain direction as we approach the reopening of our schools. To address this fluidity, we must be responsible and develop plans that provide flexibility for us to pivot to the instructional mode that will be appropriate given the conditions of the virus and direction provided for us by ODE, OHA and Lane County Health Department.

The Oregon Department of Education is requiring each school to develop a “Blueprint” plan for reopening schools. Each Blueprint is to include a plan for; brick and mortar in-person instruction, hybrid instruction and comprehensive online distance learning. The survey results from approximately 60% of our parents indicated that 59% want to return to brick and mortar in-person instruction, 25% want a hybrid model and 16% want online comprehensive distance learning. Approximately 50% of the teaching staff responded with 52% wanting brick and mortar in-person instruction, 36% the hybrid model and 12% comprehensive online distance learning. For complete survey results, please follow this link.

I want you to know that the Creswell School District’s mission is to provide the highest quality education possible. We strive to meet the needs of our staff, parents/guardians and most importantly, our students. Our first priority is the health and safety of our students and staff. In order to accomplish the above, we must provide our teachers and staff with the best instructional tools available to deliver a robust and rigorous curriculum, using proven best practices for teaching and learning. Of course, we want all of our students back in our buildings where the highest levels of learning occur. However, to ensure the health and wellness of our students and staff, we are following the Oregon Department of Education’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance to make our reopening plans. Each school’s “Operational Blueprint for Re-entry” is due to ODE by August 15 and will address the school’s specific needs and capabilities.

The Creswell Reopening Task Force – which includes administrators, teachers and classified staff, will be meeting throughout next week 7/27-7/31, to prepare guidance for our schools as they develop their re-entry Blueprints. Under the direction of the District, Principals and Assistant Principals will use the Task Force guidance, as well as the feedback you have provided, to develop a number of different scenarios for the coming year for; brick and mortar in-person instruction, hybrid instruction, and comprehensive online distance learning instruction. As indicated by the survey results, approximately 50% of parents and teachers prefer in-person instruction. To address this, we have assessed our facilities for person-to-person spacing to accommodate the 6′ distancing requirement and we will prepare a comprehensive safety plan in accordance with the ODE and OHA Reopening Guidelines. Some of our parents indicated that they prefer their students NOT attend in-person school, so we have researched online school platforms and will provide a K-12 comprehensive online school academy. Creswell Online Academy enrollment will be available the third week of August. In addition, we will have the ability to incorporate the hybrid instructional model. We will accomplish this with an online curriculum platform where teachers provide comprehensive curriculum or teacher customized blended curriculum integrated with Creswell Academy course curricula. We have also purchased additional technology to provide a Chromebook or iPad for every student.

We intend to continue the community involvement in reopening schools planning. We will be reaching out to Creswell families and District staff to gather input and hear your thoughts on how you envision our reopening looking with another feedback survey on August 3rd, and we will host a Community Forum Q&A Zoom meeting on August 6th.

I will continue to send regular updates to keep you informed, and we are always available for questions and comments as we navigate this new path together.

One Team! One Dream!

Sincerely,

Mike Johnson, Superintendent of Schools