Dear Creswell Families and Community Members,
This year has truly been unique and has definitely had sweet moments with many successes as well as bitterness that came with the challenges of the unexpected end of the year COVID-19 school closure. The goal from the very beginning of the 2019-20 school year was to come together as one K-12 school district. I honestly believe that as a result of our hard work and determination through the COVID-19 crisis, we came together as a community united around providing extraordinary care for all of our CSD kids.
I sincerely appreciate all of your patience and determination with our distance learning approach as we all had to switch, adjust and quickly respond to connect, care and put together plans to educate and engage kids in a different way. Although it wasn’t ideal in many ways, we worked together and made it all happen. This collective spirit of collaboration and tenacity in the face of adversity helped us grow closer as a community. This is what makes our District and community so special.
Currently, we remain under the Governor’s Order 20-20 and all school buildings and campuses are closed to the public. All athletics and activities on campus for the summer have been postponed until we receive an extended order from the Governor. I anticipate more information about summer activities from the Governor and the Oregon Department of Education within the next few weeks.
Many of you are wondering about what instruction will look like next year. I have received school reopening guidance from the Governor and Oregon Department of Education (ODE). ODE and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) convened a task force of school Superintendents and other stakeholders to develop a framework of possible procedures to open our schools in the fall. The guidance Ready Schools, Safe Learners contains criteria schools must meet such as physical distancing, proper cleaning of facilities, grading & attendance guidance, and student transportation parameters. This letter does not describe a definitive plan for CSD, but provides an outline of where we may be headed and the process toward our goal of providing an exceptional education this fall. Our goal is to safely prepare for a full schedule with face to face in-person instruction. However, the plans for reopening will consider state guidelines, local impact, and sustainability.
Please know that you will be fully informed of the criteria as our plans evolve, as I will be providing you with updates every three weeks throughout the summer.
Preparation: Over the summer, the district leadership team, along with teacher leaders, will be working to create a plan for four different approaches to learning.
- On-Site Learning (Full In-Person Instruction)
- Hybrid Learning (Face to Face + Virtual Instruction)
- Off-Site Learning (Formal Distance Learning)
- Temporary Off-Site Learning (Response to Confirmed Coronavirus Case)
All four approaches have different implications and challenges for elementary, middle, and high school grade levels. We are hopeful that we will have flexibility at the district level as to which model we will be able to provide instruction through. It is our goal to avoid an entire closure like this spring and we will need to create a plan that supports flexibility to switch between models as directed by the State, ODE, and OHA. Our plan will involve data from surveys with staff, students and parents to learn about the successes and challenges of distance learning from this years’ experience and to include input from teachers in the actual plan development. Surveys will be distributed by July 1st.
We are planning for the four options mentioned above, keeping in mind:
- How do we do so in a way that is protective of the health and safety of students and staff?
- How do we do so in a way that makes teaching and learning successful for all students and can be adaptable and flexible as needed?
- How do we do so while realizing that some of our parents need to get back to work and cannot stay at home with their children?
- How do we do so in a way that demonstrates our commitment to equity?
I realize many of you are expecting more specific details to what school will look like in the fall, but this is the most I can provide to you at this moment. Unfortunately, the situation remains to be fluid and the needs of each community are different in terms of child care and access to resources. As I mentioned previously, more details will be shared as the information and refinement of our plans evolve.
It is an honor to be your Superintendent and to serve the Creswell community.
Mike Johnson, Superintendent