1/4/2021  Letter from Superintendent Laure Quaresma

Dear Families,

As we welcome in the New Year, we acknowledge that this school year has been unlike any other; with families juggling many complex decisions through uncertain conditions. We recognize and appreciate your family’s flexibility and resilience, alongside all students, families and school communities across the State of Oregon.

We are excited to welcome students back into our school buildings! With the Governor’s Holiday announcement, the health and safety of all students and staff remains our top concern. That’s why many things in our school buildings will continue to look different, from face masks to physical distancing in every classroom to disinfecting every school, every night. We are taking all of these steps to ensure that our schools remain safe, our students and staff stay healthy, and that you feel confident sending your children for in-person learning.

We know families are wondering what the in-person model will look like for your child. We are reviewing our Safe Schools, Ready Learner blueprints and working with the Umatilla Health Department to move forward with our plans for expanded in-person learning beyond the “Limited In-Person” model. We are planning for a phased in approach to ensure a well implemented return to onsite learning.  For the remainder of the school year, we will also maintain a comprehensive distance learning model for families who may not yet feel comfortable returning their children to school.   Maintaining a distance learning model will also allow the district to continue instruction if impacted by winter weather or by a possible cohort exposure.

 If you previously chose full-time remote learning for your child, now is your opportunity to indicate your plan for the remainder of the school year.  Prior to returning to in-person instruction, we must establish stable cohorts at each grade level. Therefore, we need families to complete by the afternoon of Tuesday, January 5th the Re-Opening Survey posted on our website. This information is critical to ensuring our compliance with stable cohort safety protocols.  Families who need additional assistance with the survey should call the building administration.  

 We have received questions concerning the onsite models, start dates and continued options for online learning.  As the phase in process will be different based on individual buildings and grade levels, your child’s school will communicate the format and timeline for expanding in-person learning with you directly.  It is important to note that our plan is to shift to in-person learning as our primary instructional model with online learning provided as an option for families with health considerations.  The time-lines for transitioning will vary between buildings and programs.

 We know that family circumstances may change, and we are committed to providing flexibility to families who may need to transition to remote learning at any point during the school year. 

Thank you again for your patience, understanding, and partnership as we continue to work together to provide the best possible educational experience for students, whether online or in-person, during this atypical academic year.