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Students, Staff and Community - Dedicated to Excellence

July 28, 2020

To: MSD 79J Families and Community Members
Re: Operational Blueprint Update and Status for our Reopening Plan for School Year 2020-21

We miss being together in-person, in school, and as a community. We hope you are healthy and safe, and we appreciate all you are doing to support one another and the Marcola School District in a time of need. We are preparing to be strong, safe, and ready, because all children need access to an equitable, high quality education and all the nutrition, health, and social supports that come with it. You are our essential partners, and many of you have given us your time and energy as we develop a plan for how school is being organized and delivered in 2020-21.

As we look towards the coming school year, Governor Brown has begun the process of reopening and building a safe and strong Oregon. This fall Oregon will begin a process to provide in-person instruction in our schools again. However, we will still be living under the virus, and community-wide immunity is many months off. Governor Brown has said, “I again ask Oregonians to come together and be smart. Reopening any part of our state comes with risk. This virus is still very dangerous, and it still poses a great threat. Please follow the safety measures we are putting in place.” 

As mentioned previously, on June 10, 2020, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released Ready Schools, Safe Learners Guidance designed for school leaders that puts forward the requirements and recommendations we will use to plan for the fall. Oregon Health Authority epidemiologists helped create and vet this guidance so that we could have clear health and safety protocols to follow for a variety of scenarios. The guidance was updated during the summer according to feedback and contextual changes. 

MSD’s District Leadership Team have been called back to work early, and assigned the task to develop a first draft of an Operational Blueprint for Reentry. We are holding a Reopening Task Force work session this Friday July 31st to address and prepare for our schools to come back to school this fall. We can also anticipate and predict ADDITIONAL changes along the way, and we will all need continued efforts to navigate the state’s evolving efforts to mitigate COVID-19.

Our district, will determine whether we select one of three options this fall; 

  1. Option #1: teach all students on-site 
  2. Option #2: teach all students through new comprehensive distance learning 
  3. Option #3: utilize a hybrid model. *Possible combination of 2 options. 

Our plan is currently to start school on time (September 8th/9th) with Option #1 – on-site, and then shifting to a possible hybrid instructional model. This idea is based on our distinct strengths and the needs of the Marcola School District. 

MARCOLA – Feedback WILL BE Needed from you! (Marcola Parents/Community Members) future engagement will be conducted through the district website with links to surveys and the use of a feedback hotline to be set up. We ultimately need to hear from you about “what works and what isn’t working” so we can best respond to the needs of our community.

Marcola School District’s TOP 3 Priorities – in response to COVID-19: 

  1. Safety of Students, Staff and Community
  2. Provide Highest POSSIBLE Instructional Model(s)
  3. Responsive to Community / Culture Needs

*Special Note: The MSD blueprint also includes a communicable disease plan and close coordination between our schools, other school districts within the county, and the local public health authorities. 

As I share information, I want you all to know that behind the scenes we (MSD Staff) are working hard to develop a comprehensive plan focused on getting our district re-opened safely while taking into consideration the needs of all our stakeholders; kids, staff, parents and community members. 

Rough DRAFT Timeline: 

July 31st  (Work session) – Re-opening Task Force Planning: meet to develop a “rough draft” blueprint for MSD

August 3rd – our draft is sent to MSD staff and to MSD School Board: (Share Information)

**Provide folks with the disclaimer … they will all have a few days to “digest and provide us with a feedback loop” on any items we didn’t consider / think of etc. 

*August 6th: MSD Board Work Session: Goals/Vision Share (separate topics but connected tasks)

August 7th-9th. Make necessary edits and adjustments to our plan … try and consider all workable suggestions: (Edit/Consider Feedback)

August 10th: Formally share this plan with the MSD School Board. (Share Information)

August 11th: Media release is sent to parents and community members with information on our plan. (Share Information)

*Secondly, on the 11th: Solicitation letter is immediately sent out: soliciting feedback and opportunities for community feedback. A District survey Link will be activated and go live.  (Edit/ Consider Feedback)

August 12th-14th: Receive feedback – from the community and make adjustments to the plan… as much as feasibly possible. (Edits) 

August 15th: Submit MSD Blueprint Plan to ODE, LCHD and LCESD. (Share Information / Document) 

August 15th – August 31st: ALL SUBJECT TO CHANGE(S) / MODIFY AS NEEDED – DRAFT: *Gauge Community need(s), possibly hold “open live forum” invite through FB meeting, have Q&A sessions if available etc. Be responsive to feedback and assign taskforce members to help problem-solve through the needs. (Respond to Feedback / Find Solution(s))

August 15th – August 31st: Continue with Safety and Reopening Protocols / trainings etc. (Message PSA’s through FB/MSD Web site – having our safety teams showcasing our clean facilities / safety protocols, and new operating procedures.)    

August 31st- Sept 3rd: Staff (ONLY) Inservice – Instructional/Operational goals and plans are under current development.

Sept 8th/9th: Start of School. *with on-site learning, – or possible use of combination of multiple models. *New parent friendly calendar will be released with updates and planning details. 

We are honored to work beside you to meet the challenges and opportunities of this moment. The immense effort we must all contribute, and the patience that will be necessary as health circumstances shift over time, is well worth it for the sake of the MSD students to receive learning in a safe, ready school environment. 

Sincerely,

Terry Augustadt

Superintendent/Elementary Principal

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