August 12, 2020
Dear Marcola School District Students, Families and Community Members,
It’s almost time to launch our 2020/21 school year!
We have been hard at work this summer getting plans in place for our district to begin the 2020/21 school year on September 9th. This year is unique and like no other, so MSD has focused on 3 top priorities, as we navigate the COVID pandemic restrictions against our desire to safely bring our students back to school.
MSD Priority #1 – MSD will offer only the highest possible safety conditions, procedures and protocols for ALL students, staff and community members to safely operate. (NOTE these are ever evolving and changing guidance(s) and metrics being received from ODE, Lane County Health Dept – follow our website for the latest updates).
Priority #2 – We are working to develop and deliver the highest possible instructional model(s) available (we will be using Schoology/Google Classroom). Starting the year off through the CDL model, we are developing a plan(s) of how to eventually transition into at least a hybrid learning model. ***Look for more discussion and detailed information sharing about Cohorts / PODS from each school in September.
Priority #3 – MSD is also taking into account the local challenges faced by our community while attempting to problem solve as many needs as we can accommodate in order to support our students, parents and community. (Instructional supports, childcare, schedules, food services, transportation, health and safety, mental well being etc).
We have multiple changes to announce.
- ALL– Due to state guidance around meeting infection metrics, we will start the year with Comprehensive Distance Learning. CDL will be an increase in both rigor and expectations over the emergency distance learning model used last Spring.
- Mohawk HS Students are required to participate and complete assignments and will earn letter grades again which will affect their GPA. For more information about state requirements for school in the Fall see the MSD website at www.marcola.k12.or.us. More information will be posted to help you prepare for school this year.
- Marcola Elementary Students will be required to participate in class learning (virtually and eventually in person, with assignments, group activities and daily attendance) as directed by their classroom teacher.
- ALL – Technology upgrades are happening now to prepare new computers for student use in the fall. We have replaced and refurbished older computers and chromebooks to hit the ground running when school starts. Students will be picking up computers the first week of school, September 9th. We will share time for families to drive thru and pick up comprehensive school packets (items included in packet; assigned school computer, required supplies, all password and login instructions along with specific directions from your classroom teacher(s).
- Mohawk HS – Students will be clustered in learning cohorts or “pods”. This will help to facilitate an eventual transition from Comprehensive Distance Learning to possible on-site instructional with required health precautions (which could include limiting student contacts to a smaller cohort of students) according to state required metrics. Each student group will operate with two teachers to cover core curriculum and one or more elective offerings for the groups. This model will further simplify communication and will allow for one-on-one and small group supports as needed.
- Mohawk HS – Once we transition from the CDL model and eventually into; a Hybrid or on-site learning, Mohawk HS will move into a 5 period day with 3 trimesters for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. This 5X3 model will accomplish several things-
- Make it easier to communicate with fewer teachers on a daily basis,
- Allow longer daily class time to participate in learning activities such as projects and other hands-on curriculum,
- Offer high school students the opportunity to earn 7.5 credits, ½ credit more than last year, to help regain credits they may have missed in the spring, and
- Align with the college quarter system for students taking dual credit or college courses.
- ALL – The Schoology Learning Management System (LMS) / “Schoology” will be up and running in every class. This program creates a bridge between the old Google Classroom and the PowerSchool Student Information System, as well as a single place for students to access coursework, turn in assignments, monitor their grades, etc. More information and instructions for using Schoology will be shared when students pick up their computers in September and video tutorials will be available on the district website.
- Marcola Elementary Students – The sixth graders have returned (virtually to start then in person) to the elementary school campus this year. They look forward to all the fun and exciting activities going on at Marcola Elementary, and will move up to the Jr/Sr high school as 7th graders.
- Mohawk HS – Is in search of Student Leaders! Since we didn’t get to hold Student Body Officer elections this spring, we will be holding them early in the fall. Stay tuned for more information about how to campaign and/or vote as we start the school year in September.
- Mohawk HS – OSAA recently sent out guidance for athletics for the 2020-21 school year. We are using a revised calendar that pushes back the start dates for the fall season until later in the year. Again, to see the calendar, please access the website for the latest OSAA updates..
- ALL – Movement and notifications about moving from CDL to Hybrid to full-time On-Campus models and metrics can be found on our district website. Check back often for the ever changing updates. Also stay tuned for more information coming – email communication will be sent to the address(es) you have on file with the school. If you are not receiving updates, please contact the office to verify your contact information.
- ALL – Online registration is required for all families of students in Marcola, both new and returning students. Watch for the email with your code and specific link to the registration system coming on or about August 17th. (If you have not received it by the 19th, please check your spam box and contact the school.) Please make sure the information we have is up to date and accurate so you can stay in the loop about school happenings and key information.
**Due to the COVID conditions, it is imperative that ALL students complete the on-line registration form so our district can best anticipate and match the number of students we can expect with the level of staffing needed to instruct and support our students.
As you can tell, there are a lot of really exciting and ever changing conditions taking place at MSD, as well as some things that are out of our local control. This year may pose some different challenges that may seem greater than anything we have faced in the past, but I have every confidence that our amazing Mustang Family will come together and rise to face these challenges head on.