- Communications to Families
- Limited In-Person Instruction
- Remote Learning Surveys
- What Reopening Will Look Like
Dear Roseburg Public Schools Families,
The Oregon Department of Education provided updates this afternoon to the state guidance and requirements that school districts must follow in determining how to best reopen to in-person learning.
Since the beginning of the school year, we have strictly adhered to the state’s mandates and guidance to best protect student and staff health, adjusting our plans as mandates and guidance changes. We believe that following the path we have set throughout the year to manage these adjustments has been the safest and most responsible option for our district. In addition, we must protect the district from liability in order to ensure taxpayer dollars remain allocated to serving students and employing staff.
A key change announced today involves the case rate metrics framework, which has been eased to allow more students to return to school. We are excited to announce that, under the updated metrics framework, we can continue with our plans to reopen to full-time, in-person learning for all of our elementary school students, grades PK-5, on January 25. The new metrics framework allows us to carefully open these grades if local case rates are below 350 per 100,000 people over the previous two-week period. The latest local case rates, released today, are 211.1 per 100,000 people in our county. (View the new metric requirements, the latest case rates, and the latest update from the state.)
Unfortunately, local case rates have risen too high to reopen to secondary students in person instruction as planned on January 25. Case rates must be below 200 per 100,000 people in order to begin the return of secondary students to in-person/hybrid learning. Our plan moving forward will be to continue remote learning for grades 6-12. We will continue to monitor the county case rates weekly will begin hybrid in-person instruction for grades 6-12 as soon as case rates allow.
We are disappointed with this development, as we were hopeful to welcome all of our students back in classrooms this month. While this will cause a delay in opening to grades 6-12, we will continue to offer limited in-person instruction opportunities. These opportunities have been effective in providing much-needed additional support for students, and we will continue to encourage secondary students to participate.
We will continue to move forward with our focus on providing the best education possible while maintaining our focus on health and safety. We thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate this school year together.
Roseburg Public Schools Superintendent
Dear Roseburg Public Schools Families,
I want to follow up on a message I sent last night regarding our reopening status and hope to provide some additional detail and clarity. Your continued patience and understanding throughout this school year has been greatly appreciated. Please know that we are doing our best to provide as much consistency and transparency in our decision-making processes as possible. We hope that you will continue to turn to us for the most accurate information regarding our district’s reopening process.
First and foremost, it has been our unwavering goal to return all students to in-person or hybrid learning this school year. Our methods for achieving this goal are centered on one conviction that has not changed: We are committed to maintaining the health and safety of our students, our staff, and our entire community.
While opinions vary widely throughout our community on this matter, we have used the guidance provided by the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority to guide our planning. This guidance is based on the latest research from the Harvard Global Health Institute regarding COVID-19 health and safety recommendations and presents the safest pathway forward for reopening. This guidance has continued to change as discoveries have been made and the pandemic has impacted our community. We have done our best to follow this guidance as closely as possible and will continue to do so as it prioritizes health and safety recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
I would like to clarify a few points about our decision to continue to follow the metrics provided by the state in determining our reopening plans. Although the Governor announced that the metrics - revised once again by ODE/OHA on Tuesday - are advisory, this does not change the health and safety risks of COVID-19. These metrics are provided for a reason: They are intended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in school environments and throughout our community. The updated metrics are aligned with Harvard Global Health Institute recommendations and allow for a return to in-person instruction for elementary students at higher levels of community case rates than previously recommended. Being provided highly endorsed and respected health and safety information without following it is both counterintuitive and unwise.
In addition to this challenge, we have been advised by our insurance provider and the Oregon School Boards Association that any district that reopens outside of the metrics increases its liability to COVID-19 related lawsuits. Liability protection is crucial to protecting our district’s financial stability. It assures that our community’s taxpayer dollars will continue to be used to support student learning. We believe taking this factor into account aligns with our commitment to protecting the well-being of our students and staff.
Our goal, however, remains the same. We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. We want all students safely back in classrooms, and we’re getting closer to this reality. As soon as Douglas County falls within the metrics for reopening, we will enthusiastically welcome our secondary students back to school. (View the new metric requirements and the latest case rates.) The Oregon Health Authority releases county health metrics on Monday afternoons. Once metrics are met, we plan to open in-person, hybrid learning to grades 6-12 on the following Monday.
Again, thank you for your continued understanding as we work to provide healthy and safe learning environments for our students.
Roseburg Public Schools Superintendent
Limited in-person instruction opportunities will continue to be offered to secondary students on Wednesdays starting the week of January 25. Roseburg High School instruction will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and instruction will be offered from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Fremont and Jo Lane. Individual schools will reach out to families with details about scheduling, transportation, sign-ups and other logistics. These opportunities are completely voluntary and are intended to support students in their individual needs.
In October, we surveyed our staff, students and families about their experiences with remote learning this school year. Our goal is to use this feedback to help make improvements to the remote learning process.
View highlights of the results
Based on the feedback we received from students, parents and staff, we are implementing/considering the following adjustments:
- Addition of limited in-person instruction opportunities.
- Stronger emphasis on asynchronous, independent learning.
- Ensure hot spots are being loaned to families with greatest need.
- Class schedule revisions to reduce instructional time spent on Zoom where appropriate.
Families who choose to remain with remote learning, as well as any families who are interested in homeschooling, can be assured that students will continue to receive high-quality, consistent instruction from a licensed Roseburg Public Schools teacher.
Once state-required metrics are met and students in grades K-12 are able to return to in-person learning, students in K-5 will return to full-time, in-classroom learning. Students in grade 6-12 will begin a hybrid model (mix of remote and in-person learning).
View details of our draft hybrid learning model below:
- School Start Date and Learning Model
- In-Classroom Learning
- Athletics and Extracurriculars
- Special Education
A. The 2020-2021 school year will begin on August 31 with an introduction to Comprehensive Remote Learning. This will ensure that the district is adhering to state-mandated COVID metrics that must be met before all students can return to in-classroom learning. While it is possible that these metrics might improve by the end of summer, we believe that putting a plan in place now that begins with Comprehensive Remote Learning will provide the consistency and predictability that families, students, and staff need to begin the year together. Student instruction will officially begin September 8, once students, staff and families have had a chance to connect and learn about the remote learning model.
Q. How will Comprehensive Remote Learning in the fall differ from the online learning provided in Spring 2020?
A. Last spring, Distance Learning for All was an emergency response to the pandemic and the immediate need to close schools. Since then, the district has been able to more fully prepare for a Comprehensive Remote Learning model. We will be implementing the Canvas Learning Management System for 6th-12th grades. Canvas will make the online experience more manageable and more effective for students, parents and staff. In addition, we will provide more opportunities for parent support and staff professional development. Our Remote Learning model is designed to clarify the expectations of engagement through attendance, interaction and equitable grading.
Q. When will my student be able to return to school for in-classroom learning?
A. For students in kindergarten through third grade, our plan includes a target date of October 5 for the return to in-classroom learning full-time Monday through Friday. State-mandated COVID metrics must be met. For students in grades 4-12, we plan to reopen on November 2, if the public health metrics are met. Students in fourth and fifth grade would return to full-time, in-classroom learning Monday through Friday. Students in grade 6 through 12 would begin a hybrid model (mix of remote and in-person learning). The November 2 date aligns to the end of the first quarter. Students/families will have the option to continue with full-time Comprehensive Remote Learning in grades K-12, if desired.
Q. What are the metrics that dictate the ability to open to in-classroom learning?
A. The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education have created metrics that counties in Oregon must meet in order for districts to consider reopening for in-person learning. An explanation of these metrics can be viewed at https://bit.ly/320YS59.
Q. When the district is able to reopen, what will learning look like?
A. The district has been working on the state-required Operational Blueprint for School Reentry for 2020-2021, which includes plans for full-time classroom learning, full-time Comprehensive Remote Learning or a mixture of the two. Preparations will continue on these plans so that the district is ready for students to return to classroom learning. You can learn more about our plans and view the Operational Blueprints on our 2020-2021 Reopening web page: https://www.roseburg.k12.or.us/families/2020-2021-reopening.
Q. Can’t the district or School Board decide on their own when to reopen to in-classroom learning?
A. No. Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Education and the Governor’s office have mandated these metrics for the entire state of Oregon, and local districts must comply with the state requirements.
Q. How will meals be provided to students during Comprehensive Remote Learning?
A. As in the spring, Roseburg Public Schools will work with our transportation partner, First Student, to deliver meals throughout local neighborhoods. In addition, grab ‘n’ go style meals will be provided at various school sites. The exact locations and bus routes are yet to be determined but will be communicated prior to the August 31 start of school. Once we are able to transition to any form of in-classroom learning, we will revise our meal delivery systems as needed.
Q. will my student be able to play sports?
A. On August 5, OSAA announced that it had adopted a new school activities calendar that shifts the Fall season and condenses all seasons. OSAA’s Executive Board took this action following the release of school reopening health metrics by the Governor’s Office and Oregon Health Authority.
The OSAA’s new calendar provides for three distinct seasons from late December to late June with limited overlap between seasons. Traditional Winter activities will take place in January and February (Season 2), followed by Fall activities in March and April (Season 3), with Spring activities occurring in May and June (Season 4). Each season will feature an equitable 7-week regular season, with adjusted contest limitations, followed by an OSAA Culminating Week. Specific plans for culminating week events will be developed in conjunction with member schools in the coming months in alignment with large group gathering guidelines issued by the state. Roseburg High School has suspended summer workouts at this time.
October 5 will be the earliest date that students will be able to return to in-classroom learning as well as participate in sports activities. State-mandated metrics must be met.
Q. Will my student be able to participate in extracurricular activities?
A. October 5 will be the earliest date that students will be able to return to in-classroom learning as well as participate in extracurricular activities such as robotics, student clubs, and career and technical student organizations this fall. State-mandated metrics must be met.