Parents, community and staff,
Monday night the Central Linn School Board adopted the enclosed modified school calendar. This modified calendar represents what we think is best for kids in the upcoming 20-21 school year. It does not represent what we think is the best model for the long term, it does not foreshadow a trend, it is simply the best thing for kids based on available resources, Oregon Department of Education (ODE) guidelines and learner needs.
The staff overwhelmingly felt that learners missed a great deal of academic and social opportunity in the spring of 2020 and that in order to mitigate that loss of instruction, we need to provide as much in person instruction as possible; this was also in line with what parents told us in survey information. Our robust four day week with Friday school for remediation has been very successful and one that I would like to continue. However, ODE guidelines could not be followed with that model and Friday school, by its nature, requires a great deal of mixing of learners. Keeping staff, learners and families safe depends on dividing kids into stable cohorts and minimizing the interaction of those cohorts (this will also minimize school shutdowns due to the possible infection of one individual). I anticipate that learning and following all of the new protocols will take some getting used to, changing it all up on Fridays would be very counterproductive.
With all of this in mind, a five day week with shorter hours was the obvious choice. A shortened school day will allow the necessary extra time after school for additional cleaning that is required as well as teacher preparation time that will not be possible during the day under the new model. Staff is hard at work on problem solving transportation issues and scheduling. We will announce start and stop times when these details become clearer. Transportation is very difficult for the district to maintain at the same service level that the community is used to under the new guidelines. We are asking the parents that can transport children to please let us know that you can do so.
Thank you for your patience as we work through the details of a complex situation. In the coming weeks we will also be providing information on a robust distance learning option for parents who feel more comfortable with homeschooling their children.