Back to School Information
Dear Territorial Families,
We are reaching out to you today with some specific information related to planning for our return to campus in the fall. It is our hope that with this additional information, all families will be able to make a choice about what type of learning environment will work best for their student and family situation. The current options under consideration include the following:
- On Site/In Person - Students are coming to school everyday and being instructed by a licensed staff member. Face covering will be required for in person attendance.
- Remote Learning - Students will be working from home and accessing instruction through online platforms, such as live streaming, Google Classroom and Schoology. Attendance will be mandatory and recorded on a daily basis. Classwork/Independent work will be required and graded.
- JC Options - Students will be working with our JC Options coordinator to access learning online.
It is crucial that we get a clear and accurate picture of the number of students who will be joining us on site for in person instruction and those who will be participating in remote learning or JC Options. This information is needed as we plan for our return in the fall. It is also important to note that the choices made in this survey will determine student placement for Trimester 1; changes from online learning to on campus instruction will NOT be permitted until the trimester break, and will be based on the availability of space in an in-person cohort. As we plan for what school will look like at Territorial this fall, we are relying heavily on the guidelines provided by the Oregon Department of Education in the "Ready Schools, Safe Learners" document which can be found on the ODE website below.
The guiding principles outlined in the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Guidance include the following.
- Ensure safety and wellness
- Cultivate connection and relationship
- Center on equity
Each school and district will develop an operational blueprint for re-entry. The following categories will be addressed both in the district and school level plans.
Public health protocols
- Facilities and school operations
- Response to outbreak
- Family & community engagement
- Mental, social, and emotional health
- Staffing and personnel
Teams of district level and building level staff have been looking at each of these categories and developing plans that are in line with the guidance provided. Blueprints will be submitted to the state no later than August 15th, and will also be posted on the school and district website for review. Please visit the district website at https://www.junctioncity.k12.or.us/ to locate this information.
Some of the ways we will address the guidance related to public health protocols include specific screening, isolation and sanitation procedures, availability of hand sanitizer, use of personal protective equipment like face coverings, cohorting of students, regular cleaning and disinfection as well as implementation of social distancing measures (including the use of directional signage, reduction in number of desks in each classroom). Given the latest direction from Governor Brown that all students, K-12, must wear a face covering while at school, doing so will be a condition for those wishing to use the in-person instruction model.
All of these measures will have a significant impact on our school operations, and you can expect campus routines to look very different than in prior years. One major impact of the social distancing requirements will be felt in class size reductions and the use of cohorting. Students attending classes on campus will be divided into cohorts of no more than 20 students. Each cohort, or group of students will stay together throughout the entire school day, eating breakfast and lunch together in their classroom. In some instances, an individual may receive special services like those related to ELD, Special Education or Speech in a separate classroom or cohort. This will happen on a case by case basis and will conform to the guidance provided by the ODE related to the total number of student contacts.
Some things that are important to note:
- Students will be visually screened at the start of each day and will be isolated and sent home if they show any possible COVID symptoms.
- Students will be required to wear face coverings at all times while on school grounds. (Please help us prepare your child for that requirement by practicing face covering for extended periods of time during the summer.)
Students will attend class with a stable cohort group each day and will not have the opportunity to mix with other students during the school day.
- Transportation to and from school will be provided only to those students who specifically require it and request it. All other students will need to be dropped off by a parent/guardian.
- Access to the building will be limited and visits will need to be prearranged. Social distancing, hand sanitizer and face coverings will be required for prearranged entry.
- If you are dropping off your student late or picking up early, you will need to use the front gate entrance, where the secretary will help you via the intercom.
- Core subjects such as reading, math and writing will be prioritized. Territorial will still be able to provide PE and music classes
PLEASE NOTE: Whether or not we can provide in-person instruction will be dictated by local health metrics, the Lane County Public Health Department, the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Education and Governor Brown. It is possible that local health conditions could prohibit us from opening in-person in September, or if local health conditions change or in response to a local outbreak; we may be compelled to shift from in-person instruction to Distance Learning for All, or for specific cohorts of students. While we have been working on this point to fine-tune our plans for in-person instruction, please note that we are committed to shifting our planning to ensure that our "remote learning" and Distance Learning models are effective, accessible, and high-quality. We will be further training our staff, students and families so the distance learning experience is an improved version of what was offered last spring and we will be working proactively to address students’ access to technology and families' access to the internet.
Universal Lunch for Students
The number of families who will qualify for free and reduced lunch has been dramatically expanded during COVID; we now anticipate that 80-90% of families will qualify under the new guidelines. It would benefit our schools if we had the maximum amount of students enrolled who now qualify. Please take the time to complete the ODE online application linked below. Free and Reduced Lunch - Frequently Asked Questions (English) https://4.files.edl.io/1e40/08/05/20/215507-68b6e5fb-b112-4fa8-8a62-e76d71f4f288.pdf Free and Reduced Lunch - Frequently Asked Questions (Spanish) https://4.files.edl.io/4eb2/08/05/20/215525-0431c2e8-27b9-4d15-a224-78315779e384.pdf ODE online application https://www.ode.state.or.us/apps/frlapp
We know this is a lot of information to process, but wanted to be sure to provide enough information to allow families to make informed decisions about their plans for school in the fall. We hope that you can take time in the coming week to review the information provided and then take the Territorial Elementary School - Back to School Survey in which you will provide information about your choices and needs for the coming year that will be essential to our planning process. Please submit your survey by Monday, August 3rd. If you have any questions about the information in this letter or current planning, please feel free to reach out to me via email.