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Oregon school districts work on plans for hybrid, online learning next school year

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    LAKE OSWEGO, OR (KPTV) — Oregon’s school districts are working on plans for next school year.

The state’s guidelines give them the authority to determine how much schooling will be done in person and how much will still be distance learning.

“This is just a really tough complex challenge,” Lake Oswego Superintendent Dr. Lora de la Cruz said. “We really do want to have our youngest learners have an opportunity to be in school every day.”

The Lake Oswego School District already surveyed elementary families and staff who mostly prefer five day a week in-person learning, which the district can do.

But Dr. de la Cruz said that’s not possible at the middle and high school levels where there are more students and smaller classrooms making it impossible to meet the state’s social distancing requirements that way.

Each student needs 35 square feet of space in a classroom according to the state.

So right now, LOSD is asking for input on entirely-online learning for all of those students or a hybrid model which would split students into two groups, with each group going to in-person classes two days a week, doing at-home work for two days, and then having one day of structured online school.

“The proposal with a couple days a week I think is better than not. It’ll be a little different but I think it will give them more of a social component that I think they all need because I would rather have them doing that than sitting on their phones or electronic devices all day,” Kris Kaelin said.

He has daughters at Lake Oswego High School and said at that age, the hybrid could be a good thing.

“This gives them an opportunity to encourage more responsibility from these kids to help them manage themselves a little bit,” Kaelin said.

Dr. de la Cruz said they’re still looking at other ideas too and this is just the developmental stage so they’re listening to feedback and modifying as they go.

“There is not going to be an ideal outcome plan. We’re not going to be able to have school the way we all wish it would be next year and so I think our very best solution is what we’re going to land on,” she said.

Other districts are working on similar plans.

The Beaverton School District’s website says students will have the option of either the hybrid model of alternating days in-person or all-online school.

Portland Public Schools said they should have more information to share next week.

Schools have until Aug. 15 to submit their plan to the Department of Education.

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