Greetings OSD Families!
As we approach the beginning of our school year we would like to share information designed to support families as we welcome back students for on site or remote learning. Let me begin by sharing how much we have missed learning together with our students. We believe in-person learning is the most effective way to reach our district goals, yet we recognize and respect the varying realities families are facing in relation to COVID-19. Our reentry plan is designed to empower parents to make decisions which keep their families safe by choosing either in-person or remote learning.
For those families who may have extra risk factors contributing to a decision to participate in remote learning, please know that we have invested heavily in making that experience as effective as possible. Based on parent survey feedback, and what we believe will have the most positive impact on remote learning, we have structured our remote experience to be primarily synchronous. In most cases students will have a “virtual seat” in their classroom and participate during their regularly scheduled class times. We recognize that learners who are not able to be independent (younger elementary grades in particular) may need to access their learning resources at a different time. Considerations to support those situations will vary depending on the student’s grade level and circumstances. Direct teacher support outside of the regular school day/schedule will not be available.
For those families sending their child for in-person learning, please know that we have multiple safety measures in place, most of which are described in more detail in our fall reentry planning document available on our district website.
Virtual learning students:
Students who plan to begin their learning year virtually may pick up their district-provided chromebook on Monday, August 24th from 8:00am-2:00pm in the following locations associated with their learning grade level:
In response to parent survey feedback and direction from our teacher leadership team, we are in the process of implementing a new learning management system called Canvas. Onboarding a system of this nature typically takes a year or more, yet our staff has been working to have this support ready for use as we begin the school year. Please recognize that this will be a work in progress. We considered waiting, yet believe the benefits of moving forward with Canvas outweigh the steep learning curve associated with an expedited implementation. Resources for parent and student access will be linked to our website before the beginning of the school year.
Virtual attendance will mirror in-person attendance with students expected to be “present” at the start of their class and during the times required by the instructor within those class periods. There will be some variation in this expectation for special courses (PE for example) and at our lower grade levels where learners are not independent.
On Site Learners:
In reviewing our reentry plan you will see reference to procedures which will look different than they have in the past. Things like entry into the building through grade specific locations, directional movement through our hallways, moving directly to your classrooms in the morning, along with other changes, will require some adjustment. We will explain these changes early in your first day on site, and you can expect additional specific details from your principal before our first day together.
OSD will be requiring appropriate facial coverings for all individuals while inside school buildings. This District requirement will be in effect until modified by further board action. Students with concerns which may preclude them from wearing a face covering are expected to contact their building principal prior to school beginning on September 1. This contact will allow for further discussion around any potential need for accommodations. Additional information related to this requirement can also be found in our reentry plan on slide #11
That’s a word with a lot of baggage right now. Please know that we can’t wait to be learning together. It has been a long time. The preparation and planning since March has truly been non-stop, and yet we recognize that there will be bumps along the way – possibly quite a few bumps. Although our planning has been extensive, there is room for flexibility and adaptability as we come back together. Patience, kindness, and grace will be the most important qualities necessary to allow learning to take place in our schools. We ask our families to join us in committing to those qualities together. Together we’ve got this!
Kevin Bruggink, OSD Superintendent
Greetings OSD Families!