Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
February 22, 2021
Dear Sheridan Families,
Please read this letter carefully as there are several changes taking place within the district, along with a few projects. The projects require parent/community feedback in order for the district to make informed decisions. Here are the changes related to district staff organization:
- Bill Rasar, Deann O'Neil and Marti Hofenbredl are retiring after many years with the district. Each person has had a significant impact on Sheridan School District and will be missed! Their last day will be June 30th .
- Our staff have been restructured following the three retirements:
- Dean Rech, after 13 years as principal of Sheridan High School will be the administrator for district facilities and manage state/federal grants.
- Starting August 1st, Jason Hohnbaum will be the principal of Sheridan High School, along with AVID District Director and managing district technology. Jason is in his second year as the vice principal for FCS.
- Penny Elliott will transition from district secretary to human resources specialist.
- A new position, Executive Assistant for Communications (formally district secretary), will take many of Penny's responsibilities and manage all district communication.
- Deann has filled the role of both business manager and human The human resources responsibilities will go to Penny and a new business manager will be hired.
The projects include grade reconfiguration, the May 2022 Bond Levy, our Student Investment Act goals and the purchase of the CEC property. Here is a brief summary of the projects:
We are exploring grade reconfiguration for both schools, moving the 7th and 8th grade to the Sheridan High School campus and making 6th grade self-contained. SHS would become a Junior High/High School model and FCS a PreK-6 school. This represents a significant organizational change with pros and cons. This will allow for more electives and better alignment of instructional programs. The concern is how we will structure the master schedule with minimal interaction between junior high and high school students.
The district plans to give our community the opportunity to vote for a bond levy, May 2022. At this time we are considering hiring an architect to work with us on a visioning project for the restructure of the high school. The process would involve several community meetings, working together to determine how we want our high school to look and function as we prepare students for life after high school. During the community meetings we will explore what we want to offer and develop, growing our reputation for excelling at specialized programs.
Our Student Investment Act (SIA grant) requires parent feedback for the development of our district goals. As we think about the 2021-22 school year, we want feedback on the goals we will set, how we can use the grant in support of student learning, and what areas we will focus on for improvement.
Lastly, the district is working on the purchase of the CEC property located on Jefferson Street. The property (across the street from the softball field) would provide an excellent location and building space for increasing our Career Technical Education (CTE) offerings to students. We would partner with local industry for workforce development, preparing our students to be employed or continue developing their skills through higher education. Career pathways under consideration to either start or expand include manufacturing, welding and engineering, auto body repair and painting, agriculture and emergency services .
Grade reconfiguration and the growth of our CTE program, along with our district goals for next year, require parent community and involvement. To gather feedback, the district will host several community chats in-person and using Zoom. The events will be hosted at different times during the day, hoping to connect with parents with different work schedules. The following are the dates/times of our community chats:
- March 2 1:30 - 2:30 PM, SHS Cafeteria
- March 2 4:00 - 5:00 PM (ZOOM link will be posted)
- March 4 6:00 - 7:00 PM, SHS Cafeteria
- March 8 6:00 - 7:00 PM, SHS Cafeteria
- March 10 10:00 - 11:00 AM (ZOOM link will be posted)
- March 16 6:00- 7:00 PM (ZOOM link will be posted)
While we are in the midst of a challenging school year, it is exciting to think about the months ahead and the opportunity to improve how Sheridan School District will serve the community with high quality programs. Thank you in advance for partnering with the district in these endeavors!
Dorie Vickery, Ed. D
Sheridan School District
Questions and Answers
Hybrid Instruction for Sheridan Schools
February 18, 2021
1. What is the guidance for keeping my child home when they are not feeling well?
During the 2020-2021 school year, students may have to stay home longer than usual when they are sick. Please keep sick students home and notify the school to find out when they can return. Any student that has been exposed to COVID-19 must stay home for 14 days.
2. I’m not comfortable sending my children to school just yet, what are my options?
Parents can select either Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) or Hybrid Learning. CDL is 100% online learning.
The schools will be contacting parents regarding the addition of a hybrid learning option. At that time, parents can let the school know that they wish for their child(ren) to continue online learning.
3. What will the school day look like for students grades 6-12?
Students in grades 6-12 will have AM online learning, periods 1-4 followed by afternoon in-person, attending periods 1-4. Their second day will be class periods 5-8 in the morning, followed by in-person class periods 5-8.
Due to space restrictions, students attend two, half-days per week.
Please read the Hybrid Instruction Information to Parents document posted on the district website under Reopening.
4. When will parents find out the schedule (days/times) for their child(ren)?
K-2 students will be contacted by the main office staff, as well as their homeroom Teacher. Homeroom teachers will contact families before the end of the day on Friday, February 12th.
Grades 3-5 will be contacted before March 1st by their homeroom teacher. Please contact the office if you have any questions, 971-261-6960.
Grades 6-8 will be mailed out with report cards by February 26th. Please contact Cale George if you have any questions at 971-261-6960 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Grades 9-12 will be mailed out with report cards on February 24th. Please contact Tiffany Wertz if you have any questions at 971 261-6970 or email@example.com.
5. What will students need to bring with them to school?
All students will need to bring their fully charged Chromebook, charger and basic supplies. Students will not use lockers.
6. Why can’t students return to school for full days, every day?
State mandated physical distancing requirements prevent our schools from offering fully enrolled classrooms. Classrooms will be at approximately 50% capacity to allow for physical distancing. We also must consider restrooms, cafeteria and hallways for all transition times.
In order to serve all students while restricting space, we must offer shortened school days. The following pictures show the classrooms set-up for in-person instruction.
Kindergarten with desks six feet apart.
Kindergarten with desks six feet apart.
FCS second grade classroom:
7. Since schools will have shortened days or sessions, how will I know when my child is supposed to attend?
Students in Kindergarten will continue on the same schedule.
Students in grades 1-2 will attend AM or PM sessions, starting February 16th. Parents will be notified of their session time.
Students in grades 3 - 12 will be notified of their half-days to attend in-person instruction.
8. What does the term “hybrid” mean?
Hybrid instruction is a combination of on-site learning and online learning. Students receive instruction (new content) through online learning (also known as Comprehensive Distance Learning or CDL) and attend in-person instruction. During in-person instruction students are with their classroom teacher who will provide instructional support, clarify or reteach from the content covered during CDL.
Please read the Hybrid Instruction Information to Parents document posted on the website.
9. What does Hybrid Instruction look like for Sheridan students?
Since our classrooms can only hold 12-15 students, our students would attend in assigned groups. The model would allow students to attend two-half days a week. Online learning would continue the rest of the instructional time.
10. Will families be able to continue with distance learning if they don’t want to return for in-person instruction?
Yes. We understand that some families want the child/ren to stay home during the pandemic. Distance learning will continue to be offered for all grades, K-12.
11. How will the vaccine impact the reopening process?
The vaccine does not remove the health and safety requirements. Unfortunately, we are limited based on classroom square footage. Our classrooms can only accommodate up to 15 students and one teacher.
12. What are some of the safety requirements?
Students and staff are required to wear face masks while at school. There will also be a visual health screening of students as they enter the building. We must maintain 6’ of social distance, regularly clean all high touch surfaces and keep a log of anyone entering the school. Additionally, we require all staff and students to stay home if they are ill or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
13. Schools will be required to have COVID-19 Rapid Response testing program on site. What is involved and does it require parent consent?
The COVID-19 rapid test will be used for staff and students who develop symptoms while at school. The test uses a nasal swab that is self-administered and then read by a trained staff member. Parental consent is required for any student prior to being tested.
If a student is unable to do the test independently, the student will be sent home and the parent will be provided a resource for Covid testing within the community.
14. What is the update on sports?
Spartan Football has officially started with a regular practice schedule. The volleyball team is planning on practicing Monday through Wednesday for its voluntary preseason schedule (its official season starts with practice on Feb. 22)
The Cross Country team is planning on starting its practice on Feb. 22.
Please know that this information is constantly changing. The best source of information is on the OSAA website or contact the school office with questions.
15. As a parent, I’m concerned about how far behind my child is due to the online learning format. What is the district’s plan to support my child when schools do open?
The district will be providing opportunities for academic support, in small groups. We are also looking into summer and after school programs as additional learning time we can provide our students. We will also provide teachers with training to help in adjusting their instruction to further meet the needs of all students.
This process will not be easy and will require a strong partnership between the school and parents.
February 8, 2021
Dear Sheridan Students and Families,
Since the Governor's announcement making the metrics advisory we have been working on our reopening plan . For starters, we reviewed the plans from August and then began the process of amending based on health and safety requirements, working with transportation and nutrition services.
Please read the Reopening Timeline, noting the week and the grade level band. The gradual increase of students into the school will give us time to adjust and improve our safety protocols before the next group starts . The other document is specific information regarding special programs, nutrition services and transportation. I have also including how attendance is recorded under the Hybrid model.
The design of the plan takes into consideration the space restrictions . We must comply with the six feet of social distance which means no more than 15 students per classroom and in some cases 12. The Hybrid Instructional model, with the space restriction, allows only half the students to attend at one time. For students in grades K-3, in-person becomes the primary source for instruction since they attend in AM or PM sessions four days a week. For students in grades 4-12, the online learning through Canvas continues to be the primary source of instruction. Students will meet with their teachers in person to review and discuss the online learning content. The schools will be sending out more information as to the days and time your child(ren) will attend.
If you have questions about the Hybrid model, please contact your child's school. Thank you for your continued support of Sheridan School District.
January 25, 2021
Dear Sheridan Families,
In the last few weeks information has been released about schools and a reopening process. Here is a summary of what I know as of Monday, January 25th.
- As of January 1st the metrics for the instructional model became advisory, allowing the decision for opening to be made at the district level.
- January 19th the Oregon Department of Education released new guidance, changing the metrics and including additional requirements.
- The liability for districts, when not following the metrics, remains a concern.
- Yamhill County is designated extreme high risk which means if we choose to follow the metrics we must remain in Comprehensive Distance Learning.
- Schools that choose to operate in-person in a county not meeting the metrics must have on-site, self-administered rapid COVID testing available for students and staff in place by March 1st. A parent consent form must be on file.
- The space requirement remains 6’ distancing which limits our capacity to have students in schools. Our classrooms will only hold 14-15 students.
- The hybrid model would allow students in-person instruction two half-days a week, Comprehensive Distance Learning continues as foundational.
- The word “reopen” does not mean schools as they were last March. There are too many requirements and health risks to make that possible.
- The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine does not remove our health and safety requirements.
- Grades 3-12 will remain in Comprehensive Distance Learning for the time being.
Given this information we will start with first and second grade attending school in AM/PM sessions for three hours, Monday – Thursday. This will start February 16th. The kindergarten program will also increase to three hours.
First and second grade parents wanting their children to remain in Comprehensive Distance Learning will need to notify the school.
Navigating the school year, with new requirements, vaccine distribution and the fatigue of having schools closed continues to be an enormous challenge. I greatly appreciate the Sheridan School Board and staff for their willingness to engage in tough conversations and work collaboratively towards solutions.
Dorie Vickery, Superintendent
Dear Sheridan Parents and Families,
Welcome to 2021! I hope everyone enjoyed a safe and healthy holiday season.
As you have likely heard by now, Governor Brown announced new guidance for schools on December 23rd in a letter to Patrick Allen, Director of Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and Colt Gill, Director of Education in Oregon (ODE). The Governor’s announcement asks schools to work towards reopening for in-person instruction as soon as is safely possible, hopefully by February 15, 2021.
Key Messages from the Governor
The Governor’s announcement directs that beginning January 1, 2021, the Health Metrics for returning to in-person instruction transitions from mandatory requirements to advisory recommendations. This change means that decisions about when and how to reopen will move through a more local process, with guidance from local public health authorities and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). School districts will make their own determinations about reopening following local health official’s advice and using updated guidance from ODE, due to be released around January 19th. Districts will still be required to follow all health and safety measures in place for on-site learning.
What this means for Sheridan School District
In the next few weeks we will create a plan to safely increase the number of students entering the schools, gradually moving towards a hybrid model for instruction. Students will continue with Comprehensive Distance Learning while we work with our local health authorities and follow the updated Ready School Safe Learners guidance from ODE. The process of transitioning includes several key components:
- Consultation with Yamhill and Polk County Public Health Departments to ensure our transition plan meets all required ODE and OHA guidelines.
- Create plans for reopening by grade level that allow for a safe and smooth transition.
- Provide health and safety protocol training for staff including: symptom screening, cleaning routines, social distance and face covering protocols, student traffic flow in buildings, adjusted learning spaces, and newly designed arrival and dismissal processes.
- Planning for transportation and meal service.
Getting students back in school safely and in person remains our priority. I know many families and students are anxious to start right away and we will once again need your patience and support as we work through the elements mentioned above. Thank you in advance for understanding.
With great appreciation,