Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Dear Sheridan Students & Families,
Just as I was beginning to think we would not open beyond our 10 student cohorts for two hours, the metrics changed! Last week the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), with the Oregon Health Authority and the Governor’s office, released a new set of COVID-19 metrics.
The new metrics focus on county COVID data, case rate per 100,000 and test positivity. Every Monday ODE releases a two week look back of both measures. Yamhill County, October 18 – 31, had 96.2 COVID cases per 100,000 and test positivity was 4.9%. Under the new guidelines, with less than a 100 cases and test positivity below 5.0%, we can open for a K-5 hybrid model in the coming weeks.
The hybrid model will require some careful planning. We are still required to maintain a 36’ square distance around students and implement all health and safety protocols. This means we can only have 12-15 students in a classroom. To accomplish this, only half the students can attend at one time.
Keep in mind that the hybrid model is a combination of online learning and in-person instruction. Due to the constraints on classroom space we must continue online learning using Canvas and SeeSaw. In-person time will allow students to spend time with their teacher and peers, reviewing assignments, socializing, solving technology problems and other engaging activities. The online learning will continue to be the primary mode of instruction.
This opportunity is exciting for many, and scary for others. It is important that we continue to respect the opinions of others which may be different from our own. Also, please know that preventing the spread of COVID-19 is our top priority. Our district nurse and the custodial staff continue to work closely with staff regarding all of our health and safety measures.
More information will be coming out in the next couple of weeks regarding the K-5 hybrid model. If the partial opening of K-5 goes smoothly, and COVID counts decline in the coming weeks, we will look at a hybrid model for grades 6-12 sometime in early 2021.
Thank you for continuing to support Sheridan School District!
Dorie Vickery, Ed.D
October 26, 2020
Dear Sheridan Families,
Lots of questions are being raised about Sheridan School District opening schools for in-person instruction. Here is a summary of our current requirements determined by the Oregon Department of Education. Keep in mind that Sheridan School District must use Yamhill County and Polk County data, when it comes to deciding how we instruct students.
For students in grades K-12, school is closed until the county COVID-19 case rate is less than 10 cases per 100,000, test positivity is less than 5% (for the preceding seven days) and Oregon state metric is less than 5% test positivity for three weeks in a row. Given the current data reports, it is very unlikely that we will open for K-12 in-person instruction this school year.
The next level is opening for K-3, under what is called an “exception”. To do so, county COVID-19 cases must be less than 30 per 100,000 and test positivity less than 5%, for three weeks in a row. Cases in both Yamhill and Polk Counties have increased the last two weeks. Based on the fact that both counties would need to meet this criteria, it is unlikely that we will open for K-3 instruction until late winter or early spring.
That leaves what is called Limited In-person Instruction. This model allows for cohorts of up to 10 students to enter the building for up to two hours of instruction. There are additional guidelines as to how many adults can interact with each cohort, in the course of a week. A school can have up to 250 students attend in a week (in groups of 10), as long as space allows for six foot distancing. All other safety measures must also be in place.
Faulconer-Chapman has six cohorts of Kindergarten students attending in AM and PM sessions for two hours. Sheridan High School has eight cohort groups of students attending at various times during the week. In the future we will have more cohort groups attending in-person instruction.
The requirement for Limited In-person Instruction is that we can continue as long as we do not have any COVID-19 cases among staff or students.
In the meantime, we continue to use SeeSaw (grades K-3) and Canvas (grades 4-12) as our learning management systems. Students participate in direct instruction and are assigned tasks they complete on their own. We have increased our technology support this year, so that staff and students have what they need for online learning.
I greatly appreciate the time and effort staff are putting in to engage students in online learning, and a big thank you to our parents for continued support of our instructional model.
Dorie Vickery, Ed.D
The first day of school will be September 21st. This letter contains important information, so please read it carefully. We want all parents and students to be informed about the start of the 2020 school year.
First of all, due to COVID-19 data, we are unable at this time to open for in-person instruction for all students. What we can do is provide instruction to students in groups of 10 for up to two hours a day. Plans are underway to create the groups of students based on social/emotional and academic needs.
Our Comprehensive Distance Learning program will be through Canvas and SeeSaw. Canvas will be for students grades 4-12 and SeeSaw will be used by K-3 students. Canvas is used by online charter schools and universities. SeeSaw is used by many districts as a great tool for primary students to access online learning.
The parent/student orientation is set for September 14-15 and the schedule is included. If you are unable to attend the orientation during the grade level time, please attend during the “Open” time slot, 5:00 – 7:00 PM at both schools. During the parent/student orientation students will check out Chromebooks and parents will learn how to access Canvas and SeeSaw. We will also have our school photographer there, so come prepared for school pictures! It is important that parent and student attends the orientation in order to be prepared for the first day of school.
If you have not registered your child, please call the school office to complete the process. All new and returning students must register for the 2020-21 school.
Lunch and breakfast will be available for pick-up at the schools and additional sites. More information will be sent out soon.
Over the last several weeks the Sheridan School District staff have been working hard to prepare for the school year. We are confident that Canvas and SeeSaw will provide an engaging learning opportunity for our students. We look forward to seeing our students at the parent/student orientation!
Dorie Vickery, Ed.D
August 13, 2020
Earlier this week the Oregon Department of Education released an update of Ready Schools, Safe Learners. This guidance provides new information that impacts how we determine when to safely open schools and how to best serve students within the current safety and health requirements. The new guidance can be accessed here: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Documents/Ready%20Schools%20Safe%20Learners%202020-21%20Guidance.pdf
First of all, the guidance says “For a school district that draws >10% of students or staff from one or more other counties, the rate of new “cases per 100,000” and percent of “test positivity” should be considered in each of those counties. (Pg. 19) Currently Sheridan School District has more than 10% of staff living in Polk County, therefore we must include the Polk County COVID data in the decision to reopen.
Keep in mind that to safely reopen for K-3 in-person instruction, both counties must have less than 30 cases per 100,000 three weeks in a row and test positivity less than 5% three weeks in a row. Here’s the latest COVID data by county: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Emerging%20Respitory%20Infections/Weekly-County-Metrics.pdf
Secondly, the guidance allows for 10 students (cohort group) to attend in-person instruction for up to 2 hours, having contact with no more than 2 adults. Furthermore, students cannot be in more than 2 cohorts. For example, if a student is in a group for math skills for an hour and CTE for an hour, those would be the only two groups. Link: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Documents/Guidance%20for%20Limited%20In-Person%20instruction%20during%20CDL.pdf
Currently we are working on a plan to bring in several groups of 10 students for two hours for a variety of learning activities. More information to come!
In the next few days more information will be coming out about registration and our new online learning system Canvas. Thank you for being patient as we prepare for the start of the 2020-21 school year.
July 29, 2020
Dear Sheridan Families,
Yesterday afternoon the Oregon Department of Education, with the Governor’s office and the Oregon Health Authority, released the criteria for reopening schools. At this time, Yamhill and Polk Counties do not meet the criteria. Sheridan School District will offer Comprehensive Distance Learning to start the school year.
Additionally, there is a level of criteria that allows for providing in-person instruction for K-3 and other specialized groups of students. The criteria states that the county must be under 30 cases of Covid per 100,000 for three weeks and the test positivity rate must be under 5%. Currently, Yamhill and Polk Counties do not meet that criteria either.
If the numbers change over the next few weeks, we will begin the transition process for K-3 in-person instruction and teaching specialized groups of students.
In the next couple of weeks more information will be provided regarding the Comprehensive Distance Learning model.
It is my hope that the numbers will improve in both counties as everyone continues to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.