July 28, 2020
Dear HRCSD Families,
I hope this message finds you well. I write to you all this evening to share that HRCSD will open school in the fall with Comprehensive Distance Learning (100% online).
Last week, I outlined the two models for returning to school. Families were presented with an option between: On-Site Learning Model and Online Learning Model. Today, the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority released guidance that prescribes the health and safety metrics on how and when schools can safely reopen their doors to students. Hood River County does not meet the metrics needed for safely reopening our schools. In fact, only one county in the state of Oregon could open their schools as of today.
With the guidance provided today, we are shifting our focus from On-site Learning Model to Comprehensive Distance Learning. I will continue to collaborate with the Hood River County Health Department, the ODE and OHA to assess when it will be safe to return to onsite learning. The earliest we anticipate making a change to onsite learning will be early November; to coincide with the end of the first quarter/trimester.
An Online Learning Model is still an option offered through our HRCSD’s online program - Hood River Options Academy (HROA.) Families interested in the Online Learning Model through HROA will need to notify the district of their intent before August 14, 2020. Information about how to notify the district can be found on our website. Families that choose the online instruction model are required to commit to this program through January (grades 6-12) or through February (grades K-5), at which point, they can choose to stay for the duration of the school year, or switch to on-site learning.
For families that do not want to be in the online learning model there is no action required.
We know that Comprehensive Distance Learning presents a number of challenges for students, families, and staff. The HRCSD will use the remaining month of summer to focus on how to deliver a remote learning environment that is consistent with the excellence our students and families deserve. We will work hard to ensure that our students and families have access to our district student services and support systems.
To learn more about our planning and provide feedback, please join me for my second of four community forums Tuesday night, July 28, at 5:30 PM. You can find details on our website here. Information about additional forums can be found on our website and social media page.
Please keep an eye on our facebook and webpage for updates. Thank you for your understanding and for your continued willingness to play such a vital role in your child’s education.
Stay safe and be well,
Rich Polkinghorn, Superintendent