News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Schools expanding in-school instruction

All Sisters School District students will be attending school four full days a week beginning Monday, April 12 according to a letter published by Superintendent Curt Scholl on April 1.

The much-anticipated decision came as a result of the reduction in the allowable physical distancing within classrooms, adopted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) — down to three feet between students in classrooms. County metrics of infection rates for COVID-19 have continued to stay in the range that allow this change to take place now, according to Scholl.

Sisters Elementary School students have been attending school Monday through Thursday since September, and Scholl is pleased to have the upper grades join them on that schedule. Students will continue to work from home on Fridays, which defines Sisters as still being in the “hybrid model” under state guidelines.

The new plan doubles the amount of time middle and high school students will spend taking part in in-person instruction.

“It is good to be able to get kids back into the classroom more as we complete the school year,” Scholl said.

The elementary school schedule will not change.

“Fridays will continue to be pushout, professional development, and common planning time for our staff,” said Scholl. “This time has been critical for staff to meet at the various age groups to be sure that pacing and progress of all of our students is consistent.”

According to Scholl, building principals have begun communicating the details of the daily schedules for the middle and high schools.

The “Ready Schools, Safe Learners” (RSSL) guidelines, a 90-plus-page document published by the Oregon Department of Education, have been continually amended during the pandemic.

As he has done with all of his communications during the pandemic, Scholl concluded his letter encouraging parents, students and staff to remain vigilant with safety protocols.

He wrote, “Remember, our schools are an ecosystem consisting of a wide range of people from our community. Although the current case counts allow us more access, this is a time to remain vigilant around COVID protocol. This vigilance is why we have had success in reopening our schools, to move forward with athletics and activities, and to now get more in-person instruction for our students.”


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