January 27, 2021
Dear BSD Community & Staff,
I want to thank you for your tremendous patience over the past several weeks as our school district grapples with an ever-changing landscape. We know that you’ve been hungry for information. We’ve had to pivot our plan more than once to incorporate changing health metrics, increased mandatory safety measures and the realities of vaccine availability.
It’s important to remember that the information that we’re about to share with you regarding our return-to-school plan remains dependent on several factors including 1) an efficient vaccination rollout for educators and 2) instructional adjustments that may be necessary due to negotiations occurring right now with our employee unions.
Limited-In Person Instruction
Limited-In Person Instruction (LIPI) is scheduled to tentatively begin on February 22 at 29 schools in the district. As the name indicates, this instruction model is limited to a very small number of our students who’ve been most impacted during COVID-19, including some students with disabilities, some English language learners and those students who don’t have reliable internet connectivity. Staff members have identified eligible students and will be reaching out to those families. Please do not call your school to inquire about LIPI. Again, staff will be contacting those students who are eligible.
Elementary Schools: Hybrid Instruction
As long as we continue to meet the advisory health metrics set by the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority (≤ 350 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 over the previous two-week period in Washington and Multnomah Counties), we will begin Hybrid Instruction (part in-person/part online) in our elementary schools, starting with Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd grade. The earliest date that students will return to school buildings for Hybrid Instruction will be April 5. After we’ve had a smooth transition with our youngest students, we’ll consider bringing back grades 3-5, possibly one grade per week.
If you’re not comfortable sending your students back for in-person instruction, they can continue to remain in Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL). However, no student — whether CDL or Hybrid — will be guaranteed the same teacher as the one instructing them now. Again, please refer to the video for a full explanation.
All elementary families must choose whether to remain in CDL or move to Hybrid. This decision will apply to the rest of the school year; no switches will be allowed. You’ll receive instructions on how to declare your choice during the first week of February. All choices must be made by February 15.
Middle, High and Option School: BSD Connect
If we meet the advisory health metrics for secondary schools (≤ 200 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 over the previous two-week period in Washington and Multnomah Counties), students could begin what we’re calling BSD Connect, starting April 19, the first day of the fourth quarter. Middle, high and option schools will be communicating about opportunities for in-school small group interactions. For example, we may bring students in Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID), clubs, community service, specific course activities and specific social activities. However, students will remain in CDL for their academic classes. More details about BSD Connect will be communicated as plans are finalized. For OSAA-sponsored sports and activities, we’ll continue to follow statewide guidance.
In addition, we’ll continue to evaluate the feasibility of bringing secondary students back in a Hybrid Instruction model and will communicate a start date when we’re able.
Again, we must emphasize that this plan is our most up-to-date thinking given what we know at this moment. If this school year has taught us anything it’s that we need to remain flexible and open to change.
Finally, we want to thank all Oregonians who continue to practice diligent mask wearing and social distancing. As we make progress against the virus, we move closer to resuming school in the way that we all know and love.