Update on hybrid learning from the Beaverton School District
Dear BSD Community, we’d like to take this opportunity before the start of winter break to give you an update on where we stand as a district in terms of in-person instruction. Like you, we’re eager to return to “normal” and have students back in our schools. We have scores of people who’ve been working on the logistics, and when it’s time, we’ll be ready.
However, current health metrics are not trending in a favorable direction. Please take a look at this graph:
The blue line represents new cases per 100,000 residents in Washington County; the purple line represents the same metric in Multnomah County. As a reminder, because we have a significant number of employees who reside in Multnomah County, we are tied to that county’s metrics, as well.
In order for us to start our hybrid plan (two days in-school, three days online per week), both Washington and Multnomah case counts need to drop below 100 per 100,000 residents. On the graph, that threshold is represented by the yellow line. Again, we need to be below the yellow line.
Per the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), grades Pre-K through 3 must be brought back first. If that initial phase is successful, we would then bring back one additional grade at a time. For example, we could add 4th grade one week and then 5th grade the following week.
If we begin hybrid but then see a rise in cases that puts our numbers over 100 cases per 100,000, we don’t necessarily need to go back to full Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL). At that point, the District would work with the Washington County Public Health Department to determine our risk of spread before making a determination.
As you can see, we have a long way to go before we can consider moving into a hybrid model. And while we do have a plan in place, the switch can’t be accomplished overnight.
Given all these factors, we currently are estimating that hybrid instruction for grades Pre-K through 3 won’t start before Monday, February 8, at the earliest. Please understand that we are NOT saying that hybrid will start on Feb. 8; that will continue to depend on the metrics. But what we are saying is hybrid will NOT start before Feb. 8. Given this timeline, it means that middle and high school students would not return to buildings any earlier than March. In terms of Limited In-Person Instruction for small, specific groups of students (i.e., Special Education, English Language Learners, students with no internet access), we won’t start before Feb. 8, again, at the earliest.
In these uncertain times, we want to provide you with as much information as possible. We’re announcing this date so that you can plan to be in CDL through the end of the first semester.
We have said this before, but it bears repeating: this school year is in constant flux. This represents our best thinking at this particular moment. However, if the Governor or ODE changes the requirements, we’ll again need to pivot.
Thank you for remaining flexible. Like you, we remain committed to providing the best educational experience possible for all our students.