April 4, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope this letter finds you and your families healthy and safe. It is important during this time to focus on those two important things. I know many of you are worried about your children falling behind in school or losing ground. We are in the process of building, on the fly, an educational program that will meet the needs of students and families. I also know that many of you may be struggling during this time and education is the last thing you can or want to worry about. The plans that are being put in place all over the state are by no means going to replace our normal education system. The plan should help you to structure your child’s day and provide some meaningful connection with teachers and other staff who your child has worked with for most of this year. The Oregon Department of Education has emphasized three C’s in this new plan. Caring, connection, and continued learning are at the core of the new plan. We will be relying heavily on those of you at home with your children to help us with this. Our goal is not to overwhelm you, or your child, with educational materials. Our plan for the next two weeks and beyond is as follows:
- April 6-10:
- Provide some supplemental educational materials and begin to connect families and students to the resources needed to begin with distance learning on April 13.
- Distribute Chromebooks to those families in need of a device to access online resources. Our current plan is to begin that distribution on Tuesday afternoon. We will focus on those families most in need of a device and be contacting them for a schedule to pick up the device. We will be using a drive-up procedure in front of Sunset School, MHS Pirate Hall, and Millicoma School.
- Teachers will be working together to produce printed material and online resources for distribution beginning on April 13.
- High School teachers will be preparing to present their learning material through Google Classroom, as well as printed materials, to match the instructional goals. We are anxiously awaiting the final “Pathway to Graduation” plan from the Oregon Department of Education. This will provide answers to many of our questions around credits towards graduation.
- K-6th grade teachers will be developing the process for feedback and evaluation of learning for their students. 7-12th grade teachers will be developing the process for providing grades and credits. This work will be on-going and developed for each student according to their need.
- We encourage families that have access to the internet to check our webpage for educational resources to be used as they want.
- April 13-17:
- Distance Learning plan will begin.
- Curriculum and assignments will begin to be pushed out to families in their preferred platform. This will begin slowly as to not overwhelm students, families, or staff. If you are in a place where you have access and want more, we want to direct you to our website for additional resources. These additional resources will not be required or graded, but simply additional resources for those who want them.
- Communication with teachers and students will continue through various methods from phone calls, emails, Google Classroom, etc. We would like to reserve Friday to be a check-in day in which a staff member will connect with every student just to see how they are doing and what needs they have.
- We are asking our teachers to communicate a 2-3 hour time period each weekday as “office hours” for students and families to contact them with questions or needed support. It is important to remember that our staff are also at home and many of them have families of their own. Limiting the office hours to 2-3 hours per day will help not to overwhelm our staff.
- This week will be important as it will be a slow beginning with practice on both ends for delivering instructional material as we look to solve problems when they arise.
- April 20-24:
- Continue with slowly ramping up our curriculum and expectations as we fine tune our distance learning program for the future.
- As of the writing of this letter, the governor’s order is still in place to have schools closed through April 28. We have no further guidance at this time but having our distance learning program in place will allow us to move forward should the closure continue into May or June.
- We will focus on continuing to connect and communicate with students and families as we support the needs that arise during this difficult time.
Food service will continue during the closure and we will make changes to the process to help us meet the needs of students and families. Please continue to check our webpage and Facebook pages for updated communications. We are truly in unprecedented times and I can’t emphasize more that our priority is supporting struggling families, as well as providing a very limited distance learning program, in order to keep our kids learning. If we are not reaching you or someone you know, please call and let us know so we can try different strategies to make contact. As I’ve said before, this is much bigger than education. Our goal is to do our part to support our students, our families, our community, and each other to the best of our ability.
Coos Bay Public Schools
*Tune in to KMHS Radio (91.3FM or 1420AM) Mondays at 7:00am or YouTube shortly after to hear Superintendent Trendell's Weekly Update.*