Plans are underway to return students to the classroom in the Camas School District, and District leaders are closely watching Clark County numbers as they return to the high range for coronavirus transmission.
On Tuesday, September 22nd, Clark County Public Health announced that Clark County was back in the “high” range after about a month of “moderate” numbers. This means it is deemed unsafe to begin transitioning students back into the classroom.
When Camas School District Superintendent Dr. Jeff Snell first heard this news he said, “I’m disappointed. We really want students to return to in-person.” Snell added this setback does not affect the overall timeline for the District’s plan to transition to a hybrid model. “…We want 3 weeks of moderate or low COVID-19 levels in our community. We built in one extra week into our plans in case something like this were to happen,” Snell said.
As much as Snell and District leaders know it is important to get students back to campus, they have received valid feedback on their plans across the spectrum.
“Some people are really passionate about returning to in-person learning and feel like we are waiting too long to do so. Others feel like we should be even more cautious,” he said.
Students have a fair share of opinions, too. Camas High School senior Ben Stout said, “Online school is too structured, I feel like I would do a lot better with in-person school. Especially since it’s my senior year I am bummed out that I can’t see friends at school and do normal senior year things.”
Others have mentioned they miss the face-to-face interaction. CHS sophomore Aliyah Brown said, “I’d like to go back to school in person, even if it requires us wearing masks all day because at least we get out of the house and have some social interaction.”
Parents also weighed in on the situation. Sarah Christensen, a mother of three children in the Camas School District, said, “Online school is meant to be a quick solution to a concern of kids losing the learning they had gained while on a longer break. It was designed and still is as a bandaid. It was never meant to be a long term or permanent solution. Our kids are not progressing. They are treading water.”
On the other hand, some students expressed satisfaction with remote learning.
CHS senior Luke Basanta said, “I have more free time and I can get more sleep, which is very beneficial.”
Fellow CHS senior Grace Curley said, “Some positive things about remote learning are that I get to make my own schedule and that the teachers are being very understanding.”
CHS sophomore Jake Silva added, “Remote learning has taught me to use my free time wisely and helped me communicate more with my teachers.”
Despite this unfortunate situation, the school district is confident that students will eventually be back on campus.
Snell said, “We are still planning for a mid-October return to in-person learning through an elementary hybrid model.”
For more information visit the district’s phased return to in-person learning plan.