After the difficult year that was 2020, there is a lot of optimism in the Camas School District (CSD) heading into 2021. The possibility of getting more students on campus is extremely likely as the CSD has confirmed pre-hybrid small instructional groups will begin on March 1st.
As CSD leaders look to get more students in classrooms, there are guiding principles they will follow. Those include prioritizing the value of on-campus learning and ‘live’ learning time, maximizing opportunities for partnerships, creating flexible plans with a target goal of getting students back to on-campus learning, and minimizing risk for students through responsible planning.
The school board met on December 21st to review new guidance on reopening schools from the Department of Health (DOH) and released the following three main updates:
1. The upper limit for small-group size will now be 15 students (from 10) to align with the DOH recommendation.
2. The Board adopted a timeline for increasing in-person learning in the high COVID-19 Activity Level Range.
3. The Board also adopted a timeline for increasing in-person learning in the MODERATE COVID-19 Activity Level Range.
The plan to transition students to in-person learning is based on COVID-19 activity levels.
According to CSD communication, “When trends in cases and hospitalizations are flat or decreasing, and the school can demonstrate the ability to limit transmission in the school environment, expand access to in-person.”
CSD leaders revised their plan and are now shifting the focus towards small group learning. This plan differs from hybrid learning because the school day is altered, cohort groups are determined by need, and there is a 15 student max capacity for classrooms.
The plan is for students to return to campus in an incremental fashion. Getting elementary students back to learning in-person is the first priority, then middle and high school students will follow suit accordingly.
In order for everything to go smoothly, it will require a lot of collaboration among administrators, staff, families, and students. The CSD states that the following guidelines are essential for bringing more students on campus: ongoing training on health and safety practices, staff serving on campus one week prior to start, screening/entrance procedures, cleaning and disinfection, proactive contract tracing documentation, and breakfast and lunch implementation.
For more information, reference this presentation updated on December 21st and be on the lookout for updates on ParentSquare. The next CSD board meeting is scheduled for January 11th.