Camas Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Snell, explains in today’s letter that Camas School District is one of eight Southwest Washington school districts to recommend at-home learning when school resumes for the 2020-21 season:
We have been working this summer through all of the different scenarios for starting the 2020-21 school year with the goal of having students return to campus in some form.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new recommendations for schools last week which stress the importance of onsite experiences. I think we all agree how important it is to have our students back on campus. The CDC also suggests “Administrators should coordinate with local public health officials to stay informed about the status of COVID-19 transmission in their community.” The guidelines also advise us to monitor “COVID-19 transmission rates in the immediate community and in the communities in which students, teachers, and staff live” (CDC, 7/23/20).
Unfortunately, conditions in our community are not trending in a positive direction. We have been working with Dr. Melnick, director of Clark County Public Health, as a region to determine the best course of action for schools in our community. As the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases continue to trend up in our region, it has become clear that the safest way to start the school year is a more robust fully remote learning delivery model. The growth rate trends need to change in our community before being able to bring students and staff together on campus. Without those changes we risk rapidly spreading the virus between students, staff and throughout our community with the reopening of schools. More detailed information about our current trends in Clark County can be found at Clark County Public Health Novel Coronavirus.
What does this mean for my family?
Over the next four weeks we will refine plans based on this decision and begin communicating specific information to you from your student’s school. We have taken student, staff, and family feedback from our experience last spring to provide a more robust remote learning experience for students.
Our hope is to start to transition from full remote learning to a blended delivery model with some version of on campus learning as soon as possible. The timing for this transition is dependent on regional health indicators. Our learning delivery models stages are below.
Learning Delivery Models Stages
- Remote Learning – all student participate in distance learning
- Remote Learning transitioning to Blended Learning – students identified through a set of district/school developed criteria in greatest need of additional support participate onsite with in-person instruction.
- Blended Learning – all students participate onsite with in-person instruction a minimum of two (2) days a week. Transition to more on campus days for students as conditions improve.
- On Campus Learning – all students and staff participate onsite with in-person instruction five (5) days a week.
What if my student prefers a full online model regardless of the health trends in our county?
If your preference is a full online model for your student, we have developed the Camas Connect Academy. This program will not shift through the phases above. It will stay online throughout the year. It will operate as a separate school/program within our district with district staff and the same learning standards. We will provide more information about the Camas Connect Academy in the coming weeks including a Q&A session prior to the enrollment window.
What if I need emergency childcare during learning delivery models 1 through 3?
We recognize that each family is in a unique situation and may need support. We are trying to develop options for families in these situations. Please contact us using this LINK.
What if my family relies on school breakfast and/or lunch services?
We will develop a similar process to how we provided these meals in the spring during remote learning.
We have all been on a rollercoaster ride since early March as we’ve collectively tried to manage through a very different world. School is a big part of everyone’s lives. We had hoped to provide you with a return to on campus school this fall. Our staff is committed to provide the very best educational experience possible for your students no matter what the learning delivery model. It will not be without challenges and there will continue to be opportunities to improve. We will continue to engage with our public health partners to help determine when we can safely shift to more on campus learning.