RPA’s Fall 2020 Re-Opening Plan
“Unique Times – Unique Learning – Unique You”
July 31, 2020
12:00 p.m. Update
RPA Fall Return Update and Comprehensive Distance Learning Start
Earlier this week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced new metrics that determine how and when school districts in Oregon will reopen. These metrics are based on the number of COVID-19 cases and the COVID-19 positivity rate per capita––both on a county and statewide level.
In order for both RPA and the Redmond School District to be able to open for in-person instruction for all grades, the following standards must be met in Deschutes County for three weeks in a row:
- 10 or fewer COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and 5% or less positive tests per week
- In addition, the state must also have a 5% or less positive test rate
To help you understand our current metrics, Deschutes County’s weekly case count for the past 3 weeks has been 54.6, 43, and 24.3 per 100,000 residents. And Oregon’s test positivity rate for the past 7 days has been 5.1%. Overall, there has been a 77% increase in new cases over the last seven days in Deschutes County.
With these new requirements from the Governor, the ever-changing state of the virus, and yesterday’s news that the Redmond School District will begin the school year with Comprehensive Distance Learning, it is evident that RPA will not be allowed to open with students for in-person instruction. This is not the news we had hoped to share with you for the 2020-2021 school year. We miss our students and had hoped to provide in-person instruction to as many students as possible for as much time as possible. However, since we rely on the Redmond School District for both our transportation and nutrition services and we also partner with them on emergency matters, it is impossible for us to open for in-person instruction until they do. We understand that the unpredictable nature of this pandemic has caused frustration, uncertainty, and confusion for families, students, educators and our entire community.
RPA Students will Begin the 2020-2021 School Year Engaged in Comprehensive Distance Learning
Based on these factors all RPA students will begin the 2020-2021 school year engaged in Comprehensive Distance Learning. We still plan to welcome all students back for a remote start on September 1st. All students will then begin their Comprehensive Distance Learning classes on September 14th. We originally planned to offer three preferred learning models, however, given this new information, all students will now be engaging in Comprehensive Distance Learning.
We learned a lot about how to best serve our students during last school year’s COVID-19 closure, and we are taking steps to ensure Comprehensive Distance Learning will provide students with a meaningful, engaging, and enriching educational experience. As we open the school year, we will continue to provide multiple methods for students to connect and engage with learning materials and, most importantly, with their teachers. RPA wants to continue to provide instruction and resources to give our students opportunities to read, write, think, create, and communicate from home. For the upcoming school year, we plan to continue to embrace our concept of Unique Times – Unique Learning – Unique You. We remain committed to ensuring our students receive a unique, high quality, and personalized education and our Comprehensive Distance Learning plans will encompass these important RPA principles. Here’s what you can expect in RPA’s Comprehensive Distance Learning model:
- RPA will provide multiple methods for students to access learning materials, assignments and resources through Google Classrooms, Zoom, and teacher-created videos.
- RPA teachers will offer daily instruction (live or recorded) that will strive to keep students strongly connected to teachers and classmates.
- RPA will provide clarity around schedules, attendance, and participation to all families.
- RPA staff will provide meaningful and timely feedback for student work and tasks completed.
- All students will have an advisor assigned to them that checks in with them on a weekly basis to ensure they are making progress and achieving academic growth.
- RPA will continue to adopt a Unique Times – Unique Learning – Unique You approach for all students and families.
Families can still choose RPA Online Powered by Edgenuity as their preferred Comprehensive Distance Learning model. Families and students who choose to participate in RPA Online Powered by Edgenuity will continue learning online regardless of state metrics and the status of in-person instruction. During our registration process, which will start on August 12th, we will be asking all families to indicate if they want to sign up for RPA Online Powered by Edgenuity as their preferred Comprehensive Distance Learning model.
RPA will also continue to work with the Redmond School District to provide services for students on IEPs and those with 504 plans. These individualized supports will be integrated into RPA’s Comprehensive Distance Learning model. The Oregon Department of Education will release guidance for Special Education on August 11th, with specific information regarding students on IEPs. Special Education teachers and staff members will reach out to families as we get closer to the beginning of school to provide individualized support.
We will continue to monitor Deschutes County’s metrics and will announce on October 16th whether or not we can return to on-site learning for families that wish to engage in the RPA Hybrid Model. If we can return, students could return to in-person or hybrid learning on Monday, November 2nd. We will continually re-evaluate metrics and will regularly communicate our status for reopening with students and families.
Our students’ return to the classroom will depend on our community’s ability to reduce the spread of coronavirus by following recommended health and safety practices. We must all be in this, together.
In the weeks ahead you can expect regular updates from RPA regarding technology and distribution of student devices (chromebooks, hotspots), class schedules, student meal distribution, and other important information. Please regularly check your email and RPA’s website for the most relevant information.
Although this announcement is not what any of us wanted to hear, I hope that it can provide clarity and a plan for students, parents, and staff moving forward. We continue to appreciate your support, patience, and understanding as we navigate this challenging time together. Our commitment remains on providing a proficiency based education in a personalized learning environment that is safe, positive, and enriching.