Irving Elementary

Bethel School District Eugene OR

Bethel Schools To Start With Online Instruction

Hi Irving Families,

We have an important development to share about the start of the coming school year.

– Tuesday afternoon the State issued new rules for opening Oregon schools to in-person instruction, requiring a consistently low rate of new COVID cases. Neither Lane County nor the state of Oregon are currently meeting those low rates of new infection.

– Bethel schools are continuing to plan for a return to in-person instruction at some point during the 2020-21 school year.

– The #1 priority remains the health and safety for our students, families, and staff.

Opening Online: It has become clear that we must start the school year with 100% online instruction for all students. We will welcome all students back into our schools as soon as public health conditions allow.

This decision is a disappointment to many students and families who have been anticipating a return to school.  It is also a relief to those who have been hesitant about a return to in-person instruction in the midst of a pandemic.

Here are the new required COVID-19 baseline numbers we need to meet in order for us to open schools for in-person instruction. We were at these rates in May and June, and they are our new community-wide goal:

Lane County metrics– must be met three weeks in a row:

– 10 or fewer positive cases per 100,000 population in the preceding 7 days

– 5% or fewer positive tests in Lane County in the preceding 7 days

–  AND –

State metric must be met three weeks in a row:

– Test positivity rate of 5% or less in the preceding 7 days

K-3 Students: The state is more lenient on the baseline COVID numbers for opening doors for K-3 students. Research shared by Oregon Health Authority has shown that children under 10 get the virus at lower rates, get less sick, and spread the virus less than older students and adults.

So, while there is a possibility we will bring back K-3 students earlier than grades 4-12, all students will start with Bethel Online learning. We will share updates with you as soon as possible.

Bethel Online Learning: While starting this school year remotely is not ideal for many students and families, we have learned from the feedback our Bethel families provided after our emergency distance learning experience this spring. Bethel is committed to offering every child a rigorous online curriculum, five days a week, with daily contact from our dedicated Bethel teachers. We are committed to ensuring that our students continue to have access to the wide variety of classes and experiences available with in-person learning. To learn more about Bethel Online learning, click here.

Our goal remains to bring Bethel students and staff back to school as soon as is safely possible. The lower COVID-19 rates required by the state will become a community-wide goal that we can achieve by being diligent in our own health and safety behaviors.

So, while watching the COVID-19 numbers each day, our work is continuing, in order to provide the best possible education for all Bethel children.
Chris Parra
Bethel Superintendent

Reopening Answers & New State Guidance

What happens if a student or teacher is diagnosed with COVID-19? Can you explain the rules about face coverings? Could Bethel’s proposed instruction models change?

Answers to these questions and more about the reopening of Bethel schools are now available here. The questions are continuing to be gathered by taking this parent survey.

The answers are subject to change due to the seemingly ever-changing nature of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Health Authority, and Governor Brown have released updated guidance for schools.

Read the updated state guidance here.

It includes new requirements about face coverings, sanitizing, health screening, transportation, and much more.

Re-Opening Plans Presented

This week Bethel staff met with hundreds of parents in Zoom meetings discussing Bethel’s plans around re-opening this fall. The session slideshows were recorded with a narration so that all who could not attend could still access the information. If you have any questions after viewing the video, please call us at 541-689-3280.

 

Family Survey On Reopening Schools

How to safely reopen our schools is one of the most important and difficult challenges Bethel School District has faced. We need your input.

First, you can learn more about the upcoming school year in Bethel by joining one of the School Reopening Information Sessions on Zoom this week. Here is the Zoom meeting schedule:

– Tuesday, July 14, 9:00-10:00 a.m. Zoom Link

– Wednesday, July 15, Noon-1:00 p.m. Zoom Link

– Thursday, July 16, 6:00-7:00 p.m. Zoom Link

– Spanish Language, Thursday, July 16, 7:30-8:30 a.m. Zoom Link

– Spanish Language, Thursday, July 16th, 4:30-5:30 p.m: Zoom Link

Then, please take this brief survey. Your comments will help guide our decisions on reopening schools in Bethel.

For those who cannot join an information session on Zoom, a pre-recorded presentation is available here.

Cómo reabrir nuestras escuelas es uno de los desafíos más importantes y difíciles que ha enfrentado el Distrito Continue reading

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