July 2, 2020

Dear Sisters Schools Community,

I hope you are all enjoying a safe and relaxing summer.  My kids don’t like it when I talk about “next year” at the start of the summer, but making plans for next year is a top priority for the district.  Each school will submit our “Ready Schools, Safe Learners” Operational Blueprint for Reentry to Oregon’s Department of Education (ODE) on August 15th.

There are many inputs to our blueprint: input from families, teachers, administrators, unions, medical professionals, Oregon’s Health Authority, ODE, and more.  Our blueprint will be flexible as the conditions we face may differ wildly throughout the course of the year. Most importantly, our blueprint will prioritize both the safety of our school community, both physical and social / emotional, and the educational needs of our students.  I welcome you to engage in the planning process via any of the opportunities listed below, and you’re always welcome to email me your ideas as well.

  • June 30: ODE guidance revision #1 (no significant changes at this time)
  • July 8: School Board Meeting @ 6:00 pm @ SMS
  • July 8 to 20: Send out survey to families
  • July 21: ODE guidance revision #2
  • July 29: Superintendent Coffee meeting
  • August 1 to 11: Continue revising building plans (building principals)
  • August 11: ODE guidance revision #3
  • August 12: School Board Meeting to present plan
  • August 15: Submit to ODE

The framework for this plan will be fairly simple as we focus on three basic options:

  1. On-Site Learning: We feel this is the best way to deliver against our Mission and Vision, and will work to make this the preferred option in our Blueprint.  Safety precautions will be required, but we hope to offer the best “in school” experience we can.  We recognize some may decide this option is too risky and opt for home learning.We want you to stay connected as an Outlaw.  As such, we have a robust on-line offering for the home learner to stay “synced” with our curriculum, and will be able to participate in sports or extra-curricular activities as a full-fledged Outlaw.
  2. Distance Learning: If mandated by ODE, we will be prepared to return to Distance Learning.  We learned a great deal from last year’s abrupt transition to Distance Learning and we hope to apply that learning for a better educational experience for students, staff, and families.  We hope this will NOT be part of the 2020-21 school year, but we will be better prepared to support Distance Learning if this becomes a requirement.
  3. A Hybrid Model: If mandated by ODE, we may find ourselves in a situation where not every student can come to school buildings daily.  This could be 50% of the students one day and the other 50% the next.  Alternatively, it could mean younger grades attend school in a contained cohort while older grades do more learning from home.

Please keep these things in mind as you think about next year:

  1. We want you to be an Outlaw!  We know how difficult planning for childcare, work coverage, internet access, etc. can be, but reach out and let us help you.
  2. Nutritional services will be available in any and all school models.
  3. We may transition from one plan to another in the middle of the year as the environment in which we are operating changes.
  4. Unless mandated by ODE, we hope to be flexible in our approach based on the size of our district and the support of our community.  One size does not fit all and we hope to find a solution for Sisters within ODE’s guidance, but that is optimal for our safety and our educational needs.

Stay Safe,

Curt Scholl
Sisters School District

Sister School District
Oregon News