Community Update from Lincoln County Superintendent Dr. Karen Gray:
Wednesday, July 22, Governor Brown gave an update on reopening schools. She told us that more changes might be coming for school districts, especially those in the seven hotspot counties of which Lincoln County is one. Brown already reduced the number of people in a social gathering to 10. In her press conference, she further restricted the number of students to a cohort per classroom and the total number of people kids could come into contact with per week which was 100. Finally, and most importantly, everyone must wear a mask; all adults and all students K-12.
In a statewide Superintendents meeting Tuesday, July 21, we learned that the Ways and Means Committee of the Oregon Legislature wants to fund our schools at full strength (The budget number on which we passed our budget was $9 billion for the state school fund). This amount means we can expect to receive about ⅓ of the Student Investment Account money. Our share would have been $4.5 million, but it will be reduced to $1.5 million. Finally, the High School Success Act or Measure 98 would be funded at 100%. To be funded to this degree is an excellent announcement for the District and I am hoping with all my might that it comes true. More information to follow.
Our ODE required Blueprint for Reopening is complete. What is it? It outlines exactly how the District will strive to keep kids and staff safe from the virus IF we can open for our HYBRID MODEL (that is a two full day a week program for kids). The Blueprint went to the Board Tuesday night for its first review. The Board will vote on August 11 for the final approval of the Blueprint. We will post this Blueprint on our website after the Board approves it. It is incredibly detailed and tells how we will plan to keep kids and staff healthy and safe should we be able to safely have a hybrid model. Our vision is to have a hybrid on-site program this school year but it may not be starting soon.
There is a law in Oregon (OAR 581-026-0305 (2) and LCSD policy LBE that sets a cap of 3% of our students to be able to attend online charters. We reached that number on June 24. PLEASE WATCH FOR INFORMATION ABOUT A NEW K-12 ALL ONLINE OPTION WE WILL BE ROLLING OUT THIS FALL FOR THOSE THAT WANT IT. IT WILL HAVE AN ADMINISTRATOR AND ASSISTANTS. So don’t despair if you have gotten your denial letter. We are setting up a good option for you. Hang tight.
Registration is starting online as of August 1. We also have school-based registration dates listed on our website under Enroll (https://lincoln.k12.or.us/enroll/). Please see our home page for details. As part of the enrollment process, we will ask you which your education model preference is as well as asking you to please fill out the information on each screen “as if” your student will be attending our schools in person AT SOME POINT during the 2020-21 school year. This information will provide us data for our planning.
There will be online community meetings beginning tonight, July 22. All meetings will be virtual and will provide an opportunity for you to ask questions either by raising your hand virtually or by leaving a comment in the chat. An FAQ will be online under our Back to School/Fall 2020 section of our website https://lincoln.k12.or.us/back-to-schoolk-to-school by Friday, July 31. Additional meetings are planned for August. Sessions are by area and are on our websites.
Oregon Scholastic Activities Association or OSAA executive board is continuing to evaluate the health and safety of the fall season. Although initial practice should begin August 17, competitions will not begin until Sept 23 to allow a focus on schools reopening. Just know that this information may change. Football continues to be evaluated. More to come.
Our move to a Hybrid Model or Block Schedule on-site Model is tentative.
So much is changing so quickly. We are listening to many people on many different fronts and with differing opinions. I, as your Superintendent, attend many meetings statewide and hear what other Districts are doing and thinking. I also consult with our administrative team, teachers, staff, health department, community, and Board. It is becoming more and more unlikely that we will feel safe enough to begin school as an on-site program this fall. A final decision will be made very soon.
PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR FURTHER INFORMATION. A new community letter will come out Friday, July 31 and it will contain lots of important information.