MEDFORD, Ore. – Oregon school districts are wrapping up perhaps the strangest school year we’ve ever seen.
They’re also planning for next fall, while having little idea about how it will all work.
“This has really pushed us to change and I think change can be a good thing,” said Medford School District’s Natalie Hurd.
School districts across the country are trying to plan for the future at a time when few things are certain.
“It’s been really challenging and it’s really different and it came on really suddenly,” said Hurd.
Hurd says nothing is written in stone, but one option for the fall is staggering student’s schedules. Kids could be on campus a couple days a week, or do half days, to limit the amount of kids on campus.
“Even if we do have staggered schedules or even if we did have half-days, it doesn’t mean there’s not going to be a full-year of learning,” said Hurd.
The online learning that’s taken place this spring may continue in some form. Hurd says the districts Medford Anywhere curriculum will help.
“We’re really working on bolstering that and trying to make that at-home learning those tools as good as possible,” said Hurd.
One thing is certain, Medford is expanding its budget for sanitation.
“Our primary priority is the safety and well being of our students. And so we will follow those guidelines,” said Hurd.
Some guidelines are already in place for summer school. If classes can be held in buildings, they’ll be limited to 10 students per class.
“We are using this summer as an opportunity to reinvent education,” said Hurd.
The district says it needs Medford families help to do that. It recently started sending out surveys to families to find out what elements are working best for them.
“Families might have the ability to do a choose your own adventure in education. And choose how much time they are at school,” said Hurd
Grants Pass School District 7 declined to comment about how it’s planning for next year and said it was waiting for guidance from the state.
The Oregon Department of Education tells us it will make those recommendations to districts sometime in June.