Medford School District releases plans for school year

MEDFORD, Ore. – The Medford School District shared its plans for the coming school year Monday night.

The district is pushing back the start date for the next school year. Instead of August 31st, school will start on September 7th as a “soft start.” It says this delay will also provide teachers and staff more time to plan for students to return. They noted that start times, end times, early release and late start times have not yet been determined.

According to the district, the “most vulnerable” students at all levels, including English learners and students who experience disabilities will attend school five full days onsite. Kindergarteners through 6th graders will also attend five full days onsite. Seventh through 12th grade, including 6th grade Academy, will have a hybrid approach to learning onsite and offsite.

A town hall for both staff and families is scheduled on July 27th to discuss specifics. The district said the plan is subject to an evolving and changing world.

Fifth and sixth graders from Abraham Lincoln, Kennedy, Roosevelt, and Hoover will attend school at Central High School in order to create enough space.  There will be a Q&A event for the teachers, staff and families affected by the move the week of July 20th.

In the plan, it said middle schools will prioritize a small team structure, “which is key to building strong relationships, addressing academic needs, and allowing for students to maximize electives.” Students will attend in-person two or three days a week. At-home learning will occur on the days students are offsite. More vulnerable students will be on campus five days a week.

There will be a “college-like” schedule at the high schools. Students will be taking a mix of online and on-campus classes. The district will still offer arts, music and other electives, according to the plan.

In an email from the superintendent Bret Champion, he says “our children learn best when they’re physically present in the classroom with our amazing educators, and many students rely on us for meals, mental health support, and other services. ” He continued, “Our goal in all of this is to provide a high-quality education for your students with their safety and the safety of our staff and community at the center of all of our decision making.”

“This plan represents the best of our thinking in mid-July, there is the very real possibility that stronger information will emerge closer to the start of (or during!) the school year that requires us to modify our plan. We remain committed to keeping you informed as more events unfurl,” said Champion.

You can find the full plan here.

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