Medford School District hasn’t released its plan yet, but they are already considering having some of its youngest learners in school five days a week.
“We always began our plans with where is our highest need, start there and build a plan,” Medford School District Superintendent, Dr. Bret Champion said. “Our highest need was our elementary kids and our most vulnerable learners.”
Schools in southern Oregon are focused on getting back to in-person education after ending the spring with almost two months of online and distance learning. While plans for schools are still tentative right now, Medford School District is looking at an option that puts elementary school students in the school building almost full time.
“Teachers tell us from surveys overwhelmingly we need to get back with kids, overwhelmingly teachers want to be back,” Grants Pass School District Superintendent, Kirk Kolb said.
It’s not just teachers and staff though. Champion says in-person learning is supported across the board this coming school year, and getting the younger students into classrooms is that first step.
“The reason that face to face makes the most sense, in my view, is because in all the messiness that learning is, in the best learning there is a guide to help pull us through to where we actually learn things,” Champion said.
Other options on the table are masks for everyone on buses, plexiglass between seats and the driver or decreasing some of the spacing from six feet to three feet. The district said it’s surveying parents to see what they prefer.