Due to fire, smoke, and other issues related to the 2020 wildfires, the first day of school has been postponed to September 28th, 2020.

Note that all content contained on this page is subject to change with new Oregon Department of Education guidance. If you are a Silver Falls School District family or staff member, keep an eye on your email all summer long for additional updates. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered by our FAQ, they can be submitted to feedback@silverfalls.k12.or.us.

We have designed two independent but related paths for this school year, and each family can select one or the other for each of their students. We’d like to introduce you to Fox Hybrid and Fox Online.Students in Fox Hybrid will begin the school year fully online, and transition to a combination of in-school and independent online activities beginning November 16th at the earliest, with the possibility of this date shifting later in the year based on county health data.

Students in Fox Online will attend school in a 100% online model for the entire 2020-21 school year.

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With these two paths in mind, the school year will begin as follows:

  1. All SFSD students will begin the 2020-2021 school year on Monday, September 14, in either Fox Hybrid or Fox Online.
  2. By default, all students will be enrolled in Fox Hybrid. However, all families have the choice to opt-in to Fox Online for any or all of their students. The application for Fox Online is here. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Sunday, August 9th.
  3. Our district will make a determination by October 5, based on Marion and Clackamas county health data, whether students on the Fox Hybrid path will move to partial in-school instruction on November 16th, or if that date will be pushed further into the school year.
  4. Both Fox Hybrid and Fox Online classes will be taught by SFSD teachers in each of your school communities.
  5. Once the application deadline for Fox Online has passed, we will email families additional information specific to that program, along with a commitment form, list of expectations, and a timeline for use in the event that you wish to switch your child’s program during the school year.
  6. As we move forward, we will also be conducting parent surveys to allow for community input and feedback that will assist us in planning and preparation for these new conditions.

When Fox Hybrid students return to partial in-school instruction, it will follow the Hybrid model below:

SFSD Hybrid Model Graphic

Students will be divided into A and B groups by last name. We anticipate those groups will be:

  • Last names beginning with A-K will be Group A
  • Last names beginning with L-Z will be Group B
  • Siblings with different last names can be moved to the other cohort for family consistency.  Families will work with building principals to make the appropriate adjustments.

If you’d like to request a change in your child’s cohort, please use this form.

Students in grades K-8 who need special services may be invited to attend a third day and fourth day. Special services cohort groups will be created and scheduled at the building level in August and September based on student program plans and needs assessments   

Group A students will attend Tuesday and Thursday.
Group B students will attend Wednesday and Friday.

Monday will be used for:

  1. Small group special services delivery
  2. Collaboration with building and grade level teams
  3. Planning for the week, including prepping independent student learning kits for off days
  4. Consultations and conferences with individual students and families

Food service will be provided to all students 5 days per week in some capacity. More information will be provided prior to school reopening. 

Silver Falls School District Re-Opening Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a Home Learning Coach?
A: Great question! Please see this document for a breakdown: Home Learning Coach.

Q: Can we switch between Fox Hybrid and Fox Online if our family needs to do so?
A: Absolutely. We will always work with our families to support doing what is best for our students. With that said, there will be check-in points throughout the year where these transitions take place. Our plan is for these opportunities to occur at each Quarter.

Q: Is there a difference between the classes available in Fox Online and Fox Hybrid?
A: Yes. While Fox Hybrid students can take any class offered by SFSD, Fox Online students can take only those courses that are offered and supported by Edgenuity. View the Edgenuity course catalog for more information.

Q: Will students be able to take PE online?
A: Absolutely. There will be a focus on health and wellness, as well requirements around performing physical activity, which will be logged and signed off by parents or Home Learning Coaches.

Q: Are the special education classes going to use Edgenuity or a different program?
A: Yes, all students, including special education students, will have access to Edgenuity.  Depending on the individual needs of each special education student, the district will provide additional curriculums and programs in order to meet individual strengths and needs.

Q: Doctors often rely on feedback from teachers when diagnosing a new learning disability (i.e. ADD/ADHD).  It seems like teachers would have a harder time providing input if their only interactions with the student have been online.  Do you have a plan for how teachers and behavioral specialists can provide valuable observations through an online classroom?
A: Teacher and specialist input will be impacted regarding valuable observation data for students during private and school evaluation processes.  Student teams (school staff, families, students and outside providers) will have to work closely together to determine what specific information will be required to support evaluation processes.  Teams will now need to consider home and community settings as additional learning environments during these evaluations.

Q: When students are learning online… is this similar to what was done in the spring?
A: No, we expect both students and parents will find this Fall’s experience to be very unlike that of the Spring. Our online learning program will include the use of Canvas educational software district-wide, as well as contracted curriculum and online tools from Edgenuity. Also unlike the Spring closure, this is truly online learning of new content. Students will receive actual grades for work done in the online format as well.

Q: What sorts of differences should I expect between the curriculum of Fox Online and Fox Hybrid?
A: Both paths will feature the same curriculum provided by Edgenuity, covering all academic content areas. When Fox Hybrid students return to partial in-person attendance, they will still use the Edgenuity curriculum, with the inclusion of Social/Emotional Learning activities while in school buildings.

Q: Does that mean that teachers will not be able to teach their own curriculum this year and will be forced to use Edgenuity?
A: SFSD Teachers will use Edgenuity curriculum for the 20-21 school year.  As is the case with any curriculum, teachers have the flexibility to enhance and SUPPLEMENT this curriculum responsive to student needs. Teachers do not have the flexibility to SUPPLANT their own curriculum for Edgenuity. Exceptions will be courses not offered in Edgenuity (Hybrid Only) and articulated college courses.

Q: If my student attends school in Fox Online, are they still eligible for school activities like clubs and sports?
A: Yes. Fox Online and Fox Hybrid students are equally eligible for all school activities and athletics.

Q: I heard that this new guidance from our governor allows for school districts in counties with case rates lower than 30 per 100,000, for three consecutive weeks, to have K-3 students return to an in-person Hybrid model. Is that something SFSD is going to do?
A: Should conditions improve, and we make the decision to have K-3 students back in school, we will notify our families well in advance of this shift.

Q: What about school lunches?
A: The district’s food service team will ensure every student has access to school meals. We will share more information about the logistics of food service this year at a later date.

Q: What about families with limited internet access?
A: Just as with the limited distance learning program from this past Spring, the district is committed to ensuring that all students have access to learning for this school year. We are currently hard at work to identify ways to mitigate the access disparities that exist in our district, both in terms of devices and internet service availability. We’ll have more to announce on this topic in the coming weeks.

Q: What does the Fox Hybrid model that starts on Nov. 16 look like?
A: It follows the originally planned Hybrid model, which can be found below:

SFSD Hybrid Model Graphic

Q: Will teachers, staff, and students be tested for COVID at school?
A: No. This is outside the scope of what we can do in a school. We will work with our local public health authority to identify potential cases of COVID-19 and take action as required.

Q: With students attending fewer days than normal, how will you support families with small children and two working parents?
A: We know this is a difficult situation impacting families around the district, including families of district employees. We are hopeful that we can return daycare-aged students to school as soon as possible for as many days as possible. In the short term, families will have to look at their childcare resources for summer and other school breaks, consider partnering with other families for supervision, and perhaps consider exploring the possibility of help from our high school and college-aged students who will be working from home.

Q: If there are few enough students in a given class or school, could those students possibly stay together and go Tues-Fri?
A: Everyone will start at half capacity, and we will invite more students to join as soon as we are confident we are able to maintain appropriate distancing and hygiene procedures. It is likely that some of our smaller classes will see more frequent attendance sooner.

Q: Have you received guidance about graduation requirements for incoming high school seniors?
A: Not yet. We’re hoping to have more to share on this topic prior to the start of the school year.

Q: Can my child go to school 4 days a week if it supports his or her 504 plan?
A: If a student has a demonstrated need for additional days of support, our plan is to add those days as quickly as we can for as many students as we can.

Q: How will TAG students be supported?
A: The hybrid model with half class sizes allows us the unique opportunity to personalize learning more so than we ever have. TAG students will have the benefit of more personalized attention, personalized learning options, menu and project based learning, and curriculum compacting.

Q: Will there be a difference for a child in a very small SPED class , ex: functional skills
A: The district is anticipating having students who are enrolled in any of the Structured Learning Programs, Basic Skills Programs and Functional Skills Classrooms to be able to attend 4 days a week.

Q: How are students going to catch up if they only attend part time?
A: As much as we would like to have students in front of our teachers full time, that is not an option in September. To mitigate this, each student will be assessed when they arrive to determine current skills and potential learning loss. Building teams will use this information to build in 3rd and 4th day attendance in order to aggressively fill those gaps for our students. Class sizes that are half of what they normally are, in combination with extended team planning time on Mondays, will allow our teachers unprecedented opportunities to give each student individual attention and to customize instruction to meet their learning needs. Our principals are strategically rethinking master schedules to utilize every minute of live instructional time as effectively as possible.

Q: How will schools social distance students?  Will they wear masks?  Temperature checks at door?
A: Building and district teams are working through those details now, and full plans will be publicly released in late July or early August.  For a comprehensive look at the health and safety plans required to open our schools, please see ODE guidance here.

Q:
Could this change?
A: Yes. We must constantly adjust to accommodate for the spread or containment of the virus. That said, we are reasonably confident this hybrid model will be part of our September plan.

Q: What about Fall Sports?
A: We expect decisions on that soon.  We have no ODE or OSAA guidance yet.

Virtual Town Hall Questions & Answers

Q: Will there be electives?
A: Yes. All current SFSD electives will be available for Fox Hybrid Students and there will be many elective choices for Fox Online Students.

Q: Will the district be handing out devices to students?
A: Yes.

Q: Will Seesaw be used through Canvas?
A: No, teachers will use Canvas as their learning platform this year.

Q: Will curriculum for Hybrid or fully online be similar. For example, will fully online kids still be at a similar academic level? Or when all kids return will one group be “behind”?
A: Both programs will use Edgenuity Curriculum and while Online only students will have more flexibility in pacing than Hybrid students, both programs will complete all assigned courses by the end of the school year.

Q: For HS Students how do they meet the science requirements for Labs?
A: Science Labs will look different in both the Online and Hybrid model this year due to distancing requirements, but students in both models will be able to meet all course requirements.

Q: How will only having 4 classes allow HS students to still get the correct credits in order to graduate?
A: Students will earn credit each quarter rather than semester, so the number of credits possible for the year will remain the same. For example students will only have English one semester, but they will earn .5 credit each quarter, so they will still earn the full credit they need for the year.

Q: For HS TAG students will online college courses be allowed?
A: Yes, and this is not limited to TAG students.

Q: If we choose the online path will our kids have the same teacher/coach the entire year or will it switch in November?
A: Our intention is to staff the programs separately so that students have the same teacher all year. Home Learning Coaches for Fox Online students are provided by families, and so those decisions will be made at the family level.

Q: Are there unique teaching/instructional plans or approaches planned for the K-3rd grade-aged population that differ from the overall district plans for the Fox Hybrid plan?
A: We do have some flexibility to potentially get our K-3 students back on-site sooner and to have them on-site more days. There is no guarantee this will happen, but as of now there is greater flexibility from the state there. Teaching strategies for Fox Online and Fox Hybrid will be targeted to grade levels as developmentally appropriate.

Q: For Fox Hybrid, do you know how much instruction time will be provided on days each group meets?
A: When Hybrid groups are allowed back on-site, they will likely experience a regular school day, but with more instructional minutes dedicated to fewer subjects. This is subject to change based on state guidance.

Q: For those students that select Fully Online, there was a reference to a needing to “make a commitment” to this option. What does that commitment entail?
A: In order to correctly staff Fox Online, we are asking families to commit to attending Fox Online for the school year.

Q: How will Electives work between online and hybrid options?
A: Hybrid students will have full access to all current SFSD electives and Online students will have access to Edgenuity electives.

Q: When is the first day of school?
A: September 14th

Q:
 While all students are on Fox Online to start, will students staying online all year be able to be in the same virtual class as peers, with teacher interaction?
A: Students in Fox Online will be in courses with other Fox Online students online, they will not be in virtual versions of the Fox Hybrid classes. We will not be asking our teachers to manage by the Hybrid and the Online programs. There will be staff assigned to each program.

Q: What do you see Kindergarten looking like?
A: I recommend you look at the Edgenuity K Modules. There you can see exactly what our K students will be asked to do by Edgenuity and know that our own K teaching staff will be enhancing and supplementing that to provide for the most child-centered well-rounded education opportunity possible.

Q: How many hours are recommended to be a student’s home learning coach?
A: Please see this Home Learning Coach document for both the responsibilities and the time commitment involved with that role.

Q: Will choir still be offered at the high school?
A: Yes! Mr. H is already hard at work planning that.

Q: What will be the school hours this coming year?
A: We will operate as close to our regular schedule as possible.

Q:
 Are you able to give examples of differences in courses between SFSD and Edgenuity?
A: The Edgenuity course outlines are now available on our site.

Q: I want my kids in Fox Online until there is a vaccine; is there a way to switch back from online to in-class mid-year?
A: SFSD will continue to work with families throughout the school year in order to meet student needs.

Q: When will we know who our kids hybrid teacher will be? 4th grade
A: Hybrid teachers will be in your resident school and those class lists will be posted as soon as possible. It will likely be the last week in August.

Q: What will a typical day look like for a middle school/high school student?
A: We advise you to attend one of your school town halls for full details from your school principal for complete details on this question.

Q: Can we start with hybrid and switch to online if we’re not comfortable sending them to school?
A: SFSD will continue to work with families throughout the school year in order to meet student needs.

Q: Will kindergarteners get those assessments that they normally get at the beginning, middle and end of the year?
A: Yes, our teachers will continue to carefully monitor student progress toward grade level standards and responsively target instruction.

Q: Is there a supply list for the fully online model?
A: Not yet, but we will be working on a supply list and more Fox Online information soon.

Q: Can we switch between Online and Hybrid after a couple of months?
A: We will always work with families to do what is best for their students. While we expect the number of students who transition between programs mid-year will be low, we know there will be some families who need to make those changes, and we are prepared to provide opportunities for that to occur at specific points in the year (likely at the end of each Quarter).

Q: When school resumes can you guarantee that our children will not be tested for COVID without parent consent?
A: Absolutely. It is incredibly unlikely that schools will ever perform COVID tests on any students or staff – that is beyond the purview of an education institution.

Q: If we attend an outlying/rural school – and pick the online option will it be a teacher from our school?
A: Not necessarily. The online program will be staffed and attended as a district wide program.

Q: Will high school students have multiple teachers in Fox Online
A: Not necessarily. This depends on how many total high school students choose Fox Online and how many high school teachers are assigned to that program.

Q: Since ODE newest release is scheduled for August 11th- and schools are meeting with families online next week, why the push for families to decide for Fox Hybrid or Fox Online by the 9th?
A: We need to begin staffing both programs and planning the appropriate training for both programs right away in order to be fully ready for students to begin learning September 14th.

Q: How do we provide online supports and instruction for students that have not had internet access; as that was problematic last spring?
A: We are doing everything we can do to support families getting reliably connected. For those who cannot get connected, we are looking at locations that may be able to host students as they work online.

Q: Is there an expectation that students will be logged on, actively online for 6 hours a day whether hybrid or online only?
A: No. There are many learning activities in this curriculum. Some of them are online and some of them are not.

Q: What are the safety plans for lunch and PE, e.g., how will you maintain safe distances while eating and exercising, etc.
A: These plans vary per school, and are part of each building’s Operational Blueprint for Reopening. Those will be available to read on our website on August 15th.

Q: Will students in hybrid move from classroom to classroom or will students rotate rooms?
A: Please see the Reopening Blueprint for your home school.

Q: What is a coach versus a teacher? Are coaches provided?
A: The teacher will provide instruction and learning activities, assess, monitor progress, and provide additional instructional support as needed. The home learning coach will help the student manage the home learning environment, create and follow a daily or weekly learning plan, and monitor understanding, communicating frequently with the teacher if additional help is needed. Students who choose the Online option need to have a Home Learning Coach. For the time when everyone is forced into the online model, we recognize that some families don’t have that resource available to them and in those situations our school staff will step in and offer as much support as possible.

Q: What will the middle school and elementary classes look like?
A: We advise you to attend one of your school town halls for full details from your school principal for complete details on this question.

Q: Is Silver Falls School District providing Internet for all students even though they might not have it? How does it work if internet is inconsistent?
A: SFSD is working toward helping get every family connected. Inconsistent internet continues to be an issue in our most rural communities. While some of the work this year will need to be connected live, much of it can be worked on off-line as well.

Q: I saw that the district has an October 5th deadline for determining if the school will open up in November. Is that the date that the decision will be made to open or continue in Online Learning?
A: Yes, that is the date we will make a decision on whether Fox Hybrid students will resume in-person learning part-time on November 16th.

Q: How many hours will online classes take per day?
A: This will vary greatly depending on the course and the student, but in general students will spend approximately the same number of hours working through material off-site as they do on-site.

Q: When is Chromebook pick up? Also will there be a registration for high school students to take school photos, etc.?
A: Dates for pickup of devices and other potential registration tasks will be announced soon.

Q: Is there anything set up for students to interact with each other in person. The isolation is difficult for our students
A: That is not within our power to do at this time. As soon as the metrics allow, it is a priority.

Q: If the high schoolers only have four core classes – how do electives fit into that?
A: Students will have a total of 4 courses at a time. Some will be core and some will be elective.

Q: What does PE, library, and other specials look like in both settings?
A: Edgenuity includes a PE curriculum that our PE teachers will be using. Other specials, like music, also have Edgenuity curriculum options. We are working closely with our library team in each building in order to make decisions regarding book check-out.

Q: Will a new family to the district who has not been able to register yet be able to sign-up for Fox Online after August 10th?
A: Yes.

Q: If my child is scheduled for the hybrid on Wed/Fri, could we switch them to Tues/Wed?
A: There is cohort flexibility. All cohort changes should be discussed with your building principal.

Q: If all students are starting out September 15th with comprehensive distance learning, why are we starting students with two different distance learning options, especially if it’s the same curriculum? What are the reasons for not starting all students in the same distance learning program (“Fox Hybrid CDL”) until students are able to attend in person?
A: In short, to minimize disruption for students, families, and staff. If we begin in two separate programs, students, families, and staff will not have to change programs when we are able to reopen. They will have a fluid continuation.

Q: Does our school district plan to have K-3 go back to school before other students? Or will everyone go back to school at the same time?
A: Our hope is to get K-3 students in front of us as soon as possible. They may begin before older students, but we don’t yet know.

Q: How will standardized testing look for the online model ?
A: Our assessment plan for 2020-2021 is still in progress.

Q: Will there still be a paper pencil component or option?
A: Only as a very last resort. We will work with students who do not have internet access to find solutions.

Q: When do high school students know their classes or how are they picked
A: Classes will be assigned based on student forecasting sheets that were completed last spring. Student schedules will not be complete until late August.

Q: What about kinders…..will they also get devices?
A: Yes. And you might be shocked at how quickly and proficiently they will use them. Young students will also have many tasks that are paper, pencil, scissors, and glue.

Q: Are the hybrid students switching from Edgenuity curriculum to Silverton High School curriculum in November? How is that going to work?
A: No. Students will continue in the Edgenuity curriculum in the hybrid schedule on site at Silverton High School. Some of the instruction components will become live instead of virtual and some of the collaboration and feedback opportunities will become live instead of virtual.

Q: What will a typical schedule look like for hybrid vs virtual, ie hours per day logged in to classes or self paced.
A: In terms of hours, there is a projected number of hours associated with each course whether it is hybrid or online. The Hybrid students will have some of that scheduled and paced for them while the Online students will have more flexibility to make those decisions, but at the end of the week, quarter, semester, and year the total hours spent will be close to identical.

Q: Can parents have the option to ‘lock’ the devices this year?
A: Our technology department is working on this.

Q: If we elect for the online program, will our kids have Licensed Teachers overseeing their class or will it be an Ed. Assistant? If it is a Teacher will there be access to the Teacher or an EA for extra help as needed?
A: Yes, classes will be taught by licensed teachers, and yes there will be help available during staff office hours.

Q: Do both Fox Online and Fox Hybrid have some flexibility and not look like a typical 8-3 schedule?
A: Yes, while we are off-site students have a lot of flexibility to schedule themselves. When Hybrid returns on-site they will have a set schedule for the two days per week, but will still schedule themselves for the other three days.

Q: What is the plan for the Hybrid program when someone – student, teacher, staff – tests positive?
A: Please refer to your resident school’s Reopening Blueprint for complete details.

Q: What is the opportunity to integrate Chemeketa Courses with online learning?
A: Chemeketa courses remain an option for SHS students – for more information please check with your school counselor toward the end of August.

Q: What about students that want to accelerate or be challenged? If so, how?
A: Online courses allow for both some test out and self-pacing options. That is a conversation you will have with your teacher who will customize the course to meet student learning needs.

Q: When will kids on IEPs (and changing schools) have contact with their new IEP team?
A: Families of students on IEPs should email or call the student’s new school after August 28th to request a meeting with the new IEP team.

Q: Is the curriculum able to be varied to address students who would benefit from more rigorous content or who are above grade level standards?
A: Yes. Edgenuity courses work on a module system. Modules within the courses can be added, switched, or eliminated based on student need.

Q: Why are students taking fewer courses?
A: Without the structure of a daily class schedule and management systems built into a normal school day, the student and family must take on a greater responsibility to manage and navigate courses. Having fewer courses sets our students, families, and teachers up for success.

Q: How much screen time daily is estimated for students? How often will teachers do virtual meetings? Like for high school if they have 4 classes, will ALL the teachers want to have meetings daily?
A: One live engagement opportunity per student per day and one live engagement opportunity per course per week is the structure. We will not ask students or families to try to navigate 4 live sessions per day.

Q: How many hours per day will students be in synchronous vs. asynchronous learning?
A: Approximately 1 hour per day synchronous and the rest asynchronous.

Q: I have read many negative online reviews for Edgenuity, including the curriculum not meeting standards. What process did the school district go through selecting this program?
A: A team of SFSD administrators researched a variety of online curriculum options. This team then presented information and recommendations to our district leadership team, including our SFEA leaders.

Q: If my kid picks hybrid – how much virtual time with the teachers will they have every day and will that differ if we pick online?
A: The Hybrid model will have more synchronous time with teachers both off-site and on-site.

Q: Will families that decide to homeschool and NOT use Fox Hybrid or Fox online be able to utilize extra curriculars or electives?
A: Yes. There is a process for homeschool students in our resident district to utilize extracurriculars and courses.

Q: How many hours a week will our kids need to be on devices?
A: Families have some flexibility on that and it will vary by age, course, and teacher.

Q: Will teachers be having standard hours for online in person? Last year some teachers would have a class at 10 am or 11, or 3, or 6pm. This is extremely hard to predict.
A: Yes. Each student should have a consistent weekly learning plan.

Q: If I’m doing the hybrid or online option, you said it’s like a normal school day. So you’re saying my kid will have 7 hours of school work while they’re at home??
A: No. A normal school day includes transitions, breaks, recess, lunch, and social engagement and connection time that is not specific to instruction or task completion. These are all minutes that contribute to a well-rounded and comprehensive education experience, but online learning is structured differently. The number of minutes it takes to complete the learning tasks for the day will vary by student and course.

Q: Will Fox Online students interact online in classes together with their teacher and peers?
A: There will be virtual social engagement opportunities by grade band, but the level of teacher and peer interaction will be dependent on the number of students enrolled in any one course. It is likely that for some online courses, we will only have one student enrolled and therefore there will be nobody for that student to collaborate with.

Q: If a student takes an AP class thru Edgenuity, and that course requires the purchase of a book (thru the Edgenuity site), who will pay for that book?
A: This hasn’t been fully determined yet. Stay tuned.

Q: What will the schedule look like in the beginning? Will there be group meetings with the class online?
A: Yes. There will be both a parent and student orientation before we begin class.

Q:
 Will SHS educators be implementing Edgenuity curricula for Fox Online students, or is this a student-led independent study program?
A: There will be an SHS teacher facilitating the Edgenuity course. It may not be a teacher who is highly qualified in the content area, but this teacher will help direct students to content expert office hours should they need additional help.

Q: Will teachers be recording videos/live lessons so students have flexibility of when to do the classes or are they required to “attend” class at certain times?
A: There will be a live engagement opportunity for each student each day, but all content will be available asynchronously for any student who needs that.

Q: If you have a 5 year old that is close to the age cutoff (just turned 5), would you suggest they be held back a year?
A: Not necessarily. If your student is ready to learn it’s probably best to start. If you are not satisfied with the learning they achieve they always have the option to repeat Kindergarten.

Q: We are new to the school. Will there be an opportunity to meet kids in person in small groups to help them meet their class community ?
A: Not in person at this time. Teachers will connect our classes virtually until our metrics allow for in-person.

Q: When will we know the hybrid teaching schedule, in particular synchronous times so that working parents can create a plan?
A: Unfortunately it will be later in August, but synchronous engagement is not required for any student. Every student will have access to all instruction asynchronously as well.

Q: Have our teachers seen the content within Edgenuity yet?
A: Not all of them. However, SFSD has used Edgenuity courses in a variety of capacities for many years and we are confident in both the quality and the usability.

Q: In the past a high school student was able to take some of their core classes via BYU. Will that still be available if we want to help our senior student graduate early? Will that student be able to “walk” with their class in June? How are you going to honor the area of interest honor degree?
A: Yes. All options previously available to our high school students are still available. If a senior graduates early, they are welcome to walk with their class. All program area honors and academic honors programs remain in place and all courses to complete those will be offered in the Hybrid model.

Q: Will middle school also be on a block schedule of 5 classes per quarter, including outlying schools?
A: Yes. Every school is working to reduce the number of courses we are asking families and students to navigate at one time.

Q: My child will be in kindergarten, if we decide to homeschool this year, does this take away funding from the school district?
A: Yes. But decisions must be made in the best interest of each student and SFSD fully supports your family decision.

Q: How about the theater program? Will kids still be able to be a part of that?
A: Yes. We plan to offer every program we currently offer, but of course the structure of the program will be different.

Q: You have mentioned kindergartners have been learning online for years. Where? For Homeschooling? If so, are parents expected to be as involved as with homeschooling?
A: K-12 Virtual Schools have existed for years, including Edgenuity. The largest in Oregon is Oregon Connections Academy and we have had SFSD kids attend there successfully at all grade levels. Some families choose to have their students participate online all or some of their K-12 years and many students do so successfully. There is no way around that this is more parent or home learning coach dependent than allowing kids to attend on-site, but it will not be the same level of involvement as homeschool. Our teachers will deliver the instruction, create and deliver the learning activities, give assessments, and target instruction for your child. You will have to facilitate the connection between your child and the teacher and course.

Q: It seems like this plan simply issues unearned credits to high schoolers who are taking 6 fewer classes over the year and getting the same amount of credit. It seems like printing money. Why are they not taking the 7 classes each semester?
A: The number of courses and the instructional hours will remain the same. They are just structured and scheduled differently. Students must complete an entire course in order to earn credit just as they always have.

Q: How will a freshman enroll in classes? Will the school send us a sign up sheet, or provide a required course list?
A: Students who were enrolled last spring will have completed high school forecasting sheets and their fall schedule will be built from that. If your student has not completed a forecasting sheet, please contact SHS.

Q: If our senior forecasted for an elective that may not be taught (e.g. choir), and needs this credit to meet the 25.5 credits to graduate, will they be able to choose another elective?
A: Yes. But at this time we are planning to offer all of our electives, including choir.

Q: Do we know if there will be sports?
A: As of right now, yes, there will be sports. OSAA is the governing body for sports in Oregon schools, and their website contains a wealth of information on that topic. Check it out at www.osaa.org.

Q: My impression from the earlier description of this format was that students would work on the 4 classes more intensely, and then switch at the quarter or semester to the other classes they’ve registered for and similarly do a more concentrated work in a shorter time?
A: That is correct. Additionally, students will only have Math, English, and Science 1 semester rather than 1 year. When you issue a credit (what has traditionally taken a year) in one semester, it opens the schedule for electives.

Q: How will hands-on classes like SFSD Tech work?
A: Particularly during the all-online portion of the year, these courses will look different than they have in the past. We can’t say for sure what any specific class will look like at this moment in time, but we are committed to supporting teachers, students, and families to ensure the best possible experience for all classes, including our CTE programs and other traditionally ‘hands-on’ courses.

Q: Will Fox Online continue beyond this year?
A: Fox Online will likely continue only as long as the pandemic, but all we can say for sure is that it will run through the end of this school year at this time.

Q:
 How will the Middle School work with ASAP (After School Activities Program) to provide that extracurricular option for Middle School Students?
A: SMS leaders are in constant contact with ASAP, and ASAP plans to mirror their schedule to match the stage Silverton Middle School is currently in (hybrid virtual, hybrid online, etc.). Parents will be kept apprised of any changes to the program through parent forums and AG classes. For more information, please contact ASAP directly.

Q: Will both counties have to meet the metrics before School can start in person with the Hybrid model?
A: Yes, that is our understanding at this time.

Q: Could a student, or a student with a parent, schedule a time to meet in person with a teacher?
A: Yes, but as of right now those meetings will be virtual.

Q: What are the implications for the charter schools in the area? What are the district requirements?
A: Our charter schools are making their own decisions surrounding their management of school programs for this year.

Q: What will students do on the off-days if they participate in the Fox Hybrid?
A: They will continue with their home learning plan on off-site days.

Q: Will there be any books or paper materials provided at the beginning of the school year so that not all work is online?
A: Yes.

Q: Will high school counselors be available to help both hybrid and online with college prep applications, scholarships etc?
A: Yes.

Q:
 If a SHS class is not offered by Edgenuity but a student has chosen Fox Online only, can they still take that class at SHS? (e.g. AP Physics)
A: Not necessarily. Fox Online courses are limited to Edgenuity courses at this time.

Q: Will Honors/Accelerated classes on Edgenuity still count for credit for OSU etc.? (e.g. Pre-Calculus at SHS is accepted as college credit by OIT)
A: Yes. Our Hybrid teachers are working with our university partners to ensure that these opportunities remain available to our students.

Q: If only 50 percent of the kids in our school are going hybrid, can they go 4 days a week instead of 2?
A: That is a possibility. If class numbers drop below 15 we have some flexibility.

Q: If Clackamas County is tied to Multnomah and Washington for county reopening, do we know if SFSD will be affected by Multnomah and Washington county numbers as well?
A: We will not be affected by Multnomah and Washington counties, only Clackamas and Marion.

Q: 
Who do you recommend we contact if we are dissatisfied with the metrics for returning to school?
A: The Oregon Health Authority and the Governor’s office disseminated these metrics, and so they would be the best contacts.

Q: Since students at the high school are being given credits at the quarter instead of the semester, are they earning half a credit each quarter or a quarter of a credit?
A: Students will earn a half credit each quarter, and a full credit each semester.

Q: Why can’t SHS teachers livestream instruction for Fox Online students?
A: Asking teachers to manage both in-person student needs as well as those of online students results in a poorer experience for both groups. Fox Online students will still have access to SFSD teachers and instruction through the Edgenuity curriculum, and we believe this is the best way to serve those students at this time.

Q: Is Edgenuity curricula state-approved?
A: The State of Oregon does not have a state-approved online curriculum. ODE has provided districts with an online curriculum evaluation tool to ensure quality, alignment, access, and equity.

Q: Once we are back to in-school instruction in the hybrid option, how do we handle students with cold and other related symptoms? We are concerned that students will be on/off again frequently, especially during the winter months.
A: This concern is addressed via schools-specific Reopening Blueprints.

Q: During Fox Hybrid done from home, the students will have a typical school day with a teacher? So they’ll use the computer with the teacher online from the start of the school day until the end? For example, from 8:15-3:00 with breaks for lunch, etc
A: No. Each family can structure the learning minutes per week for their student as it best fits your family. There will be live engagement opportunities each day, but students will not be penalized if those do not work into their family schedule.

Q: Will the kids still be able to checkout textbooks and/or calculators
A: Yes.

Q: How will the online model support TAG students?
A: The online model provides for maximum flexibility in pacing, proficiency, and flexible scheduling which are all best practice strategies for TAG instruction.

Q: Are masks going to be required when students go back to school?
A: As of now, yes.

Q: I’ve heard some people say that seniors could potentially finish their year in one semester if they don’t have too many more credits that they need to finish. Is that true?
A: We prefer they stay with us, but yes it is possible. If they only have English, Government, Economics and an Elective to finish, they could potentially do that in the first semester.

Q: Who do we reach out to discuss changes in classes for my high school kiddo? IE I want to figure out what college classes she may take on line to replace/enhance her online learning.
A: You should reach out to your child’s counselor. They are not back in the office yet, but they will get back to you as soon as they are.

Q:
 For the hybrid model, how many days a week will students be expected to be online?
A: 5 while we are in distance learning and 3 when we are on-site part of the time.

On July 28th, 2020, Oregon Governor Kate Brown  established the following requirements for schools in Oregon to reopen:

  1. Oregon’s testing positivity rate must remain at or below 5% for 7 days and follow this trend for 3 weeks.
  2. The counties served (Marion and Clackamas, in the case of SFSD) must have 10 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents over the preceding 7 days and follow this trend for 3 weeks.
  3. The testing positivity rate for the counties served must remain at or below 5% for the preceding 7 days and follow this trend for 3 weeks.

For a view of the complete data set, please see the Marion County COVID-19 Dashboard.

Weekly test positivity rates for the State of Oregon

Week Test Positivity Rate
7/27 – 8/2 6.4%
7/20 – 7/26 5.1%
7/13 – 7/19 6.6%

All data on this page is available in more detail and updated weekly on the COVID-19 Situation in Oregon page of the State of Oregon Website.

A visual depiction of the reopening process described elsewhere

News and Message Archive

Good afternoon, Silver Falls Families.

The first day of school is right around the corner on Monday, September 28th. We know many of you are as anxious as we are to have kids back in front of teachers, engaged in learning and growing alongside their peers.

We also know many of you have questions about all the many new terms and tools of the Fox Hybrid and Fox Online service models. Today’s message is to hopefully help clarify and guide you toward fresh understanding. We’ve got an announcement about Food Service, and also a link to some amazing resources created by members of our Teaching & Learning and Technology departments in order to support you, as you support your students this fall.

Food Service Resuming at Silverton High School
The district’s no-cost meal service for all children ages 1-18 will resume on Monday, September 21st. For now, this program will run out of Silverton High School only. We look forward to resuming service out of other school buildings as soon as possible. For now, meals will be available from 11 am to 1 pm, Monday through Friday, at the Silverton High School turn-around.

Reminder – Silverton Strong Reunification & Support Meeting Wednesday the 23rd
We want to take this opportunity to remind you about the upcoming Silverton Strong community event happening Wednesday the 23rd from 7-8pm. This event is jointly hosted by Silver Falls School District, Marion County Youth & Family Crisis, the Willamette Education Service District, and Trillium Family Services. These experts will provide our community with information about supporting our students in the aftermath of this potentially traumatic and certainly unsettling event. More information about this meeting, including a link to the meeting, will be released in the coming days. We invite you to join us for this very special event.

Distance Learning Q&A
What is Edgenuity?
Edgenuity is the provider of a comprehensive, standards-based curriculum that the district has contracted for this year in order to ensure we can provide high-quality education to both our Fox Hybrid and Fox Online students all year long.

Will my students ‘log in’ to Edgenuity?
Yes, though most won’t even notice because of the technology on the back-end of the district’s single sign-on platform. If all that sounds too technical, don’t worry! It just means that once students sign in to one of the tools they’re using this year, they’ve signed in to all of them. The experience for students should be pretty seamless.

Okay, so if that’s Edgenuity, what is Canvas? What’s the difference?
You can think of Canvas as your child’s virtual classroom. Whereas Edgenuity provides what they learn, Canvas is much more about where they learn it. For most students, Canvas is where they will start and end each of their classes each day. Once a student gets onto Canvas, they will be able to see their assignments and materials, and from there they will be able to follow links to their various learning resources. Some of these will be links directly to Edgenuity content! Others might be links to documents, tests, quizzes, etc.

My child checked out a Chromebook to use at home. I’d like to be able to monitor internet use in my home. Is there a way for me to do that?
Yes! The district is using a tool called Securly to manage internet access on district devices. You should have received an email from Securly back on or around September 8th with instructions for setting up your account. If you can’t find that email, please check in your junk mail folder. If it’s still not there, please let us know and we’ll get that re-sent to you.

Are there any resources for me to look at so I can see these tools before the start of school?
Absolutely. Check out our Canvas for Families page, where we’ve got some amazing resources and tutorials. We are so grateful for all the parents and other learning coaches who are ready to support their students in distance learning this year, and we want to support you as much as possible. We’re all in this together!

Good afternoon, Silver Falls Families.

We know many of you are still in the process of putting your lives back together following evacuation or displacement due to the wildfires and their effects. Our thoughts are with those who are still displaced or otherwise facing long-term impacts from these fires. Tomorrow we’ll have some updates for you as we once more start thinking about the return to school for our students. For today, we’d like to share some news and resources related to recovery and supporting our children and families as they process this event.

For those with students in need of immediate counseling, we invite you to contact your school directly. Silver Falls School District counselors stand ready to assist students experiencing trauma related to this disaster. If you can’t reach anyone at your school, please contact the Silver Falls School District Office directly at (503) 873-5303.

In the event your child needs additional trauma screening, we can connect you to other resources in our community.

We’re also announcing Silverton Strong — a virtual support meeting for our community, next Wednesday, September 23rd, from 7-8pm.

Image shows the Silverton Strong Logo

This event is jointly hosted by Silver Falls School District, Marion County Youth & Family Crisis, the Willamette Education Service District, and Trillium Family Services. These experts will provide our community with information about supporting our students in the aftermath of this potentially traumatic and certainly unsettling event. More information about this meeting, including a link to the meeting, will be released in the coming days. We invite you to join us for this very special event.

Good afternoon, Silver Falls School District Families.

This is a reminder that due to the current issues facing the district from fires and smoke, and with a number of families evacuated or otherwise displaced, school will not begin this week as had been originally planned.

Again, the first day of school is NOT Monday, September 14th.

Instead, the first day of school for all students will be Monday, September 28th. Schools will open in the distance-learning model previously announced.

Stay safe!

Dear SFSD Families,

In the past 24 hours, I have heard of so many instances of our community members coming together to battle the fires in the Scotts Mills, Butte Creek and Silver Crest areas. I have been moved beyond words at the overwhelming sense of community, and genuine caring for one another, that has been on display during this horrific event. I am so humbled and honored to serve all of you.

This afternoon, I met with all SFSD administrators for a status report on the wellbeing of our community as a whole. We used this information, in addition to other important data points, to determine when we can safely and realistically begin our school year with your children. Please know that our goal was to make a decision that was careful, thoughtful and viable for our staff, and for our community; especially when taking into account the sheer scope of this traumatic and unprecedented event, and the fact that even when the situation stabilizes, the majority of our SFSD family will need adequate time to piece together their personal lives and family situations. Therefore, the following decisions have been made:

  1. The Silver Falls School District will remain closed from Monday, September 14, through Friday, September 18.
  2. All SFSD teachers and staff will report to work (virtually, or on-site) on Monday, September 21, during regular working hours.  This will be considered the beginning of our second week of scheduled pre-service training for teachers and staff, and will last until Friday, September 25.
  3. The first day of school for students will be Monday, September 28.
  4. SFSD will offer optional virtual information sessions with community counselors and trauma specialists in the coming weeks as part of our ongoing effort to support parents.  Information will be sent out soon.

Please also know that we will have our SFSD technical crews and administrators traveling to district buildings and facilities throughout next week.  I would like to ask that you please let your neighbors know this, since just today I, myself, was stopped at gunpoint by a citizen in one of our communities as I was routinely traveling the district to check in on the condition of our schools.

Each and every one of you is in my heart and my thoughts. Please reach out to me if there is anything I can do to support you.

Be Well. Stay Safe.
Scott Drue (he, him, his)
Superintendent | Silver Falls School District
Where EVERY Student Thrives…

Good evening, Silver Falls Families.

Our community is facing truly extraordinary challenges. With so many families displaced or evacuated from their homes, and so many of our teachers and other staff members likewise impacted, the last thing you need to worry about right now is your child missing the first day of school. Additionally, the evacuation orders this week cut into the valuable and necessary inservice trainings planned for teachers that would have ensured they started the year ready for the new challenges and realities of the online learning model.

As a result, today we are announcing an additional delay to the beginning of the school year — the first day of school will not occur on September 14th as was previously planned and announced. We do not yet know which day the first day of school will be this year, but we will notify you several days in advance. For now, please concern yourself primarily with your family’s safety amid this ongoing threat.

Good afternoon, Silver Falls Families.

We hope you’re enjoying these last few weeks of Summer Vacation, and wanted to share a couple of reminders from this week with you.

  1. The first day of school is Monday, September 14th, not Tuesday the 8th. Please enjoy one more week of Summer Break while Teachers and other school staff get some extra time to prepare for online learning! Download the updated calendar from our website.
  2. Did you see our announcement earlier this week about no-cost meal eligibility for all children ages 1-18? That’s right — through December 31st, every child in the district can receive meals at no cost to families. See the full announcement on our website.

Office staff are present in all of our buildings once more, and if you have additional questions you are always welcome to contact your school directly. We hope you have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend, and can’t wait to see students once again, even if their smiling faces will be in video calls rather than classrooms!

Good evening, Silver Falls Families.

We’re pleased to share that the Oregon Department of Education has extended the no-cost meal program available to all children ages 1-18 through December 31st. This means that all students, district-wide, are eligible for no-cost school meals until that date, regardless of family income. Complete details are below.

When: This program will launch on the first day of school: Monday, September 14th, and will run through December 31st, 2020.

What:
No-cost meals for all children ages 1-18. Breakfast will be provided for the next day when lunches are picked up.

Where: The following district school sites will serve meals – pick up food at whichever location is most convenient for your family.

  • Mark Twain, Robert Frost, Silver Crest, Butte Creek, and Victor Point, from 11:00 to Noon every school day.
  • Silverton High School and Scotts Mills from 11:30 to 12:30 every school day.

How: Children need not be present to participate. Simply visit one of the sites listed above during the appropriate time, tell the meal service staff how many students you are feeding, and you will receive one meal kit (containing both a lunch for that day and a breakfast for the next morning) per child.

In this time of economic uncertainty for so many in our community, we encourage all who would benefit from this program to please take full advantage of these no-cost meals.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My family isn’t eligible for free and reduced lunch benefits. Can we still take advantage of this program?
A: Yes! All students ages 1-18 are eligible to receive no-cost meals.

Q: My child’s school doesn’t offer meal service normally, are we still eligible?
A: Yes! Please visit one of the sites listed above and you will receive no-cost meals regardless of the school your child attends.

Q: What happens after December 31st?
A: At this point, we would roll into standard meal service prices, with only those students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch receiving meals at no cost. If this situation changes, we’ll let you know.

Q: I’ve heard there is new, expanded eligibility for free and reduced lunch in the State of Oregon. Is that true? How can I apply for that program?
A: Yes, this is true — many more families in our district qualify for this program based on these new guidelines. You can see a complete breakdown of those guidelines on this document. If you’re interested in applying for free and reduced lunch benefits, that application is available on our Meals Menus and Payments page.

Q: What about meal delivery like in the Spring? Is that an option?
A: We are exploring options for meal delivery in certain circumstances, but have nothing to announce at this time.

Q: Is there a menu for these meals?
A: Yes! That is also available on our Meal Menus and Payments page.

Good Evening,

I know you have been inundated with information about what school will look like this fall, but I want to take a moment to specifically address how this new model might affect our Talented and Gifted identified students.

Edgenuity courses are built to measure proficiency and to compact curriculum, both of which are best practices for TAG students.  Each course has a pretest to measure current proficiency level on skills taught in the course.  If students demonstrate proficiency on a skill they are not asked to complete the practice work specific to that skill.  This is ideal for our TAG students — they will likely enjoy this model.

Some things you may want to keep an eye on in partnership with your teachers and TAG Coordinators are social disengagement and academic cruise control.

Because your TAG student may be working at a rate and level different from others in their class, they may be less inclined to engage in discussion boards, live class discussions, or collaborative projects.  Please work with your teacher to encourage them to stay engaged.  Our students are practicing very important non-content skills not measured by Edgenuity when they are collaborating with classmates to think critically, solve problems, expand on each other’s thinking, and demonstrate learning.

Your student may test out of one or more sections of their Edgenuity courses and may need some customization.  Please work with your teachers to keep your student actively engaged in learning each school day.  Accommodations this year may include customizing an Edgenuity course, enrolling in an Edgenuity extension course of interest to them or to work with their teacher and/or TAG Coordinator to design an Independent Learning Project on a topic mutually agreed upon.

We will have our yearly TAG parent meeting (virtually) in October, but in the meantime if you have any concerns about the rate and level of education your student is receiving or their ability to fully engage in it, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the appropriate TAG staff.  We stand ready and willing to support you and your student in this journey.

Silver Falls School District: Hannan_jennifer@silverfalls.k12.or.us
Silverton High School: Nielsen_sheila@silverfalls.k12.or.us
Silverton Middle School: Elliot_jean@silverfalls.k12.or.us
Robert Frost Elementary: Elliot_Bruce@silverfalls.12.or.us
Mark Twain Elementary: Nelson_abby@silverfalls.k12.or.us
Central Howell: Elliot_jean@silverfalls.k12.or.us
Pratum: Freauff_lisa@silverfalls.k12.or.us
Victor Point: Zukowski_Natalie@silverfalls.k12.or.us
Butte Creek: Palmer_Kevin@silverfalls.k12.or.us
Evergreen: Miller_Angi@silverfalls.k12.or.us
Silver Crest: Capener_jennifer@silverfalls.k12.or.us
Scotts Mills: garrett_lisa@silverfalls.k12.or.us

Good afternoon, Silver Falls Families.

As promised in our virtual Town Hall last week (recording available here), we’ve gone through every question from that event and provided an answer below. Those questions and answers are now also posted in a special section of our FAQ on our Reopening Planning & Process webpage.

Additionally, our Operational Blueprints for Reopening are also now available for public viewing. If you’d like to read your school’s Operational Blueprint for Reopening, you can find it here.

—————-
FAQ Updates – Town Hall Questions Edition

Q: Will there be electives?
A: Yes. All current SFSD electives will be available for Fox Hybrid Students and there will be many elective choices for Fox Online Students.

Q: Will the district be handing out devices to students?
A: Yes.

Q: Will Seesaw be used through Canvas?
A: No, teachers will use Canvas as their learning platform this year.

Q: Will curriculum for Hybrid or fully online be similar. For example, will fully online kids still be at a similar academic level? Or when all kids return will one group be “behind”?
A: Both programs will use Edgenuity Curriculum and while Online only students will have more flexibility in pacing than Hybrid students, both programs will complete all assigned courses by the end of the school year.

Q: For HS Students how do they meet the science requirements for Labs?
A: Science Labs will look different in both the Online and Hybrid model this year due to distancing requirements, but students in both models will be able to meet all course requirements.

Q: How will only having 4 classes allow HS students to still get the correct credits in order to graduate?
A: Students will earn credit each quarter rather than semester, so the number of credits possible for the year will remain the same. For example students will only have English one semester, but they will earn .5 credit each quarter, so they will still earn the full credit they need for the year.

Q: For HS TAG students will online college courses be allowed?
A: Yes, and this is not limited to TAG students.

Q: If we choose the online path will our kids have the same teacher/coach the entire year or will it switch in November?
A: Our intention is to staff the programs separately so that students have the same teacher all year. Home Learning Coaches for Fox Online students are provided by families, and so those decisions will be made at the family level.

Q: Are there unique teaching/instructional plans or approaches planned for the K-3rd grade-aged population that differ from the overall district plans for the Fox Hybrid plan?
A: We do have some flexibility to potentially get our K-3 students back on-site sooner and to have them on-site more days. There is no guarantee this will happen, but as of now there is greater flexibility from the state there. Teaching strategies for Fox Online and Fox Hybrid will be targeted to grade levels as developmentally appropriate.

Q: For Fox Hybrid, do you know how much instruction time will be provided on days each group meets?
A: When Hybrid groups are allowed back on-site, they will likely experience a regular school day, but with more instructional minutes dedicated to fewer subjects. This is subject to change based on state guidance.

Q: For those students that select Fully Online, there was a reference to a needing to “make a commitment” to this option. What does that commitment entail?
A: In order to correctly staff Fox Online, we are asking families to commit to attending Fox Online for the school year.

Q: How will Electives work between online and hybrid options?
A: Hybrid students will have full access to all current SFSD electives and Online students will have access to Edgenuity electives.

Q: When is the first day of school?
A: September 14th

Q:
 While all students are on Fox Online to start, will students staying online all year be able to be in the same virtual class as peers, with teacher interaction?
A: Students in Fox Online will be in courses with other Fox Online students online, they will not be in virtual versions of the Fox Hybrid classes. We will not be asking our teachers to manage by the Hybrid and the Online programs. There will be staff assigned to each program.

Q: What do you see Kindergarten looking like?
A: I recommend you look at the Edgenuity K Modules. There you can see exactly what our K students will be asked to do by Edgenuity and know that our own K teaching staff will be enhancing and supplementing that to provide for the most child-centered well-rounded education opportunity possible.

Q: How many hours are recommended to be a student’s home learning coach?
A: Please see this Home Learning Coach document for both the responsibilities and the time commitment involved with that role.

Q: Will choir still be offered at the high school?
A: Yes! Mr. H is already hard at work planning that.

Q: What will be the school hours this coming year?
A: We will operate as close to our regular schedule as possible.

Q:
 Are you able to give examples of differences in courses between SFSD and Edgenuity?
A: The Edgenuity course outlines are now available on our site.

Q: I want my kids in Fox Online until there is a vaccine; is there a way to switch back from online to in-class mid-year?
A: SFSD will continue to work with families throughout the school year in order to meet student needs.

Q: When will we know who our kids hybrid teacher will be? 4th grade
A: Hybrid teachers will be in your resident school and those class lists will be posted as soon as possible. It will likely be the last week in August.

Q: What will a typical day look like for a middle school/high school student?
A: We advise you to attend one of your school town halls for full details from your school principal for complete details on this question.

Q: Can we start with hybrid and switch to online if we’re not comfortable sending them to school?
A: SFSD will continue to work with families throughout the school year in order to meet student needs.

Q: Will kindergarteners get those assessments that they normally get at the beginning, middle and end of the year?
A: Yes, our teachers will continue to carefully monitor student progress toward grade level standards and responsively target instruction.

Q: Is there a supply list for the fully online model?
A: Not yet, but we will be working on a supply list and more Fox Online information soon.

Q: Can we switch between Online and Hybrid after a couple of months?
A: We will always work with families to do what is best for their students. While we expect the number of students who transition between programs mid-year will be low, we know there will be some families who need to make those changes, and we are prepared to provide opportunities for that to occur at specific points in the year (likely at the end of each Quarter).

Q: When school resumes can you guarantee that our children will not be tested for COVID without parent consent?
A: Absolutely. It is incredibly unlikely that schools will ever perform COVID tests on any students or staff – that is beyond the purview of an education institution.

Q: If we attend an outlying/rural school – and pick the online option will it be a teacher from our school?
A: Not necessarily. The online program will be staffed and attended as a district wide program.

Q: Will high school students have multiple teachers in Fox Online
A: Not necessarily. This depends on how many total high school students choose Fox Online and how many high school teachers are assigned to that program.

Q: Since ODE newest release is scheduled for August 11th- and schools are meeting with families online next week, why the push for families to decide for Fox Hybrid or Fox Online by the 9th?
A: We need to begin staffing both programs and planning the appropriate training for both programs right away in order to be fully ready for students to begin learning September 14th.

Q: How do we provide online supports and instruction for students that have not had internet access; as that was problematic last spring?
A: We are doing everything we can do to support families getting reliably connected. For those who cannot get connected, we are looking at locations that may be able to host students as they work online.

Q: Is there an expectation that students will be logged on, actively online for 6 hours a day whether hybrid or online only?
A: No. There are many learning activities in this curriculum. Some of them are online and some of them are not.

Q: What are the safety plans for lunch and PE, e.g., how will you maintain safe distances while eating and exercising, etc.
A: These plans vary per school, and are part of each building’s Operational Blueprint for Reopening. Those will be available to read on our website on August 15th.

Q: Will students in hybrid move from classroom to classroom or will students rotate rooms?
A: Please see the Reopening Blueprint for your home school.

Q: What is a coach versus a teacher? Are coaches provided?
A: The teacher will provide instruction and learning activities, assess, monitor progress, and provide additional instructional support as needed. The home learning coach will help the student manage the home learning environment, create and follow a daily or weekly learning plan, and monitor understanding, communicating frequently with the teacher if additional help is needed. Students who choose the Online option need to have a Home Learning Coach. For the time when everyone is forced into the online model, we recognize that some families don’t have that resource available to them and in those situations our school staff will step in and offer as much support as possible.

Q: What will the middle school and elementary classes look like?
A: We advise you to attend one of your school town halls for full details from your school principal for complete details on this question.

Q: Is Silver Falls School District providing Internet for all students even though they might not have it? How does it work if internet is inconsistent?
A: SFSD is working toward helping get every family connected. Inconsistent internet continues to be an issue in our most rural communities. While some of the work this year will need to be connected live, much of it can be worked on off-line as well.

Q: I saw that the district has an October 5th deadline for determining if the school will open up in November. Is that the date that the decision will be made to open or continue in Online Learning?
A: Yes, that is the date we will make a decision on whether Fox Hybrid students will resume in-person learning part-time on November 16th.

Q: How many hours will online classes take per day?
A: This will vary greatly depending on the course and the student, but in general students will spend approximately the same number of hours working through material off-site as they do on-site.

Q: When is Chromebook pick up? Also will there be a registration for high school students to take school photos, etc.?
A: Dates for pickup of devices and other potential registration tasks will be announced soon.

Q: Is there anything set up for students to interact with each other in person. The isolation is difficult for our students
A: That is not within our power to do at this time. As soon as the metrics allow, it is a priority.

Q: If the high schoolers only have four core classes – how do electives fit into that?
A: Students will have a total of 4 courses at a time. Some will be core and some will be elective.

Q: What does PE, library, and other specials look like in both settings?
A: Edgenuity includes a PE curriculum that our PE teachers will be using. Other specials, like music, also have Edgenuity curriculum options. We are working closely with our library team in each building in order to make decisions regarding book check-out.

Q: Will a new family to the district who has not been able to register yet be able to sign-up for Fox Online after August 10th?
A: Yes.

Q: If my child is scheduled for the hybrid on Wed/Fri, could we switch them to Tues/Wed?
A: There is cohort flexibility. All cohort changes should be discussed with your building principal.

Q: If all students are starting out September 15th with comprehensive distance learning, why are we starting students with two different distance learning options, especially if it’s the same curriculum? What are the reasons for not starting all students in the same distance learning program (“Fox Hybrid CDL”) until students are able to attend in person?
A: In short, to minimize disruption for students, families, and staff. If we begin in two separate programs, students, families, and staff will not have to change programs when we are able to reopen. They will have a fluid continuation.

Q: Does our school district plan to have K-3 go back to school before other students? Or will everyone go back to school at the same time?
A: Our hope is to get K-3 students in front of us as soon as possible. They may begin before older students, but we don’t yet know.

Q: How will standardized testing look for the online model ?
A: Our assessment plan for 2020-2021 is still in progress.

Q: Will there still be a paper pencil component or option?
A: Only as a very last resort. We will work with students who do not have internet access to find solutions.

Q: When do high school students know their classes or how are they picked
A: Classes will be assigned based on student forecasting sheets that were completed last spring. Student schedules will not be complete until late August.

Q: What about kinders…..will they also get devices?
A: Yes. And you might be shocked at how quickly and proficiently they will use them. Young students will also have many tasks that are paper, pencil, scissors, and glue.

Q: Are the hybrid students switching from Edgenuity curriculum to Silverton High School curriculum in November? How is that going to work?
A: No. Students will continue in the Edgenuity curriculum in the hybrid schedule on site at Silverton High School. Some of the instruction components will become live instead of virtual and some of the collaboration and feedback opportunities will become live instead of virtual.

Q: What will a typical schedule look like for hybrid vs virtual, ie hours per day logged in to classes or self paced.
A: In terms of hours, there is a projected number of hours associated with each course whether it is hybrid or online. The Hybrid students will have some of that scheduled and paced for them while the Online students will have more flexibility to make those decisions, but at the end of the week, quarter, semester, and year the total hours spent will be close to identical.

Q: Can parents have the option to ‘lock’ the devices this year?
A: Our technology department is working on this.

Q: If we elect for the online program, will our kids have Licensed Teachers overseeing their class or will it be an Ed. Assistant? If it is a Teacher will there be access to the Teacher or an EA for extra help as needed?
A: Yes, classes will be taught by licensed teachers, and yes there will be help available during staff office hours.

Q: Do both Fox Online and Fox Hybrid have some flexibility and not look like a typical 8-3 schedule?
A: Yes, while we are off-site students have a lot of flexibility to schedule themselves. When Hybrid returns on-site they will have a set schedule for the two days per week, but will still schedule themselves for the other three days.

Q: What is the plan for the Hybrid program when someone – student, teacher, staff – tests positive?
A: Please refer to your resident school’s Reopening Blueprint for complete details.

Q: What is the opportunity to integrate Chemeketa Courses with online learning?
A: Chemeketa courses remain an option for SHS students – for more information please check with your school counselor toward the end of August.

Q: What about students that want to accelerate or be challenged? If so, how?
A: Online courses allow for both some test out and self-pacing options. That is a conversation you will have with your teacher who will customize the course to meet student learning needs.

Q: When will kids on IEPs (and changing schools) have contact with their new IEP team?
A: Families of students on IEPs should email or call the student’s new school after August 28th to request a meeting with the new IEP team.

Q: Is the curriculum able to be varied to address students who would benefit from more rigorous content or who are above grade level standards?
A: Yes. Edgenuity courses work on a module system. Modules within the courses can be added, switched, or eliminated based on student need.

Q: Why are students taking fewer courses?
A: Without the structure of a daily class schedule and management systems built into a normal school day, the student and family must take on a greater responsibility to manage and navigate courses. Having fewer courses sets our students, families, and teachers up for success.

Q: How much screen time daily is estimated for students? How often will teachers do virtual meetings? Like for high school if they have 4 classes, will ALL the teachers want to have meetings daily?
A: One live engagement opportunity per student per day and one live engagement opportunity per course per week is the structure. We will not ask students or families to try to navigate 4 live sessions per day.

Q: How many hours per day will students be in synchronous vs. asynchronous learning?
A: Approximately 1 hour per day synchronous and the rest asynchronous.

Q: I have read many negative online reviews for Edgenuity, including the curriculum not meeting standards. What process did the school district go through selecting this program?
A: A team of SFSD administrators researched a variety of online curriculum options. This team then presented information and recommendations to our district leadership team, including our SFEA leaders.

Q: If my kid picks hybrid – how much virtual time with the teachers will they have every day and will that differ if we pick online?
A: The Hybrid model will have more synchronous time with teachers both off-site and on-site.

Q: Will families that decide to homeschool and NOT use Fox Hybrid or Fox online be able to utilize extra curriculars or electives?
A: Yes. There is a process for homeschool students in our resident district to utilize extracurriculars and courses.

Q: How many hours a week will our kids need to be on devices?
A: Families have some flexibility on that and it will vary by age, course, and teacher.

Q: Will teachers be having standard hours for online in person? Last year some teachers would have a class at 10 am or 11, or 3, or 6pm. This is extremely hard to predict.
A: Yes. Each student should have a consistent weekly learning plan.

Q: If I’m doing the hybrid or online option, you said it’s like a normal school day. So you’re saying my kid will have 7 hours of school work while they’re at home??
A: No. A normal school day includes transitions, breaks, recess, lunch, and social engagement and connection time that is not specific to instruction or task completion. These are all minutes that contribute to a well-rounded and comprehensive education experience, but online learning is structured differently. The number of minutes it takes to complete the learning tasks for the day will vary by student and course.

Q: Will Fox Online students interact online in classes together with their teacher and peers?
A: There will be virtual social engagement opportunities by grade band, but the level of teacher and peer interaction will be dependent on the number of students enrolled in any one course. It is likely that for some online courses, we will only have one student enrolled and therefore there will be nobody for that student to collaborate with.

Q: If a student takes an AP class thru Edgenuity, and that course requires the purchase of a book (thru the Edgenuity site), who will pay for that book?
A: This hasn’t been fully determined yet. Stay tuned.

Q: What will the schedule look like in the beginning? Will there be group meetings with the class online?
A: Yes. There will be both a parent and student orientation before we begin class.

Q:
 Will SHS educators be implementing Edgenuity curricula for Fox Online students, or is this a student-led independent study program?
A: There will be an SHS teacher facilitating the Edgenuity course. It may not be a teacher who is highly qualified in the content area, but this teacher will help direct students to content expert office hours should they need additional help.

Q: Will teachers be recording videos/live lessons so students have flexibility of when to do the classes or are they required to “attend” class at certain times?
A: There will be a live engagement opportunity for each student each day, but all content will be available asynchronously for any student who needs that.

Q: If you have a 5 year old that is close to the age cutoff (just turned 5), would you suggest they be held back a year?
A: Not necessarily. If your student is ready to learn it’s probably best to start. If you are not satisfied with the learning they achieve they always have the option to repeat Kindergarten.

Q: We are new to the school. Will there be an opportunity to meet kids in person in small groups to help them meet their class community ?
A: Not in person at this time. Teachers will connect our classes virtually until our metrics allow for in-person.

Q: When will we know the hybrid teaching schedule, in particular synchronous times so that working parents can create a plan?
A: Unfortunately it will be later in August, but synchronous engagement is not required for any student. Every student will have access to all instruction asynchronously as well.

Q: Have our teachers seen the content within Edgenuity yet?
A: Not all of them. However, SFSD has used Edgenuity courses in a variety of capacities for many years and we are confident in both the quality and the usability.

Q: In the past a high school student was able to take some of their core classes via BYU. Will that still be available if we want to help our senior student graduate early? Will that student be able to “walk” with their class in June? How are you going to honor the area of interest honor degree?
A: Yes. All options previously available to our high school students are still available. If a senior graduates early, they are welcome to walk with their class. All program area honors and academic honors programs remain in place and all courses to complete those will be offered in the Hybrid model.

Q: Will middle school also be on a block schedule of 5 classes per quarter, including outlying schools?
A: Yes. Every school is working to reduce the number of courses we are asking families and students to navigate at one time.

Q: My child will be in kindergarten, if we decide to homeschool this year, does this take away funding from the school district?
A: Yes. But decisions must be made in the best interest of each student and SFSD fully supports your family decision.

Q: How about the theater program? Will kids still be able to be a part of that?
A: Yes. We plan to offer every program we currently offer, but of course the structure of the program will be different.

Q: You have mentioned kindergartners have been learning online for years. Where? For Homeschooling? If so, are parents expected to be as involved as with homeschooling?
A: K-12 Virtual Schools have existed for years, including Edgenuity. The largest in Oregon is Oregon Connections Academy and we have had SFSD kids attend there successfully at all grade levels. Some families choose to have their students participate online all or some of their K-12 years and many students do so successfully. There is no way around that this is more parent or home learning coach dependent than allowing kids to attend on-site, but it will not be the same level of involvement as homeschool. Our teachers will deliver the instruction, create and deliver the learning activities, give assessments, and target instruction for your child. You will have to facilitate the connection between your child and the teacher and course.

Q: It seems like this plan simply issues unearned credits to high schoolers who are taking 6 fewer classes over the year and getting the same amount of credit. It seems like printing money. Why are they not taking the 7 classes each semester?
A: The number of courses and the instructional hours will remain the same. They are just structured and scheduled differently. Students must complete an entire course in order to earn credit just as they always have.

Q: How will a freshman enroll in classes? Will the school send us a sign up sheet, or provide a required course list?
A: Students who were enrolled last spring will have completed high school forecasting sheets and their fall schedule will be built from that. If your student has not completed a forecasting sheet, please contact SHS.

Q: If our senior forecasted for an elective that may not be taught (e.g. choir), and needs this credit to meet the 25.5 credits to graduate, will they be able to choose another elective?
A: Yes. But at this time we are planning to offer all of our electives, including choir.

Q: Do we know if there will be sports?
A: As of right now, yes, there will be sports. OSAA is the governing body for sports in Oregon schools, and their website contains a wealth of information on that topic. Check it out at www.osaa.org.

Q: My impression from the earlier description of this format was that students would work on the 4 classes more intensely, and then switch at the quarter or semester to the other classes they’ve registered for and similarly do a more concentrated work in a shorter time?
A: That is correct. Additionally, students will only have Math, English, and Science 1 semester rather than 1 year. When you issue a credit (what has traditionally taken a year) in one semester, it opens the schedule for electives.

Q: How will hands-on classes like SFSD Tech work?
A: Particularly during the all-online portion of the year, these courses will look different than they have in the past. We can’t say for sure what any specific class will look like at this moment in time, but we are committed to supporting teachers, students, and families to ensure the best possible experience for all classes, including our CTE programs and other traditionally ‘hands-on’ courses.

Q: Will Fox Online continue beyond this year?
A: Fox Online will likely continue only as long as the pandemic, but all we can say for sure is that it will run through the end of this school year at this time.

Q:
 How will the Middle School work with ASAP (After School Activities Program) to provide that extracurricular option for Middle School Students?
A: SMS leaders are in constant contact with ASAP, and ASAP plans to mirror their schedule to match the stage Silverton Middle School is currently in (hybrid virtual, hybrid online, etc.). Parents will be kept apprised of any changes to the program through parent forums and AG classes. For more information, please contact ASAP directly.

Q: Will both counties have to meet the metrics before School can start in person with the Hybrid model?
A: Yes, that is our understanding at this time.

Q: Could a student, or a student with a parent, schedule a time to meet in person with a teacher?
A: Yes, but as of right now those meetings will be virtual.

Q: What are the implications for the charter schools in the area? What are the district requirements?
A: Our charter schools are making their own decisions surrounding their management of school programs for this year.

Q: What will students do on the off-days if they participate in the Fox Hybrid?
A: They will continue with their home learning plan on off-site days.

Q: Will there be any books or paper materials provided at the beginning of the school year so that not all work is online?
A: Yes.

Q: Will high school counselors be available to help both hybrid and online with college prep applications, scholarships etc?
A: Yes.

Q:
 If a SHS class is not offered by Edgenuity but a student has chosen Fox Online only, can they still take that class at SHS? (e.g. AP Physics)
A: Not necessarily. Fox Online courses are limited to Edgenuity courses at this time.

Q: Will Honors/Accelerated classes on Edgenuity still count for credit for OSU etc.? (e.g. Pre-Calculus at SHS is accepted as college credit by OIT)
A: Yes. Our Hybrid teachers are working with our university partners to ensure that these opportunities remain available to our students.

Q: If only 50 percent of the kids in our school are going hybrid, can they go 4 days a week instead of 2?
A: That is a possibility. If class numbers drop below 15 we have some flexibility.

Q: If Clackamas County is tied to Multnomah and Washington for county reopening, do we know if SFSD will be affected by Multnomah and Washington county numbers as well?
A: We will not be affected by Multnomah and Washington counties, only Clackamas and Marion.

Q: 
Who do you recommend we contact if we are dissatisfied with the metrics for returning to school?
A: The Oregon Health Authority and the Governor’s office disseminated these metrics, and so they would be the best contacts.

Q: Since students at the high school are being given credits at the quarter instead of the semester, are they earning half a credit each quarter or a quarter of a credit?
A: Students will earn a half credit each quarter, and a full credit each semester.

Q: Why can’t SHS teachers livestream instruction for Fox Online students?
A: Asking teachers to manage both in-person student needs as well as those of online students results in a poorer experience for both groups. Fox Online students will still have access to SFSD teachers and instruction through the Edgenuity curriculum, and we believe this is the best way to serve those students at this time.

Q: Is Edgenuity curricula state-approved?
A: The State of Oregon does not have a state-approved online curriculum. ODE has provided districts with an online curriculum evaluation tool to ensure quality, alignment, access, and equity.

Q: Once we are back to in-school instruction in the hybrid option, how do we handle students with cold and other related symptoms? We are concerned that students will be on/off again frequently, especially during the winter months.
A: This concern is addressed via schools-specific Reopening Blueprints.

Q: During Fox Hybrid done from home, the students will have a typical school day with a teacher? So they’ll use the computer with the teacher online from the start of the school day until the end? For example, from 8:15-3:00 with breaks for lunch, etc
A: No. Each family can structure the learning minutes per week for their student as it best fits your family. There will be live engagement opportunities each day, but students will not be penalized if those do not work into their family schedule.

Q: Will the kids still be able to checkout textbooks and/or calculators
A: Yes.

Q: How will the online model support TAG students?
A: The online model provides for maximum flexibility in pacing, proficiency, and flexible scheduling which are all best practice strategies for TAG instruction.

Q: Are masks going to be required when students go back to school?
A: As of now, yes.

Q: I’ve heard some people say that seniors could potentially finish their year in one semester if they don’t have too many more credits that they need to finish. Is that true?
A: We prefer they stay with us, but yes it is possible. If they only have English, Government, Economics and an Elective to finish, they could potentially do that in the first semester.

Q: Who do we reach out to discuss changes in classes for my high school kiddo? IE I want to figure out what college classes she may take on line to replace/enhance her online learning.
A: You should reach out to your child’s counselor. They are not back in the office yet, but they will get back to you as soon as they are.

Q:
 For the hybrid model, how many days a week will students be expected to be online?
A: 5 while we are in distance learning and 3 when we are on-site part of the time.

Good afternoon, Silver Falls Families.

We’d like to thank everyone who attended our Virtual Community Town Hall Thursday evening. We had almost 400 people in attendance, and received many excellent questions. We answered as many as we could during the event, and will continue to update the FAQ portion of our reopening page in the coming days and weeks with the answers to as many of the remaining questions as we can. For those who would like a PDF copy of the presentation slides, you can find that here.

We realize many of you were not able to attend the meeting, and so we have uploaded the meeting recording to the district’s YouTube channel. You can watch it in full here.

As a reminder, applications for Fox Online are due by 11:59 PM this Sunday, August 9th. The application is online here.Weekly Teacher Led Instruction Chart

Several questions in last night’s meeting were around the amount of time families could expect their students to spend on schoolwork this year. While we expect most students will spend about as much time on their education this year as they would during a typical school year, there are also minimum weekly hours, established by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), for teacher facilitated learning. This is broken out by grade level, and is presented below, as well as in the graphic to the right.

  • Grades K-3: 11 hours and 40 minutes per week.
  • Grades 4-8: 12 hours and 30 minutes per week.
  • Grades 9-11: 14 hours and 10 minutes per week.
  • Grade 12: 13 hours and 45 minutes per week.

Again, these numbers represent the minimum hours as required by ODE. Students may experience more teacher-led learning this year, varying from week to week, but should not experience a situation where they don’t have the opportunity for at least these minimums.

Finally, it’s important to note that these minutes will be made up of a variety of learning tasks including videos, discussion, projects, practice assignments, etc. This does not reflect the number of minutes per week each student will interact live with a teacher, nor does this represent a minimum amount of ‘screen-time’.

FAQ Updates – Week of August 3rd

Q: What is a Home Learning Coach?
A: Great question! Please see this document for a breakdown: Home Learning Coach.

Q: Can we switch between Fox Hybrid and Fox Online if our family needs to do so?
A: Absolutely. We will always work with our families to support doing what is best for our students. With that said, there will be check-in points throughout the year where these transitions take place. Our plan is for these opportunities to occur at each Quarter.

Q: Is there a difference between the classes available in Fox Online and Fox Hybrid?
A: Yes. While Fox Hybrid students can take any class offered by SFSD, Fox Online students can take only those courses that are offered and supported by Edgenuity. View the Edgenuity course catalogs for more information.

Q: Will students be able to take PE online?
A: Absolutely. There will be a focus on health and wellness, as well requirements around performing physical activity, which will be logged and signed off by parents or Home Learning Coaches.

Q: Are the special education classes going to use Edgenuity or a different program?
A: Yes, all students, including special education students, will have access to Edgenuity.  Depending on the individual needs of each special education student, the district will provide additional curriculums and programs in order to meet individual strengths and needs.

Q: Doctors often rely on feedback from teachers when diagnosing a new learning disability (i.e. ADD/ADHD).  It seems like teachers would have a harder time providing input if their only interactions with the student have been online.  Do you have a plan for how teachers and behavioral specialists can provide valuable observations through an online classroom?
A: Teacher and specialist input will be impacted regarding valuable observation data for students during private and school evaluation processes.  Student teams (school staff, families, students and outside providers) will have to work closely together to determine what specific information will be required to support evaluation processes.  Teams will now need to consider home and community settings as additional learning environments during these evaluations.

As the district develops our Operational BluePrint for Reopening, and abides by the new restrictions and guidelines set forth by Governor Brown last week, the Silver Falls Special Services Department remains dedicated to educating all students in the district.

With all student learning operating in an online environment for at least the first quarter of the school-year, we understand that IEP and 504 teams will need to work closely together to develop  plans that continue to support individual student needs.  An online environment will provide us with challenging issues to creatively and collectively solve.  We recognize the uneasiness and uncertainty of the upcoming school year and how your student’s education may look and feel different.

We understand that each student has their own specific strengths and needs, and that as we get closer to the start of the 2020-21 school year some families may request to meet and discuss individual IEP and/or 504 plans.

The district is in the process of purchasing online special education curriculums that will support the learning of students and IEP teams in reviewing and developing routines and goals.  Special education teachers and staff will receive training on these curriculums prior to the start of school.

The Oregon Department of Education will be providing additional guidance regarding special education and 504 services in the next few weeks.  As that guidance is shared and made available to us, we will provide additional information to our community.

We value your input and ideas, and ask that you continue to contact us with your questions regarding special education and 504 services.  As additional questions and concerns arise, we will share them out for your review.

Dear SFSD Families and Friends,

Over the past four weeks, we created and shared our Hybrid plan to reopen schools this Fall. Each step of this process involved complex challenges. There simply is no playbook, nor protocol, for navigating through this crisis. I am grateful for your patience, as well as for the tireless work that our district’s teachers, nurses, administrators, and advisory committees have done to deliver a reopening plan that is both safe and addresses the needs of our community.

On Tuesday of this week, we received additional information from Governor Brown, which outlined the new county-based requirements necessary to reopen schools. I have included this information in a link below. In short, Marion County does not meet the minimum requirements for “test positivity rate”, and as a result, SFSD cannot yet reopen school buildings. The minimum threshold set by the Governor and the Oregon Health Authority is 5% or less, and the current rate is 6.5%. Moreover, once this rate dips below the threshold, it must remain there for 21 consecutive days. Furthermore, SFSD serves two counties (Marion and Clackamas), and we have been informed that both counties must meet the minimum requirements before our district can reopen its schools.

Knowing that we are under an incredibly short timeline, we feel a sense of urgency to make a final decision so that our families can begin to make arrangements. We have also sought consultation from our neighboring school districts relative to the likelihood that the current data will begin to trend downward enough to give us some certainty upon which to base our decision.

After many hours of deliberation, we have concluded that the only path forward is for all students to begin the school year in an online environment, until the end of the quarter on November 13.

We have designed two independent but related paths for this school year, and each family can select one or the other for each of their students. We’d like to introduce you to Fox Hybrid and Fox Online.

Students in Fox Hybrid will begin the school year fully online, and transition to a combination of in-school and independent online activities beginning November 16th at the earliest, with the possibility of this date shifting later in the year based on county health data.Students in Fox Online will attend school in a 100% online model for the entire 2020-21 school year.

With these two paths in mind, the school year will begin as follows:

  1. All SFSD students will begin the 2020-2021 school year on Monday, September 14, in either Fox Hybrid or Fox Online.
  2. By default, all students will be enrolled in Fox Hybrid. However, all families have the choice to opt-in to Fox Online for any or all of their students. The application for Fox Online is here. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm, Sunday, August 9th.
  3. Our district will make a determination by October 5, based on Marion and Clackamas county health data, whether students on the Fox Hybrid path will move to partial in-school instruction on November 16th, or if that date will be pushed further into the school year.
  4. Both Fox Hybrid and Fox Online classes will be taught by SFSD teachers in each of your school communities.
  5. Once the application deadline for Fox Online has passed, we will email families additional information specific to that program, along with a commitment form, list of expectations, and a timeline for use in the event that you wish to switch your child’s program during the school year.
  6. As we move forward, we will also be conducting parent surveys to allow for community input and feedback that will assist us in planning and preparation for these new conditions.

Finally, on behalf of the entire SFSD family, I want to acknowledge our disappointment that schools will not reopen this Fall as we had hoped. We know how important our schools are to our community, especially for those students in need of extra academic and social-emotional support. I would also like to thank you, our community, for sending us your thoughts and ideas in a way that has pushed us to better serve our students and families. Your grace, understanding, and thoughtfulness has been appreciated and noticed.

If you’d like to read more about the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Community Metrics, please see this link. For more details, see this week’s new FAQ entries, below.

Scott Drue (he, him, his)
Superintendent | Silver Falls School District
Where EVERY Student Thrives…

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When students are learning online… is this similar to what was done in the spring?
A: No, we expect both students and parents will find this Fall’s experience to be very unlike that of the Spring. Our online learning program will include the use of Canvas educational software district-wide, as well as contracted curriculum and online tools from Edgenuity. Also unlike the Spring closure, this is truly online learning of new content. Students will receive actual grades for work done in the online format as well.

Q: What sorts of differences should I expect between the curriculum of Fox Online and Fox Hybrid?
A: Both paths will feature the same curriculum provided by Edgenuity, covering all academic content areas. When Fox Hybrid students return to partial in-person attendance, they will still use the Edgenuity curriculum, with the inclusion of Social/Emotional Learning activities while in school buildings.

Q: Does that mean that teachers will not be able to teach their own curriculum this year and will be forced to use Edgenuity?
A: No. Edgenuity is a baseline tool for our teachers to utilize. Many will already have their own curriculums and tools, which they can load onto Canvas.

Q: If my student attends school in Fox Online, are they still eligible for school activities like clubs and sports?
A: Yes. Fox Online and Fox Hybrid students are equally eligible for all school activities and athletics.

Q: I heard that this new guidance from our governor allows for school districts in counties with case rates lower than 30 per 100,000, for three consecutive weeks, to have K-3 students return to an in-person Hybrid model. Is that something SFSD is going to do?
A: Should conditions improve, and we make the decision to have K-3 students back in school, we will notify our families well in advance of this shift.

Q: What about school lunches?
A: The district’s food service team will ensure every student has access to school meals. We will share more information about the logistics of food service this year at a later date.

Q: What about families with limited internet access?
A: Just as with the limited distance learning program from this past Spring, the district is committed to ensuring that all students have access to learning for this school year. We are currently hard at work to identify ways to mitigate the access disparities that exist in our district, both in terms of devices and internet service availability. We’ll have more to announce on this topic in the coming weeks.

Q: What does the Fox Hybrid model that starts on Nov. 16 look like?
A: It follows the originally planned Hybrid model, which can be found below:

SFSD Hybrid Model Graphic

Dear SFSD Families and Friends,

Last night, I gave our School Board a briefing on our plans to safely re-open schools in a Hybrid model this Fall. Since we are now living in an ever-evolving situation with the global pandemic, we are continuing to work at a rapid pace to update the drafts of our district and school safety blueprints.

On Thursday, August 6, at 7:00 p.m., we will be holding a virtual community town hall meeting to share our updated plan to re-open schools safely.  I would like to personally invite you to this important event, since this will be an opportunity for us to share the most current information that reflects our reality.  It is also a time for us to answer our community’s questions.  We hope that you are able to attend.

Be Well,

Scott Drue (he, him, his)
Superintendent | Silver Falls School District
Where EVERY Student Thrives…

Silver Falls Families,

This week we’ve got a spotlight on food service, a save-the-date for an upcoming Town Hall with Superintendent Scott Drue and other members of the Superintendent’s Cabinet, an update on the district’s fully-online option, as well as another weekly FAQ update.

Reopening FAQ Submissions – We love hearing from you!
We invite you to submit questions for our FAQ here. We’ll include the most common questions in our FAQ.

Coming Later This Week…

  • Tuesday, watch for a message from Superintendent Scott Drue, announcing the date and time of an upcoming virtual community Town Hall.
  • On Wednesday, look forward to an article about food service in the district, and the way our food service team will handle feeding our students this school year.
  • On Thursday we’ll share some new details regarding the district’s plan for a fully-online option for students this school year.
  • On Friday, watch for the weekly wrap-up message, including new FAQ additions.

We hope you and your families are finding ways to stay healthy and safe this summer. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at feedback@silverfalls.k12.or.us if you have any concerns not covered by our other messages – we do our best to get to every email we receive!

Dear SFSD Families and Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on our work to re-open schools this Fall. Our team has been working tirelessly to deliver a plan that is safe for our community, and responsive to our students’ needs, while also knowing full well that our best thinking may differ from your own.

  1. We continue to work with our District Re-opening Advisory Committee and other stakeholder groups on a plan to re-open schools in a Hybrid instructional model this Fall.  I have included a graphic below which describes this model in a more helpful way.
  2. We are currently working through the re-opening safety blueprints for our schools to reflect the latest expectations from the governor’s office, and recent guidance from the Oregon Department of Education. This most recent guidance requires mandatory face masks by all students in grades K-12, and further restricts student cohorts to no more than 100 students.  You can find the entire “Ready School Safe Learners Guide” here:  https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Documents/Ready%20Schools%20Safe%20Learners%202020-21%20Guidance.pdf
  3. We are preparing to present the SFSD Re-opening Plan in a virtual, community town hall meeting during the first week in August.  We will be sending out the exact date by the middle of next week.
  4. For each consecutive week in August, all principals will be hosting virtual town hall meetings with their respective school communities to share how the SFSD Re-opening Plan will look at each school. Individual schools will communicate out the specific dates for these meetings in the coming weeks.
  5. We continue to work through several different scenarios in order to bring a 100% online option to our families. We hope to make a final decision on what this will look like in the very near future.  Once a decision has been made, we will develop a process for parents to apply for this option.
  6. And lastly, we are  fully engaged in contingency planning in the event that we go into either a short-term, or long-term, school closure.  We will be prepared to share this information with you during the community town hall meeting in early August.

Thank you for your patience, grace and understanding as we work through this incredibly complex and unprecedented challenge.

SFSD Hybrid Model Graphic

As Silver Falls School District schools move closer to reopening in September, building teams face the challenge of identifying ways for students and staff to move through the building while maintaining appropriate social distancing guidelines. Dustin Hoehne, Principal of both Central Howell and Pratum schools, says his buildings are uniquely positioned to meet those guidelines with a minimum amount of change from the status quo.“We’re not schools that are based on internal hallways,” he explains. “At Central Howell it’s all exterior doors and exits. At Pratum we have one small hallway but there’s a second door in every classroom so we don’t even have to use that hallway.”

As principal of buildings supporting students from Kindergarten through 8th grade, Mr. Hoehne knows that the educational needs of elementary school and middle school students are very different. While in a traditional middle-school setting, students move through a variety of classes throughout their day, at Central Howell and Pratum smaller class sizes mean students typically move together.

“We don’t really departmentalize our middle school students,” says Mr. Hoehne. “Kids might switch around to different rooms for a few different topics, but for this year the students will stay in the same classroom throughout the day and teachers will rotate in and out to teach different subjects. That keeps one cohort in one classroom, and the teacher will social distance and sanitize their hands and so forth as they move around.”

Ultimately, the social distancing requirements for schools are about keeping students, staff, and families safe. Mr. Hoehne doesn’t believe school culture will suffer from these temporary requirements, as the foundation of that culture lies in the sometimes generational impact of students’ families.

“Safety is always first, of course,” he says. “Student safety, staff safety. We’re always thinking about that. But the thing that makes these schools unique is the relationships with our families. Not just parents, but in many cases grandparents attended these schools, and so they’re very invested in not just their kids’ education but in the school itself. When we do Grandparent’s Day at Central Howell, it’s so amazing to see the number who graduated from Central Howell, and then who went on to graduate from Silverton High School.”

That sense of community from student families is integral to the recipe for success at Central Howell and Pratum. Mr. Hoehne says this community is felt by the staff as well.

“We have people who greet each morning at both schools, and they’ve been at the schools for a while. They know kids’ faces and they know our families. Some of our initial screening each day can happen there with the greeters — we’ve been doing that anyway. We notice when kids are upset when they come to school, we know when kids are excited when they get to school. We can see when they aren’t feeling well. And of course it’s not just the folks in the office — our teachers know our students so well.”

Despite the wide range of challenges facing schools as they work toward reopening, Mr. Hoehne is confident of his teams and their ability to move students forward.

“It will be an interesting year,” he says, “but our schools have a real advantage.”

Silver Falls Families,

This week we’ve got fun school highlights for you, as well as another weekly FAQ update!

Reopening FAQ Submissions – We love hearing from you!
We invite you to submit questions for our FAQ here. We’ll include the most common questions in our FAQ.

Coming Later This Week

  • On Wednesday, look forward to an article about the way two of our schools will use their unique layouts to support distancing guidelines this fall.
  • On Friday, watch for the weekly wrap-up message, including new FAQ additions.

We hope you’re finding ways to enjoy the sun. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at feedback@silverfalls.k12.or.us if you have any concerns not covered by our other messages!

Happy Friday, Silver Falls Families!

In case you missed it:

  • On Monday, Superintendent Scott Drue sent out a brief message notifying parents that we are working toward a 100% online option for some of our students this fall.
  • On Tuesday we shared the results of our family survey that asked you to share your feelings surrounding the planned reopening of schools.
  • Wednesday, we shared an article about the ways Silverton High School is addressing equity while planning for the reopening.

You can find all of those messages in your ParentSquare posts area, or by visiting our Fall 2020 School Reopening Planning page.

Our sincere thanks to those who continue to submit questions for our Weekly FAQ Updates. We read every question, and while we can’t answer everything, we’ll continue to add more answers in the future. If you’d like to contribute a question, you can do so here.

Here are this week’s FAQ additions:

Q: Will teachers, staff, and students be tested for COVID at school?
A: No. This is outside the scope of what we can do in a school. We will work with our local public health authority to identify potential cases of COVID-19 and take action as required.

Q: With students attending fewer days than normal, how will you support families with small children and two working parents?
A: We know this is a difficult situation impacting families around the district, including families of district employees. We are hopeful that we can return daycare-aged students to school as soon as possible for as many days as possible. In the short term, families will have to look at their childcare resources for summer and other school breaks, consider partnering with other families for supervision, and perhaps consider exploring the possibility of help from our high school and college-aged students who will be working from home.

Q: If there are few enough students in a given class or school, could those students possibly stay together and go Tues-Fri?
A: Everyone will start at half capacity, and we will invite more students to join as soon as we are confident we are able to maintain appropriate distancing and hygiene procedures. It is likely that some of our smaller classes will see more frequent attendance sooner.

That’s all from us for this week! Have a wonderful, sunny weekend, and we’ll be back with more updates on Monday.

Picture of Silverton High School

A whiteboard hangs on the wall directly opposite Silverton High School Principal Wade Lockett’s desk. As he and his team work through the Department of Education’s Operational Blueprint for reopening schools, that whiteboard has seen heavy use. It’s covered in tasks, objectives, values, and goals. But one word is larger and more prominent than all the others.“As I sit here staring at the board in my office,” Mr. Lockett says, “thinking about concerns about reopening, the biggest word on the board is equity. We spend so much time trying to figure out ways to create equitable opportunities for every one of our students. It’s a huge concern as we work towards reopening the school.”

The SFSD school board adopted an equity policy earlier this year, reflecting a broader movement throughout the district toward considering equity at every level within the school system. Meanwhile, Mr. Lockett says that the high school’s equity work has already shown some fruit. He points to an increase in the graduation rate from 90% to 92%, and also a focus on the culture of the school.

“We’ve identified some of the equity issues at the high school”, he explains. “We put concrete policies into play that helped us eliminate some of those. Our professional development plan for staff is split into two halves for this coming year. The first half is a distance learning focus, and the second half is an equity focus. I’m always asking myself what our PD options are for staff to be able to focus more on equity. We’ve done and will continue to have listening groups and community outreach programs so we can get this right.”

Mr. Lockett says his staff has embraced equity work wholeheartedly.

“We have book groups at the high school, put together by teachers, that are running this summer. They’re getting the opportunity to just read through things and talk through issues that can sometimes be divisive. We’re looking at issues that might exist in our curriculum that can be divisive. It might be the way something is presented, or the thing we’re studying itself. We’re looking at whether or not there are ways we can teach those subjects in more equitable ways that don’t make students feel targeted or like they’re outsiders.”

As for the specific ways this issue is impacting the reopening, Mr. Lockett says it’s an issue central to the conversation and planning process.

“We’re trying to keep equity at the forefront of everything we do for the reopening, and it’s a real challenge,” he says. “We know that the closure itself is creating some divides, and maybe even some larger gaps. We’re trying to be really cognizant of that as we go through creating our reopening plan, trying to keep these policies and questions in mind. How do we serve all of our students equitably? How do we reopen in a way that serves all of our students? This is what’s anchoring our process. There are challenges with that — we get it… but everything we write in our blueprint is filtered through that equity lens.”

Silver Falls Families,

We appreciate your responses to our survey last week. You can find a graph of the responses below.

A visual depiction of the reopening process described elsewhere
In this chart, a 10 indicates a parent is sure they will be sending their students back to school at SFSD in the fall, while a 0 indicates a parent is sure they will not be sending their students back to SFSD. As you can see, a large majority of parents (642, or 62% of all respondents) indicated their likelihood of returning their students to SFSD at 7 or above. We’re continuing to work toward a reopening plan that will serve all of our district’s students, and allow you to send your children back to school with confidence. We’ll continue to share updates as we have them.

Have a wonderful day.

Dear Silver Falls Families and Friends,

We continue to hear and process community feedback around the reopening process. One item that continues to come up is whether or not we can offer a 100% online option for some of our students this fall.

We’re currently working on a way to provide this service through a 3rd party provider. For the sake of transparency, this solution will be limited in the number of students it can serve. However, for some students and families who need this option, we are exploring how to make this available as part of our reopening plan.

We appreciate the feedback and advocacy that our community is providing us.

Be Well,

Scott Drue (he, him, his)
Superint​endent | Silver Falls School District
Where EVERY Student Thrives…

Happy Friday, Silver Falls Families!

In case you missed it:

  • On Monday, we reintroduced our planned Cohort attendance schedule along with instructions on how to request a cohort change.
  • On Wednesday we looked at how Butte Creek school is planning for success in PE and Recess when we reopen.
  • Yesterday, Superintendent Scott Drue sent out a letter detailing the reasons for some of the decisions we’ve made so far regarding reopening.
  • Earlier this afternoon, Superintendent Drue sent out our Planning Steps Infographic, containing further details about the “how” of the decision-making process happening all summer long.

You can find all of those messages in your ParentSquare posts area, or by visiting our Fall 2020 School Reopening Planning page.

Our sincere thanks to the folks who submitted questions for our Weekly FAQ. We read every question, and while we can’t answer everything at this time, we’ll continue to add more answers in the future. For now, here are this week’s FAQ additions:

Q: Have you received guidance about graduation requirements for incoming high school seniors?
A: Not yet. We’re hoping to have more to share on this topic prior to the start of the school year.

Q: Can my child go to school 4 days a week if it supports his 504 plan?
A: If a student has a demonstrated need for additional days of support, our plan is to add those days as quickly as we can for as many students as we can.

Q: How will TAG students be supported? 
A: The hybrid model with half class sizes allows us the unique opportunity to personalize learning more so than we ever have. TAG students will have the benefit of more personalized attention, personalized learning options, menu and project based learning, and curriculum compacting.

Q: Will there be a difference for a child in a very small SPED class , ex: functional skills
A: The district is anticipating having students who are enrolled in any of the Structured Learning Programs, Basic Skills Programs and Functional Skills Classrooms to be able to attend 4 days a week.

Have a wonderful weekend, and we’ll be back with more updates on Monday.

Silver Falls Families and Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the reasoning behind the decisions we’ve made relative to the reopening of schools this Fall. It is fair and appropriate for you to have questions about why we’ve made these decisions. I want to be sure you know our thinking, while also knowing full well that it may differ from your own.

Distancing Requirements
One important question we’ve received is why we aren’t reopening at full capacity, as some feel that students are more at risk when they are out of school. Simply put, we do not have the space in all of our buildings to ensure the state-mandated thirty-five square feet of space required for 100% student attendance. As a result, we plan to reopen at 50% capacity, with the goal of ramping up to full capacity, and a full schedule, as soon as that option is available. This also leaves us a small buffer to move past 50% capacity on a needs-first basis.

Hybrid vs Online
Silver Falls School District will not provide a fully-online component for all students this fall. We are instead providing a hybrid learning model. Our reasons for this decision are:

  1. Operating a fully online school would either require the district to obtain a charter to provide these services, or to contract those services to a 3rd party. The short timeline for reopening schools does not make this a viable option at this time.
  2. ODE requires districts who choose to implement a Comprehensive Distance Learning model to justify why they can’t implement either an on-site or hybrid model for this Fall. While we can’t offer a fully on-site model for the reason listed above, we believe we can offer a hybrid model that serves the needs of our students.

Configuration
We were faced with several possible configurations with which to open our schools. Our decision to have students attend in cohorts on Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday was guided by the following factors:

  1. To limit the number of days students are away from their classroom teachers.
  2. To provide additional opportunities for specific students in need of intensive academic support.
  3. To ensure buildings, desks, chairs, and other equipment are properly cleaned at the end of each school day.
  4. To guarantee the alignment of nutrition, transportation, and special education services in a consistent and equitable manner to all students in all schools.

Cohort Splits
We have also been asked why we split our cohorts where we did, with Cohort A being last names A-K and Cohort B last names L-Z. This represents the closest to a 50/50 split district-wide between those groups. We have many families in our District who have students at multiple schools. For this reason, the cohort split had to be made at the District level, and not at each school, so that we would not have children from the same family attending school on different days of the week.

Finally, please know that we are doing everything we can to make the reopening of SFSD schools as safe and effective as possible. Our goal is to keep you informed, and we want to thank you for your patience and support.

Sincerely,

Scott Drue (he, him, his)
Superintendent | Silver Falls School District
Where every student thrives.

This is the first article in a planned weekly series, each highlighting a particular aspect of the reopening process as it is being discussed in one of our school planning committees. In today’s spotlight: Butte Creek Principal Kevin Palmer discusses PE & recess!

Butte Creek's GymAt Butte Creek School, Principal Kevin Palmer knows the value of Physical Education. As the school’s reopening committee plans for the return of students, ensuring the success of both PE and recess is a high priority. Accommodating them within state guidelines won’t be a problem, according to Mr. Palmer.”Our teachers, in the Spring — even when we were in distance learning — were looking at how this will work when kids come back to school,” Mr. Palmer says. “It’s important. We’re at the point where we’ve had a PE grant for 7 years. We’re always at or way above the number of required minutes of PE per week for grades K-5 — and it’s not that “throw the ball out” or “roll the ball out” kind of class. It’s about lifelong exercise, health, and nutrition. ”

Guidance and mandates from the Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority necessitate frequent cleaning of equipment and facilities, as well as limiting use of equipment to a single cohort of students at a time. Mr. Palmer says Butte Creek is well-equipped to handle these requirements.

“A requirement of our PE grant is that 75% of your class period involves active movement, not waiting in line. So you need to purchase enough materials so your kids aren’t standing around waiting for equipment or supplies. So with COVID concerns, we’re already in a good spot because kids won’t have to be sharing PE equipment.”

As for keeping students active outside of PE, four district schools — Butte Creek, along with Robert Frost, Mark Twain, and Scotts Mills — implement the Playworks system for managing recess. They’ve been running the Playworks system since 2018.

“Playworks is about making recess a better place for kids and making sure everybody understands the rules better. It really cuts down on the issues you sometimes see out at recess. Part of Playworks is you have your areas — this is the wall ball area, this is basketball, these are separate areas. This is another aspect that is going to roll over well into our plans for zones [for COVID-19 compliance] that will rotate daily. Each class will get a different zone so we rotate through them and clean them.”

Mr. Palmer is confident that Butte Creek students will return this fall to find a school that has many changes to accommodate ODE’s guidance and directives, but ultimately feels familiar and comfortable as well.

“I feel like we’ve got a great plan,” he says, “it’s great how these things we’ve already been doing will blend right in with the guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. I’m looking forward to getting back and seeing children back in the school — I’m super excited.”

Silver Falls Families,

As promised last week, we’re writing today to talk more about the ongoing process of planning for the reopening of schools this fall. Don’t forget, our brief, two-question survey is still open and available here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LB68Z8X.

In today’s message:

  • Instructions for how you can request a change in your student(s)’ assigned Cohort and school days.
  • A call for questions for our Reopening FAQ.
  • A look ahead on other communications you can expect from us this week.

Student Cohort Assignments & School Days

We’ve previously sent out messaging detailing our plans for a Cohort-based hybrid model for the Fall 2020 reopening of schools. One of the biggest requests we heard after sending that message was that families wanted a way to request a change in Cohort assignment. We heard you, and we now have a process in place. Read on for more information.

First, a refresher on our cohort model from our earlier message:

Students will be divided into A and B groups by last name. We anticipate those groups will be:

  • Last names beginning with A-K will be Group A
    • Last names beginning with L-Z will be Group B
    • Siblings with different last names can be moved to the other cohort for family consistency. Families will work with building principals to make the appropriate adjustments.

Students in grades K-8 who need special services may be invited to attend a third day and fourth day. Special services cohort groups will be created and scheduled at the building level in August and September based on student program plans and needs assessments   

Group A students will attend Tuesday and Thursday.
Group B students will attend Wednesday and Friday.

Monday will be used for:

  1. Small group special services delivery
    1. Collaboration with building and grade level teams
    2. Planning for the week, including prepping independent student learning kits for off days
    3. Consultations and conferences with individual students and families

Food service will be provided to all students 5 days per week in some capacity. More information will be provided prior to school reopening.

We know that for some families these cohort assignments present scheduling difficulties, and so today we are opening the process for requesting a change in cohort.

A few notes:

  1. This form is not for requesting a change from one cohort to another because of siblings who have different last names. To manage those changes, please contact your school directly.
  2. We cannot guarantee a change in cohort. This form is for requests, and we will accommodate as many requests as possible.
  3. You must submit the form once for each student for whom you wish to request a cohort change.

Without further ado, the fillable form for requesting a change in cohort is available at the following link: https://forms.gle/3jdPfzVwhfhLTwqv8.

Reopening FAQ Submissions – We need your help!

We invite you to submit questions for our FAQ here. We’ll include the most common questions in our FAQ.

Coming this Week

  • On Wednesday, look forward to an article about how one of our schools is tackling playground, recess, and PE concerns.
  • On Thursday, watch for a message with some fun Summer learning activities, broken down by grade level.
  • On Friday, watch for our first weekly wrap-up message, including new FAQ additions.

Stay safe, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us at feedback@silverfalls.k12.or.us if you have any concerns not covered by this message!

Silver Falls Families,

As we work this summer toward the reopening of schools in September, we consider your feedback vital. You can expect frequent communication from us, as well as frequent opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback.

In fact, we invite you to start off the month of July answering a brief, two-question survey at the link below:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LB68Z8X

There will be many opportunities to provide more comprehensive feedback in the coming days and weeks, and as always, if you have any questions or feedback you’d like us to see now, you can always email us at feedback@silverfalls.k12.or.us.

Thank you!

Reopening Process and Considerations
The planning for the 2020-21 school year will be complex and challenging to ensure our schools open safely. Returning Oregon students to on-site learning is an enormous responsibility, and that responsibility is shared by schools, districts and local and state health and education agencies. (ODE June 2020)

Planning in Silver Falls School District is well underway. Our District and Building Leadership Teams are working to balance the feedback we heard from our staff, students, and families with state and county directives and comprehensive guidance from the Oregon Department of Education.

It is our priority to build a hybrid model that supports the needs of our entire system of 13 schools, which share staff, families, and key systems like transportation, food service, technology, and student support services.

Administrators will be working through the summer with our building and district advisory teams to finalize plans that meet the requirements of the ODE framework and executive orders, while allowing us to serve as many students as we can, as comprehensively as we can. We will be sending family updates weekly throughout the summer as these plans develop.

Plan in progress 
Limited by mandate to a minimum of 35 square feet per person, we believe we can reopen at 50% capacity, with the goal being to move toward full capacity as quickly as it is safe to do so.

Students will be divided into A and B groups by last name. We anticipate those groups will be:

  • Last names beginning with A-K will be Group A
  • Last names beginning with L-Z will be Group B
  • Siblings with different last names can be moved to the other cohort for family consistency.  Families will work with building principals to make the appropriate adjustments.

Students in grades K-8 who need special services may be invited to attend a third day and fourth day. Special services cohort groups will be created and scheduled at the building level in August and September based on student program plans and needs assessments   

Group A students will attend Tuesday and Thursday.
Group B students will attend Wednesday and Friday.

Monday will be used for:

  1. Small group special services delivery
  2. Collaboration with building and grade level teams
  3. Planning for the week, including prepping independent student learning kits for off days
  4. Consultations and conferences with individual students and families

Food service will be provided to all students 5 days per week in some capacity. More information will be provided prior to school reopening. 

This hybrid model differs from the spring 2020 Distance Learning in the following ways:

  • Students will attend school 2-4 days per week with the goal of moving to a full schedule as soon as possible.
  • Parents will not be asked to navigate online meetings.  Students will get their live teacher instruction on attendance days.
  • Teachers will be sending students home with independent learning activities that support the instruction provided that week.  Students should be able navigate and complete learning tasks on their own with the coaching provided by their school staff on attendance days.

FAQ
How are students going to catch up if they only attend part time?
As much as we would like to have students in front of our teachers full time, that is not an option in September. To mitigate this, each student will be assessed when they arrive to determine current skills and potential learning loss. Building teams will use this information to build in 3rd and 4th day attendance in order to aggressively fill those gaps for our students. Class sizes that are half of what they normally are, in combination with extended team planning time on Mondays, will allow our teachers unprecedented opportunities to give each student individual attention and to customize instruction to meet their learning needs. Our principals are strategically rethinking master schedules to utilize every minute of live instructional time as effectively as possible.

How will schools social distance students?  Will they wear masks?  Temperature checks at door? 
Building and district teams are working through those details now, and full plans will be publicly released in late July or early August.  For a comprehensive look at the health and safety plans required to open our schools, please see ODE guidance here.

Could this change?

Yes. We must constantly adjust to accommodate for the spread or containment of the virus. That said, we are reasonably confident this hybrid model will be part of our September plan.

What about Fall Sports?
We expect decisions on that soon.  We have no ODE or OSAA guidance yet.

Even as we celebrate the ending of what has been the strangest school year most of us have ever experienced, we are already looking forward to the start of the 2020-21 school year. We know many of you have questions surrounding what next year will look like.

The Oregon Department of Education, in collaboration with the Oregon Health Authority, created a framework called Ready Schools, Safe Learners, which they released today, June 10th. This framework provides guidance covering the core aspects of safely opening schools, and is designed to be updated through the summer and into the school year based on the state’s evolving efforts to mitigate COVID-19, as well as feedback from educators and community members. The framework provides our schools and district with the flexibility to develop a local blueprint for safely starting school next year.

In the Silver Falls School District, conversations and planning for next year have already begun. Teachers, support staff, and school leaders from around the district have been involved, and we expect the planning to continue well into the summer. Superintendent Peterson is working with our new Superintendent, Mr. Scott Drue, to ensure the handoff of this process doesn’t interrupt our progress. “Scott has already proactively engaged in thoughtful dialogue and planning for next year,” Mr. Peterson said today.

Students will continue their education in the fall, and we wholeheartedly look forward to the joy of everyone returning to school. Thank you again for your patience while we seek additional input from stakeholders and work out a thousand details to ensure that our buildings are ready and that our learners will be safe.

We are proud of our professional educators, our generous families, our thoughtful leaders, and our students who bring out the best in all of us. We are confident that working together with families and our community, we can ensure a high-quality, accessible, and equitable education for each of our students.

For more information on the Ready Schools, Safe Learners framework, please see this resource on the ODE webpage.

You may provide feedback to the Oregon Department of Education via this survey, and Silver Falls School District always welcomes your feedback to feedback@silverfalls.k12.or.us.

We hope you have a wonderful summer!