Although it’s only early July and there are still two whole months before the new school year begins, families are understandably anxious and interested in our plans for reopening Bethel schools.
COVID-19 continues to change the most fundamental aspects of how we live, including how we hold school. As a result, our school cannot operate in a normal fashion to begin the 2020-21 school year. From top to bottom, here is some important information you should know:
The Plan: Bethel administrators and department leaders are now outlining details of two learning models: a Hybrid model, combining in-classroom instruction with distance learning, and a Comprehensive Distance Learning option for students who are unable to attend in person. There are many reasons why the Hybrid model has been selected, but most center on following the Oregon Health Authority’s strict health and safety requirements now in place for schools:
– Social Distancing: The State requires that each student in school be provided a social distancing area of 7’ x 5’ (35 sq. ft.). Depending on the size of the room, that limits classrooms to about 14 students at one time. So, about half the school enrollment will be able to attend school at one time.
– Instruction: A core value in Bethel is to maximize in-person instruction to provide continuity of learning, care, and connection. A Hybrid model brings students to school for some days each week, while offering distance learning for the days when students are not in the building, while Comprehensive Distance Learning is for students who cannot attend in-person at all.
– Health & Safety: No in-person plan will work without the ability to protect the health of all children and adults in the school. We are more able to limit your child’s contact with others throughout the day by
Masks to fight the spread of COVID-19 are recommended but not yet required in Lane County public spaces. But, Bethel’s Val Gilkison is ready to help should conditions here worsen.
The Prairie Mountain Health Assistant has made nearly 2,000 masks since schools were closed in March.
Instead of cashing in, Val has given all of them away to hospitals, first responders, her family, friends, members of her church, and Bethel staff.
She knows her way around a sewing machine, and it didn’t take long for Val to find a pattern that was universal.
Knowing that the masks help asymptomatically infected folks from unknowingly spreading the disease, Val has no intention of slowing down.
More than 2,000 school district Chromebooks were loaned to students this spring for Distance Learning.
Now, they need to be returned to prepare for the coming school year.
Chromebooks can be dropped off at Willamette High School Thursday, June 18th, between noon and 7:00 p.m.
The computers will be cleaned, checked, and returned to their originating Bethel schools.
Call your school office if you have any questions.
With pomp and circumstance, speeches and student talent, seniors at Willamette and Kalapuya High Schools celebrated their graduation with virtual ceremonies.
Willamette’s online graduation invited viewers to see seniors showing off their diplomas while wearing their graduation caps and gowns. The names of each of the more than 300 graduates were read.
Kalapuya’s senior class was already on track to graduate a large number of students even before the COVID-19 school closure. The KHS virtual graduation mirrored its actual ceremony, during which students received their diplomas individually and a staff member offered comments about each student.
Congratulations to all Bethel seniors for graduating during a truly historic year.