BUTTE FALLS, Ore-- According to Butte Falls School District Superintendent, Dr. Phil Long, the school district will be making the change from its current hybrid learning model to full-time in-person instruction starting on April 12.
"This is big news for Butte Falls because we are opening back up," said Dr. Long. "We are ready to get back to school."
Currently the school district is on a two-day a week schedule where students at Butte Falls Schools will come into the classroom to learn. While the other two days are spent learning online. However with the move to full-time instruction, students can expect to be back four times a week. That's something that Butte Falls Schools haven't experienced in over a year.
"I want them back and I want to see them every day," said Kayla White a parent and instructional assistant at Butte Falls Elementary. "It's been a struggle since the pandemic started."
The transition to in-person learning full-time was not only made possible because of the Oregon Department of Education's decision, to change social distancing guidelines from six feet to three feet, but also because of a grant that the Butte Falls School District recently received.
The school district was awarded a 5,000 dollar grant from AllCare Health's Covid-19 Resiliency Fund to help prepare its schools for the return of students back on campus. According to Dr. Long, the funds were used to purchase 65 individual student desks to provide student work spaces that met ODE's standards for healthy distancing.
"We are a hands on school," Dr. Long said. "Most students used to meet around a table, so we didn't have a lot of desks and with the distancing we needed that."
Although most parents are happy about the return of in-person learning to the Butte Falls School District, some say that they wish the transition would have happened sooner before they pulled their kids of out the district.
"We actually did pre-enroll our children at the Crater Lake Learning Academy because they were allowing in-person instruction sooner," said Rob Clark, a parent who took his oldest children out of the Butte Falls School District. "It was very difficult because we are from this town and we love this community."
According to Clark several other families that had children in the Butte Falls School District took their children out of the program as well.
Although the decision to move some of his own children out of the school district wasn't an easy choice, Clark hopes that his kids and other children that were taken out of the Butte Falls School District, can return in the near future.
"I hope I can bring my children back to the school district," said Clark. "It was just that some people felt the situation should be handle a little bit differently, and there's nothing more important than your child's education."