MEDFORD, Ore-- Starting tomorrow, multiple school districts across southern Oregon, including the Medford School District and the Butte Falls School District, will return back to full in-person learning.
"I am thrilled to announce that we are going all-in for all students," said MSD Superintendent Dr. Bret Champion two weeks ago. "Our students and staff have proven that they are committed to embracing safety protocols setting us up for a successful return to the classroom full-time."
For the last year MSD and the Butte Falls School District had to adjust to teaching their kids online with comprehensive distance learning, something that no one expected would happen when the coronavirus pandemic first made its way into Oregon.
But now one year later, kids will finally be making their way back into the classroom, thanks to a social distancing change made by the Oregon Department of Education in March that moved social distancing requirements in a classroom from six feet to three feet.
According to Dr. Champion, he says that the move back to full-time in-person learning was made for several reasons.
Those reasons include data that shows students are best served while in the classroom, that hybrid learning has been challenging not only for teachers, but students and families as well and that the mental and emotional health of their students have suffered during the pandemic.
Although students will back in the classroom full-time there will still be challenges along the way to returning things to normal.
According to ODE guidance, there will still be a requirement for students to maintain six feet of physical distancing during meal time. This means meals will likely be served in shifts and some students will be served in classrooms, while others may eat in common areas such as cafeterias.
Transportation and busing has also been another hurdle for many school districts to overcome and is something that MSD and other school districts are working to solve.
However, if you are a parent who has a child in the Medford School District and wishes for them to remain online, MSD says that they will continue to offer an "innovative, flexible, online learning environment for students and families who may be uncomfortable with in-person learning," with Medford Online Academy.