The school year is going to look different in 2020-2021.
It doesn’t matter if it’s for homeschool, private school, charter school, boarding school or public school. It’s going to look different because of guidelines set out by the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education to make sure children, staff and the community stay healthy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This also means in the last four months people have been hearing a lot of new terms when it comes to the school year.
Douglas Education Service District Communications Specialist Heather Villa said some of those new terms will be used in communication between a school district and parents.
“However, it’s essential to keep in mind that the new procedural terms are new to all of us and are largely coming from experts in epidemiology like (the) Douglas Public Health Network and (the) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” she said.
Villa said many of the new terms quickly describe the policies, such as Comprehensive Distance Learning.
“It’s helpful to provide districts with messaging that allows the broader community to understand that even though the current situation is unpredictable, the guidance/metrics established will help inform comprehensive distance learning, at-school learning or hybrid learning, all backed by safety measures,” Villa said. “Ultimately, each district decides the most appropriate messaging and communication methods to use, such as email, website or social media platforms. Communication also involves listening. The survey results have allowed districts to listen to wants and needs.”
Schools in Oregon have until Aug. 15 to submit their plans for reopening in the fall to the Department of Education. However, many schools have already started communicating with parents and students about what the 2020-2021 school year may look like.
Here are some of the terms, and what they mean, explained:
EDUCATIONAL MODELSComprehensive Distance Learning — Off-site learning which requires in-depth and robust planning.
Hybrid Learning — Some instruction is in-person and some instruction is provided off-site. Hybrid instructional models allow districts to adjust for multiple variables and continue to access on-site instruction to the greatest extent possible. More requirements for the hybrid model will be released Aug. 11.
On-site Learning — Students learn in school and have access to in-person instruction.
Short-term Distance Learning — Learning that can be done remotely for a short period of time, such as the learning model “Distance Learning for All” which was in place at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. All schools must have a short-term distance learning plan to prepare for an outbreak.
EDUCATION TERMSApplied Learning — This allows for students to apply knowledge and skills that extend from the teacher-facilitated learning. These learning experiences are designed by the teacher to create deeper knowledge or skills in a certain subject.
Asynchronous Learning — Learning that occurs between two or more people during a longer timeframe, such as through podcasts, blogs, discussion forums, etc.
Operational Blueprint for Reentry — A plan each school will need to submit to the state by Aug. 15, which will address how it plans to operate during the 2020-2021 school year under the state guidelines. All these plans will be made available online by the school district and the Oregon Department of Education. As of 4 p.m. Monday, no schools in Douglas County had submitted plans.
Project-Based Learning — A teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.
Social Emotional Learning — The process through which children and adults learn to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
Stable Cohort — A group of students who are consistently in contact with each other.
Synchronous Learning — Learning in which participants interact at the same time and in the same space.
Teacher-facilitated Learning — A learning experience planned and guided by a teacher. Teacher-facilitated learning is often used when the teacher is planning for all students to have a common experience related to specific learning targets. Teacher-facilitated learning may be synchronous or asynchronous.
HEALTH TERMSCommunity Health Metrics — To reopen schools to all K-12 students, the statewide and county positive testing percentage needs to be at or below 5%. There can also be no more than 10 cases per 100,000 people, in a seven day period for three consecutive weeks.
Contact Tracing — The identification of people who may have come into contact with a person with COVID-19.
Exposure — When an individual has close contact (less than 6 feet) for 15 minutes or longer with a contagious person with COVID-19.
Face Covering — A cloth, paper, or disposable face covering that covers the nose and the mouth; may or may not be medical-grade. Will be required for all student over the age of 5.
Isolation — Separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
Outbreak — An unusual number of cases in a given context. It has yet to be specified what an “unusual number of cases” is.
Physical Distancing — There needs to be at least six feet of space between persons to the maximum extent possible. Also known as social distancing.
Quarantine — Separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.