INTERMEDIATE & SECONDARY MODEL (Grades 5-12)
Oak Harbor Public Schools is evaluating two different types of learning opportunities for this fall and we’re looking for your feedback. Please carefully read the description for each of the following models before completing our brief survey to select your preferred method. After reviewing the survey and focus group data and examining the recommendations from OSPI and the Department of Health, the district will send its recommendation to the School Board for approval on August 10.
Regardless of the decision, families will still have more than one option to choose for their child’s education. We know that your decision is based on the level of risk and household need for the upcoming school year. These are unprecedented times, and selecting the best education model for your child is our highest priority. We are working very hard to provide as many of these different opportunities as possible. Please note, the models listed below may be modified or shift pending recommendations from OSPI and the Department of Health and the feedback we receive from families and staff.
This model is not feasible in grades 5-12 for the fall due to state-mandated six-foot spacing between students in classrooms. Our classrooms in grades 5-12 lack adequate space to accommodate all students and have the required space between students at desks. Once the state requirements change, we will be able to begin to transition back to a daily in-person model in grades 5-12. Note: At the elementary level, this is possible because of smaller students, smaller class sizes, and generally larger classrooms.
Explanation of the model
With half the number of students at school, the hybrid model creates much smaller class sizes than the daily in-person model. Students in a class split into two groups, A and B. Group A does in-person learning on Monday and Tuesday while Group B participates in remote education. On Thursday and Friday, Group A does distance learning while Group B participates in on-site and in-person learning. All students do distance learning on Wednesdays.
Each student is assigned their own Chromebook for the school year and students are taught to use Google Classroom and it will be integrated into instruction as a place to access resources and turn in assignments. Assignments and activities are posted there for students who are absent and kept up-to-date so we are ready to move to a distance model at any time, if necessary.
The district continues to take extra precautions with safety and cleaning which are required by OSPI and the Department of Health for in-person learning. Student desks are six-feet apart and staff and students are required to wear face coverings (mask or face shield) throughout the school day. Daily health screenings and regular sanitizing are done. Additional safety precautions around bussing and student pick-up and drop-off will be shared as we receive more guidance from the state.
Students attend school on-site Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday. Wednesday is remote learning for most students. Student attendance (participation) on each remote day is required. Wednesday is a deep cleaning day at school with remote learning for most students, while intervention groups, special education, and other services for some students may take place. Wednesday allows teachers one day to keep their online resources updated, communicate with parents and students, provide individual support, and complete ongoing training in distance learning and technology integration. Custodial staff uses this time to complete deep cleanings of the building.
FULL DISTANCE LEARNING 2.0
This model is an improved version of our spring distance learning. Unlike the spring model, this “version 2.0” is designed to be a better replacement for in-person learning. This model uses our district curriculum and is set up so we can smoothly transition from this model to hybrid or daily in-person as conditions improve. Like last spring, it uses Google Classroom and Google Meet as the main instructional platforms.
All students receive a district-issued Chromebook to use at home (about a third are brand new, the oldest ones have been retired and all others cleaned and updated). We will still offer paper packets of information. The state is no longer funding free breakfast and lunch for all students, however, breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase or free/reduced for those who qualify. This model is designed for families who intend to transition back to a hybrid or in-person model as conditions improve and as allowed by the State.
To more effectively engage with students and families, we will do the following:
- Increase consistency (class schedule, meetings, and feedback)
- Require daily attendance
- Have a more robust remote (online) learning model
- Increase school-to-home connections (counselors and staff will provide social-emotional support to students and their families)
- Provide some in-person instruction to students with unique, critical-learning requirements such as our youngest students, students with disabilities, and English language learners.
A more robust solution than our distance learning, the new Oak Harbor Virtual Academy (OHVA) serves students in grades K-12. This is a full-featured replacement for in-person instruction using a well-established and successful online learning environment. It does not align with our district curriculum but does meet all state and federal standards. This model is designed for families who do not intend to transition back to a hybrid or in-person model and prefer to stick with distance learning for a full semester or more. This is a permanent program in Oak Harbor. Families participating in the Academy are able to continue this program in the coming years if they wish.
For grades K-6, this program provides students all of their instruction and cannot be blended with the other models (other than homeschooling). However, in grades 7-12, students may opt to take select courses up to a full load through OHVA. This allows students in grades 7-12 to access some in-person or hybrid classes while taking other classes online. Parent support and involvement are the keys to student success in this program. All courses necessary for students to graduate are offered through OHVA.
OHVA is a web-based educational program of Oak Harbor Public Schools that provides instructor-led online courses to students. All instructors have valid state certification in their subject areas. This is not an online textbook or virtual worksheet program. Instead, OHVA presents students with an interactive learning experience.
The OHVA program aligns with Washington State Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) rules. These ALE rules govern how students must perform in online courses. Students are required to maintain weekly contact and show progress to remain in good standing. If a student has 20 days of no communication and no progress, intervention and a drop from the student’s online course is required.
More information and a FAQ about the Oak Harbor Virtual Academy will be released soon.
Many families in our community are homeschooling or considering this option for their children. However, the thought of doing home-based learning on their own may be daunting for some. HomeConnection provides families a way to homeschool while receiving district support through the curriculum, enrichment classes, core classes (6-12), activities, advisors, and other resources to complement their learning at home. Essentially, HomeConnection is a parent-partnership program that links families with Oak Harbor Public Schools’ services designed just for them.
Parents enroll their child in the school district, demonstrate successful homeschooling, develop a student learning plan for instruction at home, and attend one or more of our 150 onsite, hybrid, and online courses. This solution allows for the flexibility of homeschooling while also enjoying many school district resources, networking with other families, and giving their children opportunities to connect part-time with other children in an engaging family-friendly environment. Parent commitment and involvement are vital to student success in HomeConnection.
HomeConnection students can also access OHVA, Running Start (HS only), and OHPS courses.