VALE, OR – (From the Vale School District) During a Special Board Meeting on January 6, 2021, the Vale School District Board of Directors voted unanimously in favor of providing Vale School District families with the option to return K-12 students to school for full day, in-person instruction beginning January 19, 2021. This decision was made after consultation with Malheur County Health Department officials and careful consideration of research, data, local context, and input from staff, students, and community members.
The concept of opening our schools to provide a full day of in-person instruction for the first time since March is very exciting. I truly believe that the Oregon Department of Education has outlined protocols that allow for a safe return to school. It is critical that we maintain rigorous health and safety practices to ensure the safety of staff, students, and the community. Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings, maintain physical distancing, stay home when ill, sanitize their hands frequently, and adhere to additional health and safety protocols.
Each Vale School District school will be sharing school-specific information regarding the return to in-person instruction with families soon. In the meantime, here is an overview of what to expect:
— Limited In-Person Instruction and Zoom classes will continue through Thursday, January 14, which is the last day of the second quarter.
— Transportation will be provided for students. The Vale School District Transportation Department is finalizing bus routes and will be in contact with families next week regarding pickup and drop-off times. If a family is able to continue transporting their children, it is highly recommended, as it will decrease the number of students on each bus.
— On-site instruction will take the place of Zoom instruction. As a result, any students who have checked out school devices or hotspots will need to return the devices/hotspots to the school on Tuesday, January 19.
— In the event that a student/cohort is required to quarantine, the classroom teacher will facilitate temporary distance learning.
— Unlike Limited In-Person Instruction, daily attendance at school is required for all students enrolled in on-site learning, unless the students are required to quarantine.
— Students will be provided with breakfast and lunch when they are at school.
We understand that an in-person learning option may not work for everyone. As a result, Vale School District is providing families with the option to enroll in the Vale School District’s online learning academy if they would prefer not to have their children participate in on-site learning. It is important to note that if a family chooses to enroll in the online learning academy and requests to return to on-site learning, there may not be classroom space for the student to return to on-site instruction until the following school year. If you would like to enroll your child in our online learning academy, please contact your child’s school as soon as possible.
Alternatively, we recognize that there may be individuals who could not facilitate comprehensive distance learning and pursued educational options outside of the Vale School District. Now that we are able to provide full, in-person instruction, it is possible that some families may be interested in returning to the Vale School District. If this is the case, please contact the appropriate school as soon as possible.
We are looking forward to the opportunity to welcome Vale School District students back to our buildings on January 19th!
All the best,
Alisha McBride, Superintendent