Dr. Yvonne Curtis, superintendent, has served in public education in California and Oregon, across urban, suburban and rural communities. For fourteen years, she taught elementary school in California and Oregon, before advancing to middle school assistant principal and elementary principal.
While earning her Doctor of Education degree, from the University of Oregon she served the Eugene School District as the Director of Student Achievement before moving on to become the Superintendent in Forest Grove, Oregon.
Recently, Dr. Curtis led the instructional transformation of Portland Public Schools, as the Deputy Superintendent of Instruction and School Communities, in Portland, Oregon. Yvonne comes with knowledge, experience and expertise in closing achievement and opportunity gaps while ensuring all students experience more rigorous instruction and a broad range of educational experiences.
Children Come First
South Lane School District
July 3, 2020
Students, Parents, and Community
Plans for Fall 2020
We are very eager to have our students back with us in the fall. We know that students have missed out on valuable instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have already begun comprehensive planning to be prepared when students return to school. We have created work teams with over 50 of our staff members to carefully plan how we will welcome back students in a manner that is safe, but that also provides quality instruction and learning opportunities. We have 3 work teams, and they are as follows:
- Hygiene and Organization--This team will focus on procedures, protocols, and conditions in each building and on busses to keep our children and staff safe. This team is already working closely with county health officials.
- Social Emotional Needs--This team will focus on student wellness, and preparing students to meet the expectations of learning in the fall.
- Content and Delivery--This team will focus on teaching and learning, whether it is person, or distance learning.
In addition to these work teams, we will also seek input from community leaders, community members, parents, and students.
Throughout the summer, we plan to periodically provide updates on the work of these 3 teams, and what the fall will look like for students, families, and staff. The Oregon Department of Education has provided a guidance document to inform this first round of planning. They will provide an update every three weeks, which may require us to change our plans as they continue to study and learn about the impact of the coronavirus.
This is our first update:
Fall 2020 Work Team Progress
Hygiene and Organization
This team is currently creating district-wide standards for health-related protocols that include social distancing, entry screening and procedures, face coverings, communication, and illness response. They are also preparing our facilities to be safe for students and staff by setting standards for sanitization in all areas of a school (including playgrounds), setting safe capacity limits for each room in every building, and organizing safe transportation. As the summer progresses, the district will seek input from community leaders and community members to ensure that our plans and procedures have specific plans to share with staff and the community.
Content and Delivery
This committee has proposed a student schedule for the Fall. While the plan maintains the current school days that we already had planned for the year, the way those look will be very different. ODE Guidance around safety and hygiene severely limit the amount of students we can have in the building at one time. Our current schedule proposal meets these guidelines and is laid out here:
- Each school has two groups of students: A and B.
- Each group attends school in person two days per week (M/Th or T/F) and the other three days they will participate in distance learning.
- Wednesday will be called “Wellness Wednesday” and used for staff to check in with students, and to create distance learning materials.
We put significant time into exploring many different scheduling options but settled on this proposal for several reasons. It fits within our established priorities to have regular contact with all students, allow extra time for groups with more needs, focus on care and connection (especially in the beginning), and provide staff time for prep, professional development, and focusing on care and connection. In addition, it allows for the required components that the state has laid out including proper cleaning between groups, cohort tracing, limited number of students at school, and a quick shift to distance learning for any amount of students.
Social Emotional Needs
This team is planning to use Wednesdays, or “Wellness Wednesdays” to support families and students with technology, and the new expectations for school this upcoming year. They are also ensuring that teachers have curriculum and any necessary professional development to meet the social and emotional needs of students. In addition, they will work with community partners and experts in the field to provide purposeful social justice and equity instruction.
We appreciate the work of our committees, and will soon provide opportunities for the community to provide us valuable input.