July 23, 2020
Dear Ridgefield Families
As you are aware, community spread of COVID in Clark County and Southwest Washington remains prevalent. I know how much we all yearn for a return to some semblance of normalcy, including having our children in school. However, the current public health conditions make the likelihood of an in-person start to the school year highly unlikely.
The District has spent the summer preparing to meet the many challenges posed by COVID. Building and district administration have been working with our labor partners on two viable learning options until we can once again return to a traditional, fully in-person model. One is a distance-only model, the other a “hybrid” model that combines in-person and remote learning opportunities. Tremendous progress has been made on both models, and I am confident that we will be able to safely welcome our students back into the schools at some point during the 2020-2021 school year.
The two viable learning models include a “hybrid” learning model and a “remote-only” distance-learning model. In the "hybrid" learning model, the District will divide the student population into two groups. Each group will attend school in-person two days a week, while completing remote learning the other three days. In this model, the District will ensure that families with multiple students will be assigned to the same group.
In the distance-learning model, all students will participate in a robust and predictable learning model from home five days a week. The District is committed to providing an engaging, rigorous, and relevant distance learning model taught by RSD educators. We believe this hometown connection, with our talented teaching staff leading students in their learning, makes this program superior to other distance offerings. It is our hope to share specifics on these learning models with you next week.
I know there are still many questions regarding what the 2020-2021 school year will look like. And I recognize that while this news comes as a welcome relief to some, others will be disappointed and disagree with the anticipated decision to open the school year remotely. It is not an easy decision, and I appreciate the different points of view. In-person learning is optimal, and our goal remains to bring students back for in-person learning experiences as quickly as conditions allow. Ultimately, we will continue to rely on the advice and guidance from our public health officials. The encouraging news is we can collectively improve conditions so a safe return to school is possible. I’ve added this link to a research article that provides insight into how the community’s actions can determine how and when schools will open.
Thank you for your continued support of the Ridgefield School District. Stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.
Dr. Nathan McCann