The District has received input from many families regarding their desire to have an online learning option, given the rise in COVID-19 case rates and the fact that our youngest students have not yet had the chance to be vaccinated. Staff have been researching online learning options that provide a quality education to students, are financially feasible for the District, and allow for the flexibility of students to return to school once case rates fall and/or our youngest learners have an opportunity to be vaccinated.
In addition to serving families who are concerned about the rising case rates, families who do not want their student to wear a mask to attend school in-person will be provided with an option to continue their student’s education virtually. According to the guidance provided by the Oregon Department of Education, “Schools cannot serve a student in-person if they or their family choose not to wear a face covering. Schools may offer a remote or online school option for the student.” This online option will support families who make this choice as well.
To address the various needs of families best served by an online learning option, we will be partnering with the Northwest Regional Education Service District to provide SSD students with access to the Oregon Virtual Education (ORVED) platform. This program serves students in grades K-12 with a comprehensive, online curriculum. Secondary students have a large catalog of courses to choose from, and elementary students will be able to take math, science, reading, writing, social studies, PE, and health courses, meeting all of the required grade level standards.
This online option will be different from the Cloud Campus the District offered last school year, and is not connected to the pace of instruction that will occur in person at our schools. While the Cloud Campus featured live instruction from Sherwood teachers and interaction with peers, the ORVED program will offer a self-paced, online curriculum.
We realize that the flexibility to return to in-person instruction in the Sherwood School District when conditions change is important to families, and that was a major factor in selecting this option. We are still working out details regarding how and when students will be able to transition back to in-person learning, should that change be requested. It is likely that middle and high school students will transition back to in-person instruction at the end of a grading period, while discussions about how that transition will look for elementary students are still ongoing — though that transition would most likely occur at natural breaks in the school year (with consideration given to vaccination availability).
Our first step is to gauge interest in this program from students and families. If you are interested in an online education for this school year or you know that your student will not be willing to wear a mask as a requirement for attending school in person, please fill out the attached survey. This is not a commitment to online school, nor is it your registration for online school. Additional information about ORVED program registration and participation will be provided to all who complete this interest survey.