Re-open update – July 29

July 29, 2020

Dear Trinity Family,

Over the past week, more additional information regarding the safe re-opening of schools here in Oregon has been released by Governor Brown and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).  Governor Brown on Tuesday, July 28, announced that when counties and the state meet certain metrics, schools will be allowed to start their in-person instruction for all grade levels. 

The combined targets from her announcement are as follows for Counties and the State:

County metrics (must be met three weeks in a row)

  • 10 or fewer cases per 100,000 people over 7 days 
  • Test positivity of 5% or less over 7 days 

                            –    and     – 
Statewide metrics (must be met three weeks in a row)

  • Test positivity of 5% or less over 7 days

The numbers for the past three weeks show these current trends.

While we are hopeful for all grades to open All Day/Every Day on September 1, Deschutes County is trending towards this likely reality: In-person learning on Trinity’s campus in KDG to grade 3 is a high possibility, but grades 4-12 will open online.  This is due to the stated exception rule for KDG to grade 3.

Governor Brown said that in-person instruction can resume only for KDG-Grade 3 students (and remote and rural school districts with fewer than 100 students), if these conditions are met:

  • Fewer than 30 cases per 100,000 over 7 days (Last week, Deschutes County was at 54.6 cases)
  • Test positivity of 5% or less over 7 days (Deschutes County last week was 4.6%, and  Oregon was 5.1%.)
  • COVID-19 is not actively spreading in the school community 
  • School districts are in compliance with sections 1-3 of Ready Schools, Safe Learners Guidance (our response document is due to ODE by August 15)

Early Childhood Education (ECE)/daycare standards are different and will be updated by mid-August.  Trinity has applied for the emergency childcare status and we have our review within the next week.  Under the current guidelines, with this status, we will have space for all-day care for cohorts of 10 students, two half-day (AM and PM) cohorts, and two cohorts of students age 12 and younger.

As you can imagine, there is so much coordination happening here at Trinity so that we are prepared to offer an outstanding educational experience, whether online or in-person.  Our faculty and staff have been working hard this summer to improve their teaching methodologies to better equip the students and the families they serve.  Teachers in ECE through grade 2 have had significant training in the Seesaw platform and teachers in grades 3-12 have been going through Google Classroom certification to better communicate with students and their parents.  Each of these platforms will be utilized online or in-person.  

Classrooms are being reset to accommodate all students and teachers with 36 sq feet of space in order to maintain proper social distancing.  We will be training our students to follow safe health standards, including social distancing and proper hand-washing techniques. All of our classrooms through grade 5 have additional teacher support. This support comes in the form of aides or co-teachers to assist in the supervision and training of our students.

As you review the guidelines on our website, we will be adding new updates to each section specifically to assist families with students in these grade levels.

The most recent version of Ready Schools Safe Learners version 3.0.1 requires students in grades KDG on up to wear facial coverings during the day.  This can be a mask or a face shield.  I would encourage you to purchase these now and practice with your child(ren) on how to wear them.

Student One-to-One Devices 
Online learning will look different than it did last year.  School issued devices: iPads in KDG – grade 2, Chromebooks grades 3-5, and MacBook Airs in grades 6-8, have been purchased and prepared for our students to use whether at school or at home if we are instructing remotely.  HS students will continue to provide their own devices to support their learning.

By August 11, we will send out schedules for when devices will be distributed, if necessary, and when any special trainings and information meetings will be conducted.  Teachers are preparing both schedules (in-person and online) for distribution.

Online Learning Schedule
The online learning day for all students in grades K-12 will consist of live instruction on Google Meet from 8:45a – 12p.  These sessions will also be recorded for review, should the need arise.  Daily attendance will be taken and classroom etiquette on Google Meet will be taught and maintained.  There will be breaks built in to stretch, etc to help the students stay focused.  After a break for lunch, each teacher will have office hours from 12:30p-3p to assist students (and parents). Teachers will make a weekly call to each student to check-in and encourage them and aid in their social and emotional development.  

Spanish & Music Electives
Kindergarten Spanish and Music will be offered two times a week in the morning.
In grades 1-5, Spanish and Music will also be offered one to two times a week in the afternoon.   In grades 6-12, students will all be on a block schedule with their four classes meeting each day just as they would in a live instruction environment.

Impact on Tuition 
Tuition rates for in-person or online instruction remain the same for the year.  We have moved the deadline to withdraw and still receive a full refund to August 17.  There will also be an additional cost for students who might require daycare in grades 4-age 12 while we are teaching online courses.

How You Can Help Our Students Get Back In the Classroom 
Our theme for the new school year is “One”, based on the words from Romans 15:5-6 ESV: “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Trinity has one mission, to share the love of Christ in all that we do, with the school being a major platform of how we achieve that mission.  We desire that the home/school connection is one.  

Lots of information to process here to be certain and so much of it feels like it is out of our control. As I shared with the faculty and staff:

  • We all need to be models of good health and safety practices – wear your masks or face shields, practice social distancing, and wash/sanitize your hands. 
  • Face coverings (masks, neck gaiters, or shields) are required on campus.
  • For us to open is going to take state-wide cooperation, and we need everyone supporting one another on our team.  
  • Your/My decisions do impact our ability to re-open.

Doing anything hard requires a group of people who will be there for one another.  Thank you for the prayers, support, and encouragement as we have navigated these re-opening waters.  Trinity is a community, a family, that cares for one another.  Obviously, it is easier to do that when we are in-person together.  But we hope these plans will provide a terrific foundation for our relationship to continue to grow and develop in deeper ways with all of our students and families.

You can expect to hear from us by Wednesday of next week, or sooner if we receive any new updates that would impact our current progress. Our website and opening plan will be updated to reflect our current procedures for the 2020-2021 school year as of now. Look for those updates in the near future.  And as always, please reach out if you have any questions. 

be God’s,

Gregg Pinick
Executive Director/Head of Schools
SDG!