New Coquille sidewalk

A new stretch of sidewalk was completed Sept. 2 by workers who are building a new sidewalk along Central Boulevard from Coquille High School to Winter Lakes High School. The entire sidewalk will be finished soon, just as the new school year prepares to start. 

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SOUTH COAST — For most South Coast school districts, the new school year starts next week.

Most districts plan to have their students in kindergarten through third grade start the year in the school buildings, which is allowable under the metrics used by Gov. Kate Brown for reopening schools.

Aside from the area’s smallest district, students in fourth grade and older will all start the year with comprehensive distance learning, which is also how the 2019-20 school year ended. But they all feel better prepared this time around.

“We have had time to figure out what we didn’t do well in the spring,” said Coos Bay School District Superintendent Bryan Trendell. “I’m confident with where we’re at. We’re doing a better job of training our staff and we are in a much better position going into the start of the school year than we were last spring when we had to stop and do it on the fly.

“There is going to be a lot of learning as we go this year, but we are definitely in better shape. I am very confident in our staff and the programs and procedures that we have set up that we are in position to have a good school year.”

A big part of that is communication with the families of students.

“We are really working to be more connected with our families that are doing the distance learning,” said Coquille Superintendent Tim Sweeney. “We are making sure we are giving the families what they need.”

That included Sweeney and several other members of the district’s administrative team spending part of Sunday meeting with families in the Fairview area, discussing how the district can better serve the people in that portion of the school district.

“We are having a lot of those conversations with folks,” Sweeney said. “We don’t want families to feel like they are doing this on their own.”

There are some similarities in most of the districts’ plans. There are some differences.

Most districts are starting their classes as early as next week or Sept. 14.

And all the districts are encouraging parents who haven’t yet registered their students to do so.

Here is a district-by-district look at the plans for the opening of school:

BANDON

The Bandon School District will be offering on-site, in-person learning for grades kindergarten-third beginning Monday, Sept. 21. Students in grades fourth-12th do not meet the exception for on-site learning at this time and will begin the school year in Comprehensive Distance Learning, also on Monday, Sept. 21.

"As we have all learned in 2020, plans continue to change and evolve as new information becomes available," said School Superintendent Doug Ardiana. "We ask for your patience as we navigate these challenges. Our current plan is based on research and guidance from the Oregon Department of Education. We will continue to grow, reflect, learn and adapt in an effort to make this school year as successful as possible for every single student. Although things may look and seem very different from what you are used to, please be assured that we are going to take care of your children as we always have. Bandon School District is built on the concept of family, and family takes care of each other in hard times."

For more details on the BSD school plan for fall, see the Bandon Western World pages in the B section of this paper. 

"As we plan for a beginning like no other we have seen in the past, our focus will still be to ensure that: every child, every day is finding a way to feel connected, every child, every day is being challenged by new learnings and experiences and every child, every day knows they have a champion that will help them," Ardiana said.

For more information, contact Ardiana at dardiana@bandon.k12.or.us or call the district office at 541-347-4411.

COOS BAY

Students in seventh through 12th grade begin comprehensive distance learning on Sept. 14

Meanwhile, the rest of the district’s students will have a kick-off week Sept. 14-18 with teacher-parent conferences and orientation.

“Families will be scheduled for an individual meeting with the teacher to talk about the expectations and how school is going to run, whether they are in comprehensive distance learning or in-person,” Superintendent Bryan Trendell said. “We will use that time to get the fourth- through sixth-grade students organized for comprehensive learning and K-3 organized for in-person.”

Students in kindergarten through third grade will begin in-person learning on Sept. 21 at Eastside, Madison, Millicoma and Sunset schools.

They will be split into morning and afternoon sessions Monday through Thursday, with the morning wave from 8 to 11 a.m. and the afternoon wave from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The various schools, with their office phone numbers, include Marshfield High School (541-267-1405), Marshfield Junior High (541-267-1487), Sunset School (541-888-1242), Millicoma School (541-267-1468), Eastside School (541-267-1340), Madison School (541-888-1218), Destinations Academy (541-267-1485) and Resource Link Charter School (541-267-1485).

COQUILLE

Comprehensive distance learning at Coquille Junior/Senior High School for students in grades 7 through 12 begins on Sept. 14.

At Coquille Valley Elementary School, comprehensive distance learning for students in grades 4-6 starts on Sept. 17. In-school learning for students in second and third grade starts Sept. 21, with third-graders having an orientation day Sept. 17 and second-graders Sept. 18. The orientation days will give the students a day to focus on learning and practicing the school-wide expectations, especially the new safety guidelines.

At the Lincoln School of Early Learning, in-school learning starts Sept. 21, with an orientation day for first-graders on Sept. 17 and for kindergarten students on Sept. 18.

At Coquille Junior/Senior High School, Coquille Valley Elementary School and the Lincoln School of Early Learning, parents can pick up chrome books and other materials, including text books, at the respective schools from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 10 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 11.

While the older students begin with comprehensive distance learning, Sweeney said the district is looking into opportunities for limited in-person instruction, which is restricted to no more than 10 students at a time meeting face-to-face with their teachers.

“We are very excited to announce that we have secured multiple buildings to bring students in for limited in-person instruction,” he said, adding that the district is renting space at the Pioneer United Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church and the Fairview Community Church and also is in discussion with the city of Coquille about possibly using the community building.

“We are trying to get where the children are at and making sure they make some face-to-face interaction with their teachers,” he said.

Winter Lakes High School begins comprehensive distance learning on Sept. 14, the first day students can access their Odysseyware accounts. Online class sessions begin Sept. 21.

At Winter Lakes Elementary School, distance learning for students in grades 4 through 7 also begins on Sept. 14, with the first day of online class sessions Sept. 21. Students in kindergarten through third grade begin in-school learning on Sept. 21, while all students new to the school will have an orientation day on Sept. 17.

Coquille office numbers include Coquille Junior/Senior High School (541-396-2163), Coquille Valley Elementary (541-396-2914), Lincoln School of early Learning (541-396-2811), Winter Lakes High School (541-824-0115), Winter Lakes Elementary (541-396-2414) and district office (541-396-2181). 

MYRTLE POINT

Myrtle Point School District staff have spent hours in training learning new technology and Distance Learning skills in preparation for this school year, according to Superintendent Nanette Hagen.

Myrtle Point schools will have on-site instruction for kindergarten-third grade beginning Tuesday, Sept. 15. Classes will be held Tuesday-Friday.

"It is important to note that if the case rate in Coos County increases beyond the allowable metrics, the on-site exception for our young students will be removed and everyone will be in Comprehensive Distance Learning," Hagen said.

"We are trying to make school look as normal as possible for kids," said Myrtle Crest Elementary Principal Ally Backman in a video for Myrtle Point School District parents posted on the district's Facebook page. "(Grades kindergarten-third) are still going to get recess, they are going to have music, PE and they will get to intermingle with their grade level cohort ... at different times. Our classes are small enough that we will be able to do that."

For grades fourth-12th, the district will be offering Comprehensive Distance Learning. 

"It will be a much more rigorous program than what was offered last spring, with a lot more teacher-led lessons," Backman said. "For kindergarten-third grade, our doors are open, but if you do not feel comfortable sending your child to school, that's perfectly fine. ... We will be providing distance learning to those students as well, so they have an opportunity to Zoom-in live and will see their classmates and the teacher. There is no need to go out and buy an online curriculum, we will be providing that for you."

Myrtle Point Middle School and High School Principal Kayli Fandel also emphasized that curriculum will be more rigorous this year. Fandel said every student in grades fourth-12th will be provided with a Chromebook and for students who do not have internet access, a flash drive will be provided with prerecorded lessons. Students in classes that require hands-on learning, such as welding, wood shop and science labs, for example, will be accommodated in small groups, as long as Coos County is meeting that metric. 

"Please know we are working very hard to get everything in place to educate your children the best we can within these circumstances," Hagen said. "We appreciate your patience and look forward to working with you."

Anyone with questions is invited to reach out to their child’s respective principal(s): Ally Backman - abackman@mpsd.k12.or.us or Kayli Fandel - kfandel@mpsd.k12.or.us or Nanette Hagen - nhagen@mpsd.k12.or.us.

NORTH BEND

School starts Sept. 14, with comprehensive distance learning for all students except for those in kindergarten and first grade. Those students will start with half a day in school the first week at the district’s two elementary schools — Hillcrest and North Bay — with the second and third graders starting in school the week of Sept. 21.

“They are doing some distance learning that first week while we do transition learning for the youngest kids,” North Bend Superintendent Kevin Bogatin said.

Half the students will have class in the morning and half in the afternoon. The morning cohort will be in class from 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and the afternoon cohort from 12:45 to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

In addition, all students who need them in the district will receive chrome books for home use.

Students in second through 12th grade will be able to pick up chrome books at their respective schools from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon Friday. The kindergarten and first grade students will receive their chrome books on the first day they are in school.

Schedules for the secondary students are being finalized, but generally will include synchronized learning from 9 a.m. to noon.

There will be limited in-person learning as needed for older students, Bogatin said.

For more information, or to register students, parents can contact the respective schools.

North Bend High School (541-756-8328), North Bend Middle School (541-756-8341), North Bay Elementary (541-756-8351) and Hillcrest Elementary (541-756-8348).

PORT ORFORD-LANGLOIS

For the Port Orford-Langlois School District, school starts for all grades on Monday, Sept. 14, regardless if those classes are in-person or online.

This district will start in-person instruction for the following grades at the following dates, provided the county metrics are met: grades kindergarten-third, Sept. 14 at Driftwood Elementary School; grades fourth-sixth, Nov. 2 at Driftwood; grades seventh-eighth, Nov. 30 at Pacific High School; and grades ninth-12th, Dec. 7 at Pacific. Families can choose in-person instruction, if they would like that option when students are able to return, or online schooling through the Port Orford-Langlois School District.

Grades kindergarten-sixth, whether in person or online, will be taught by a 2CJ teacher. The district will be using the Edgenuity online platform for all kindergarten-sixth grade students, with 2CJ teachers teaching all classes.

Grades seventh-12th, whether in person or online, will be taught by a 2CJ teacher. The district will be using Google Classroom to provide classes.

Every student will receive a Chromebook for their use during the school year. Chromebook and material pick up for all students in grades kindergarten-sixth will be Sept. 8-10 at Driftwood from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, call Driftwood at 541-332-2712.

Chromebook and material pick up for students in grades seventh-12th will be Sept. 8-10 at Pacific from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Teachers are also getting other materials ready to send home. Things like English books, arts supplies, math books, etc. are being prepared for classes. Students, parents or guardians are asked to get to Pacific Sept. 8-10 to get their supplies. The district will not be handing out anything related to grades seventh-12th at Driftwood.

School schedules for students in grades seventh-12th will be on TylerSIS on Sept. 8. There will not be any schedule changes for first semester. Principal Krista Nieraeth looked at forecasting when scheduling classes. For those who didn’t send in their picks for classes, Nieraeth picked for them. Call Pacific High School at 541-348-2293 if you need your username and password for TylerSIS. The class schedule will be posted and emailed to students on Sept. 8.

POWERS

Powers will start school this week, with all students on campus through an exception based on the size of the school district and lack of COVID-19 cases.

“I pushed pretty hard to give us this opportunity with the people at the state,” Powers Superintendent Matt Shorb said. “I’m glad we’re getting it. Hopefully it goes well.”

Powers expects an overall enrollment of about 125 total students, though the majority are in the elementary schools, Shorb said. There are only five seniors and two juniors.

Because of the number of elementary school students and the size of the lunch room, lunch will be split into four sessions for proper social distancing.

The district office can be reached at 541-439-2291. 

REEDSPORT

The first day of instruction for all students is Sept. 14 and all will begin with comprehensive distance learning, Superintendent Jon Zwemke said.

“Our metrics are good, so we probably are going to be transitioning fairly quickly to some in-building programs,” Zwemke said. “But we are going to be cautious, see what Labor Day does, make sure the metrics are good. We want to be cautious, show safety for staff and students.”

The kindergarten through third grade students should be at Highland Elementary School in a few weeks, he said, adding that there also will be some limited in-person learning for other students.

“There are several options in front of us … for kids being able to get back in buildings,” Zwemke said. “I think that’s everybody’s goal.”

For information about the specific schools, contact Reedsport Community Charter School (541-271-2141), Highland Elementary School (541-271-3616) or the district office (541-271-3656).

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