Hybrid


Balanced/Hybrid Learning FAQ


Frequently Asked Questions

What is BALANCED/Hybrid Learning?

BALANCED/hybrid is a balanced combination of in-person and distance learning so that we can ease back into the traditional in-person schedule in a safe manner. Students will not physically be in school every day during the week. Each week, learning will take place when the students are present for face-to-face instruction and when the students are learning remotely. Students will be divided into cohorts that will alternate in-person days at school.

When will students in K-3 begin BALANCED/Hybrid learning?

If Deschutes County continues to meet the health metrics to reopen, students in grades K-3 will begin BALANCED/Hybrid learning on Monday, Oct. 5. Students will be divided into two cohorts based on last name, attending class in-person with their teacher two days each week. In our BALANCED/hybrid model, students will continue with distance learning three days each week; but they will also spend two full days in their classrooms learning face-to-face with their classroom teachers.

Will Class Sizes be Smaller and Distancing Increased?

Yes. In order to reduce class sizes and increase physical distancing of desks and students while at school, we plan to divide students into two roughly equal groups.

When will students in grades 4-12 begin BALANCED/Hybrid learning?

If Deschutes County’s COVID-19 metrics continue to decrease, then we anticipate students in grades 4-12 can potentially begin BALANCED/Hybrid learning on Monday, Oct. 26. The district will continue to work with the local health authority and monitor metrics over the next several weeks, and plans to make a decision and announcement by Oct. 12 regarding a transition to BALANCED/Hybrid for 4-12 grades.

Why can students in K-3 return to in-person instruction, but not older kids?

Oregon Department of Education has a different health metric standard for students in K-3 to return to in-person learning versus older students. According to ODE, this is because “Younger students get the virus at lower rates, get less sick when they get COVID-19 and may spread the virus less than older children or adults. Younger students also need access to in-person instruction to build literacy and numeracy skills critical to their continued learning.”

What will K-3 weekly schedules look like

Classrooms will be split, generally, with last names beginning with the letters A-K attending in person on Mondays and Thursdays. Students with last names beginning with the letters L-Z will be attending in person on Tuesdays and Fridays.

What if my kids have different last names, but I want them on the same schedule? What if I have child care issues that don’t work with my child’s assigned schedule?

If students in the same household have different last names that would put them in different in-person instruction days, families will have the option of switching students to the same days (more details coming soon). If K-3 students and families have special requests for particular days due to child care needs, they can complete request forms (available the week of Sept. 21). These will be granted on a “space available” basis.

What is the Transition Schedule?

In the two weeks preceding full implementation of a hybrid schedule, school staff will prepare physical spaces and plan for both distance and in-person classroom instruction.

The transition schedule for grades K-3, which we will share with families in an update the week of Sept. 21, will move away from “live” meetings on WebEx to teacher-facilitated activities that include pre-recorded video and audio lessons, as well as other learning activities. This transition schedule will look very similar to what students will experience during their distance-learning days in a hybrid schedule.

The transition will include an ‘Orientation’ week for our K-3 students.

At a Glance Transition*

*Plan is dependent upon Deschutes County continuing to meet health metrics outlined by the Oregon Department of Education.

What is Orientation Week?

During the week preceding full implementation of a hybrid schedule (Oct. 5), schools at all levels will be working with smaller groups of students. K-3 students will attend one day with approximately one quarter of their classmates during orientation week.

The goals of orientation week are 1) to help students connect in person to teachers and classmates; 2) to help students practice safe and healthy skills such as physical distancing and correct mask wearing; and 3) to give staff time to “practice” school safety protocols with fewer students.

What if I don't feel comfortable sending my child back to a school building for in-person instruction yet?

We understand not every family will feel comfortable sending their kids back to school in-person. For those families, we encourage enrollment in Bend-La Pine Schools Online (BLPO). This program, established more than 10 years ago, provides self-guided online learning for FREE for any student in the district. It is highly-recommended that any switch to BLPO take place at the start of a new semester for older students for a smoother and more successful transition. Click here for more information about BLPO.

What will student cohorts look like at each grade level?

  • Transportation Cohorts: This is a stable group of students with a daily route. Stable groups can vary from AM/PM routes. Contact logs will be maintained for each route. Each student will have their own assigned seat (siblings will be seated together).

  • K-5 Cohorts: Elementary cohorts will be attached to homerooms and maintained throughout the year and for each support area (PE, music, science/tech, etc.), except for intervention groupings. Cohort sizes will be 15-25. 

  • Title and Speech Language Cohorts (Itinerant Staff) To the extent possible, students receiving support beyond core instruction (Title services, special education and related services) will receive these supports within their grade band cohort.

  • 6-8 Cohorts: 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students will be in hybrid advisory cohorts and this stable group will be maintained as much as possible. Lunch service will be by grade level and/or students will eat in their classroom. Cleaning will take place between cohorts. Food distribution stations will be set up inside the school, in addition to the cafeteria, to increase social distancing. Cohort sizes will be 15-35. 

  • 9-12 Cohorts: High school students will be in hybrid, 5 period cohorts (rotating every 6 weeks) and this stable group is maintained as much as possible. Lunch service will be by grade level and/or students will eat in their classroom. Cleaning will take place between cohorts. Food distribution stations will be set up inside the school, in addition to the cafeteria, to increase social distancing. Cohort sizes will be 75-85.

What if I don’t feel comfortable sending my child back to a school building for in-person instruction yet?

We understand not every family will feel comfortable sending their kids back to school in-person. For those families, we encourage enrollment in Bend-La Pine Schools Online (BLPO). This program, established more than 10 years ago, provides self-guided online learning for FREE for any student in the district. It is highly-recommended that any switch to BLPO take place at the start of a new semester for older students for a smoother and more successful transition. Click here for more information about BLPO.

Will masks be required for students who return for in-person learning?

Yes. Bend-La Pine Schools is following guidelines established by Oregon Department of Education. The CDC advises that masks and face coverings present one of the biggest opportunities for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in schools. All students and staff will be required to wear masks and/or face coverings while in our buildings. In general, face coverings are preferred over face shields, as they may provide better containment of small aerosols that can be produced while talking. Clear plastic face shields remain an acceptable alternative in some instances because they enable students to see whole faces. This avoids potential barriers to phonological instruction and reinforces social emotional cues. Use of face coverings does not change social distancing requirements.

Contact Us

Questions? Reach out to us about COVID-19 or questions about returning to school via email:

[email protected]

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