Hermiston District Expanding Hybrid Learning Through Fifth Grade


With the continued decline of Hermiston ZIP code COVID-19 case counts, Hermiston School District is planning to expand its hybrid instruction model through fifth grade.

Elementary buildings are planning for the return of second and third graders on March 1 and for fourth and fifth graders to come back on March 8.

With an initial and steady decline in Hermiston cases since mid-January, district administration finalized plans for an elementary on-site and hybrid transition model. Based on the downward trend, kindergarten and first-grade students returned to school on Wednesday.

On-site students will be required to wear a mask indoors and outdoors. They may bring a water bottle and their backpack, which will go home with them each day. Buildings will contact families with further specifics.

The hybrid model is based on two cohorts, with group A on-site in the morning (7:55 a.m. to 11:05 a.m.) and group B on-site in the afternoon (11:55 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.), each for a three-hour block of in-person instruction. All on-site students will attend school Monday through Thursday. The Friday schedule will be the same for all on-site students, consisting of applied learning time in the morning and full class comprehensive distance learning in the afternoon (12:05 p.m. to 2:40 p.m.).

Students remaining in Comprehensive Distance Learning will have applied learning time in the morning and CDL from 11:05 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The hybrid model is part two of three for families that chose the path of returning their student to the classroom when schools reopen, rather than having them attend Hermiston Online, the district’s K-12 comprehensive virtual school by FuelEd.

“We routinely watch the Hermiston ZIP code case counts and calculate a rolling two-week number each Thursday,” said Superintendent Dr. Tricia Mooney. “Thank you for doing your part for our students and community to help bring our case counts down.

Hermiston ZIP code data must reach less than 88 cases over 14 days, as reported by Umatilla County Health Department and Oregon Health Authority, for the district to be able to offer the hybrid model at the elementary level. Additional on-site and hybrid instruction may be rolled out when case counts reach 50 or less.

Hermiston case counts, relative to COVID-19 metrics, are posted on the district website under the HSD COVID Info and COVID Updates menu. Information is updated weekly as it is released.