School District Outlines ‘Distance Learning for All’ Plan for Instruction

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Oregon’s Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Colt Gill released Distance Learning for All guidance, which is a process for students to receive ongoing interaction with their teacher during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidance follows Gov. Kate Brown’s school closures and “Stay Home, Save Lives” order; it will support students as districts now face the potential that students may not return to school this academic year.

Distance learning is not just online instruction. Families will see a blended learning strategies and access to appropriate education materials through multiple communication tools. Students will regularly connect with their teachers, prioritizing their time together to focus on the most important and relevant learning. Teachers will continue to monitor, report, and record each student’s progress toward learning goals and standards.

“Hermiston School District is working on its plan to accommodate all students,” said Superintendent Dr. Tricia Mooney. “Our teachers miss their students, and our focus is to make a connection with the students, realizing this is the new norm for the remainder of the school year.”

The Hermiston School District (HSD) held two Chromebook check out opportunities for families without a device in the home. The intent is that the devices will give students better access to supplemental learning resources on the district’s web site, www.hermiston.k12.or.us, and the iReady platform. The Chromebooks will also provide an avenue for connection with a student’s teacher.

“Ensuring students have access to a device is only half of the equation,” said Mooney. “They also need to have an Internet connection. We are working with partners in hopes of being able to provide hotspots to support our many students who do not currently have access.”

Comcast announced that it opened its Xfinity WiFi Network for free nationally, which offers unlimited data for free. According to the website, “Xfinity WiFi hotspots located in businesses and outdoor locations across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers.” Individuals can visit www.xfinity.com/wifi for a map of open hotspots in the area and further information.

For more information, call the district office at 541-667-6000.