Parents, I hope your Easter weekend went well and your family is staying healthy. As we enter our fourth week of school closure, it is hard to believe we are already halfway through our Phase 2 (April 1st through April 28th).
Students in grades K-8th need to continue to work on the iReady reading and math curriculum packets and any other lesson provided by your teachers. Students in 9th-11th will continue to make progress on their Acellus classes or teacher assigned work. Teachers now have office hours and are providing guidance and assisting students as they navigate Distance Learning.
On April 8, 2020, Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) announced that school will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year and released updated COVID-19 direction and guidance for school districts. We will refer to the school closure of April 29th – May 28th as Phase 3. In her press conference, Governor Brown specifically addressed the impact the school closure would have on seniors and their path to completion and graduation, and asked districts to help all students move forward on mastering grade-level content and skills. She also introduced a new educational guidance entitled “Distance Learning for All” and asked districts to provide students and families: regular teacher-student contact, relevant curriculum, co-facilitated learning between parents and teachers, and opportunities to receive feedback, Pass/Incomplete grades, and earn HS credits.
We appreciate our senior students and their families' patience as we have waited for guidance from ODE regarding graduation and graduation requirements. Based on direction from Governor Brown and the Oregon Department of Education the following criteria will be used to support seniors' path to graduation:
• Students in the Class of 2020 will receive grades of Pass or Incomplete based on their grades as of March 13th. This means that third quarter progress grades will largely be the basis of their earning full credit in each class. If the grade was failing at that point, work during this closure can be used to elevate to a Passing grade.
• If a student’s progress fails to meet a standard of proficiency by the end of the school year, an Incomplete may be granted to allow the student to work towards proficiency until an August deadline, so that they may still complete all requirements for a diploma.
• Letter grades will not be assigned as per ODE’s directive. This means that all senior students across Oregon will have similar marks on transcripts. Oregon’s university and higher education partners have agreed to accept these grades with no harm to students’ status in admissions. Mr. Cope will be contacting each student/family to ensure all requirements are met and students’ desires to continue their courses or to move on to post-high school pursuits like jobs and military service are honored.
The Helix School District still plans to provide a meaningful and celebratory graduation experience for seniors and their families. This will include input from senior students and parents and will fall within the guidelines of restrictions imposed by Governor Brown. We know how hard these students have worked over nearly 13 years to get to this point, and we are committed to finding ways to celebrate with them in our community.
Stay tuned and congratulations to the Class of 2020!