OSAA ADOPTS NEW 2020-21 SCHOOL ACTIVITIES CALENDAR
Association shifts Fall season, condenses all seasons, and waives out-of-season coaching policies
August 5, 2020 – (Wilsonville, OR)
The Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) shifted its traditional Fall sports season contests to begin in March under a new 2020-21 school activities calendar approved by the association’s Executive Board on Wednesday. The Board also voted to waive current out-of-season coaching policies to allow for student participation during the Fall (Season 1). Participation will be at the discretion of the local school district in those activities allowed per directives from the Governor’s Office, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Department of Education (ODE).
“Today’s decisions by the Executive Board provide a framework to maximize the potential opportunity for students in Oregon to participate in three seasons during the 2020-21 school year,” said Peter Weber, OSAA Executive Director. “The Board recognized that a one size fits all approach isn’t what’s best for students across the state. By waiving policy to allow regional participation this Fall, local school districts will have the discretion for participation in those areas that are able to do so safely per state directives.”
The Executive Board took this action following last week’s release of school reopening health metrics by the Governor’s Office and OHA. These metrics will result in nearly all OSAA member high schools starting in a Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) format this Fall which presents challenges for the resumption of school activities. Shifting the season calendar later in the school year provides additional time for more schools to return to a hybrid or on-site learning format while providing flexibility for local school districts to make decisions this Fall that are best for their school communities as health metrics and state guidance in this area continues to develop.
The OSAA’s new calendar provides for three distinct seasons from late December to late June with limited overlap between seasons. Traditional Winter activities will take place in January and February (Season 2), followed by Fall activities in March and April (Season 3), with Spring activities occurring in May and June (Season 4). Each season will feature an equitable 7-week regular season, with adjusted contest limitations, followed by an OSAA Culminating Week. Specific plans for culminating week events will be developed in conjunction with member schools in the coming months in alignment with large group gathering guidelines issued by the state.
The OSAA Association Year will officially begin on August 31 in Season 1 where policies restricting out-of-season coaching have been removed. This allows member school students and coaches, at the discretion of the local school district, to participate in any OSAA-sanctioned activity permitted by directives from the Governor’s Office, OHA and ODE. This participation may include conditioning, practices and interscholastic competitions in those permitted activities provided schools adhere to OSAA policies.
The OSAA will continue to work with the Governor’s Office, OHA, and ODE, along with our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) to provide information to member schools. Guidance from these entities continues to evolve, along with the pandemic itself, and will impact future OSAA decisions regarding the 2020-21 school year.
Visit http://www.osaa.org/coronavirus for the latest OSAA information regarding the Coronavirus pandemic.
July 28, 2020
Media Contact: charles.boyleoregon.gov (Charles Boyle), 503-931-7773
Governor Kate Brown Releases School Health and Safety Metrics
Metrics set strict health and safety standards for in-person instruction, with accommodations for young learners, remote and rural schools
(Portland, OR) — Given the reality that COVID-19 will continue to impact Oregon students, schools, and communities throughout the 2020-21 school year, Governor Kate Brown today released new metrics to guide school district decisions about when it is safe to resume in-person instruction, and when a transition to comprehensive distance learning is necessary.
"The metrics released today will give our public schools, private schools, and communities the opportunity to make sound decisions based on the latest science and health data," said Governor Brown. "They make a clear connection between the spread of the disease in a community, and statewide, and when a school may resume, or must halt, in-person instruction.
"We are taking a cautious and careful approach that protects public health, just as we have over the past five months in responding to this disease. If we don’t do this right, then the impacts of COVID-19 on students and the very functioning of our schools could deepen existing disparities in opportunity and outcomes for our children, and widen racial and socioeconomic inequality in our society."
Oregon school districts are currently developing plans for the coming school year using ODE’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance. The following metrics were developed by doctors and health experts at the Oregon Health Authority, working with education experts at the Oregon Department of Education and the Early Learning Division.
In-Person Instruction or Hybrid Instruction Model: All Grade Levels and School Districts
In order to resume in-person instruction in any form, including hybrid instruction models when students are only sometimes in the classroom, the following conditions must be met:
County Metrics (Must be Met Three Weeks in a Row)
Statewide Metrics (Must be Met Three Weeks in a Row)
In-Person Instruction or Hybrid Instruction Model: K-3 Students and Remote and Rural School Districts
Under some conditions, in-person instruction can resume only for K-3 students and remote and rural school districts with fewer than 100 students. Younger students get the virus at lower rates, get less sick, and spread the virus less than older students and adults. Younger students also need more in-person instruction to build the literacy and math skills critical for lifelong learning. Schools in remote and rural communities are less likely to contribute to the community spread of COVID-19 cases that cannot be traced and contained. The following conditions must be met for in-person instruction for K-3 students or for remote and rural students:
Transition Planning for Comprehensive Distance Learning
For school districts where in-person instruction is occurring during the school year, planning for a switch to comprehensive distance learning should take place, including training for staff and notification of the community, if one or both conditions are met:
Comprehensive Distance Learning
All school districts must implement comprehensive distance learning if the following conditions are met:
Based on these metrics, with the increasing spread of COVID-19 in both rural and urban Oregon this summer, many, if not most, Oregon students live in school districts that will begin school in the fall by focusing on online distance learning or will have a hybrid model that combines remote online education and in-person classroom time. Districts across the state have been developing plans to provide high quality education to all students, including students of color, low-income students, students experiencing disabilities, and rural students––all students who were disproportionately impacted by the institution of comprehensive distance education last spring.
With more time for school districts to develop a planned response to COVID-19 for the coming school year, Oregon schools will be expected to work to address the diverse needs of students and their families and provide the best possible education for every Oregon student.
A recording of the Governor’s press conference from Tuesday, July 28, is available here.
A full transcript of the Governor’s remarks from Tuesday, July 28, is available here.
Updated guidance will be posted to coronavirus.oregon.gov.
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