Through Executive Order 20-08, Gov. Kate Brown ordered public schools to remain closed to students from March 16 through April 28, unless that period is extended or terminated earlier by the governor. Neah-Kah-Nie (NKN) School District plans to provide supplemental learning to its students.
Superintedent Paul Erlebach said the supplemental learning will be a combination of online learning and packets. The district has had one on one Chromebook student capacity for seven years, grade second to 12th grade. This provides laptops to students who do not have computers at home. Students are likely better positioned than other districts, Erlebach said.
“We’re excited about the opportunity,” Erlebach said. “It’s going to be a new endeavor for us.”
NKN School District is constantly reviewing and prioritizing essential and non-essential services, Erlebach said in a parent letter on Friday, March 20. With over 50 percent of its students qualifying for free or reduced meals, ensuring that all children have breakfast and lunch is a top priority. The school district began providing breakfast and lunch to students on Monday, March 16. Erlebach said they will expand that on April 4.
“It’s not just about education, it’s about feeding students too,” Erlebach said.
Selected NKN staff and administrators are collaborating with Northwest Regional Education Service District’s (NWRESD) to develop a tentative plan to provide remote learning. Administrators work on a plan to teach using instructional packets. Schools are beginning to identify students who do not have internet access.
Erlebach said the district is looking at internet hotspot capacity for those students who do not have internet access.
“We do have Chromebooks, laptops, for every student,” Erlebach said. “The thing is, we need to do a survey to see who has internet at home, who doesn’t, who has a laptop at home and who doesn’t.”
From March 30 to April 3, licensed and classified staff will receive professional development on remote learning and use of supporting supplemental instructional materials. The supplemental learning and instructional packet plan will be implemented on April 6.
Neah-Kah-Nie High School Principal Heidi Buckmaster had an online meeting with seniors to summarize information. Erlebach said the district has been doing a lot of meetings on Google this week with administrators.
“It is important for students and parents to understand, NKN School District staff have never taught students remotely or with learning packets to this extent, ever,” Erlebach wrote in the letter. “This will be a new experience for students, parents and staff.”
Erlebach said the district has contracted with the web designer to create a supplemental learning page on the district’s website. This will be ready on the site on March 31. This will be a go-to for parents and will have information and materials.
“This is a new direction for how we serve our students,” Erlebach said.
The role of schools is always involved in the community, Erlebach said, and this is a new challenge for how to serve students. The district’s top priority is for the seniors, so they can graduate, and move forward.