July 30th, 2020

Dear Families,

On Tuesday, July 28th, Governor Kate Brown announced a health matrix to guide schools in Oregon in safely opening for in-person learning this coming school year. These matrix are determined by considering the case rate and test positivity rate of COVID-19 in each county as well as statewide. In order for Molalla River Academy to reopen, the case rate in our county needs to be at-or-below 10 per 100,000 population for three consecutive weeks. And our test positivity needs to be at-or-below 5% for three consecutive weeks. The state must also be at test positivity rate at-or-below 5% for three consecutive weeks.

As of right now, Clackamas County does not meet the health metrics for safely reopening schools for in-person learning. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and our local Clackamas County Public Health Department (CCPHD) will be diligently tracking and monitoring these rates and percentages and keeping the public as well as school districts informed of the status for their county.

Molalla River Academy will therefore open in the fall with Comprehensive Distant Learning (CDL). All of our students, K-8, will begin the year learning at home. We plan to remain with this model for the first half of our first term with a tentative re-evaluation date of November 13th. At that time we will evaluate where the county and state are on the matrix, and whether or not we can transition into a Hybrid Model giving you the option to come to back to school in cohorts or remain online.

CDL will look much different this fall then it did in the spring. We have been able to evaluate what worked well and what did not, and we have heard from you, the MRA community. As the planning team and I continue our work, our goal is to provide students an engaging, dynamic, and consistent learning experience. This will include consistency across grade levels, easy access for parents, multiple synchronous learning opportunities each day, teacher and student interactions, assessments, and more. In order to make this happen, we are looking into a digital curriculum that best fits the academic needs of our MRA students, while allowing us to maintain our mission of community, hands-on learning, and strength of culture.

We recognize that the current conditions of uncertainty coupled with the new knowledge that students will start the fall with distant learning creates a wide range of emotions. We need our students, families, and staff to be safe, and we also realize that children and adults need social interaction. There is not time better than now for us to come together as a community to support our students and each other with encouragement, consistency, and strength. All of the staff at MRA are here because we believe in our mission, in our philosophy, and in our students. We love your children and are dedicated to their success academically, socially and emotionally.

Your planning team will be working diligently over the next few days, and plan to tape another video in our communication series next week. In the meantime, please look for a Sign Up Genius for another set of parent Q and A’s for next Thursday, August 6th.

Stay healthy and safe,

Shelley Urben

MRA Executive Director

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