Bethany Charter School Bobcats,

Planning for the 2020-21 School Year

Bethany Charter School has been described over and over as being a school family. Members of a family take care of each other. We need to do this even more in these challenging times. Oregon Department of Education has directed every school, prior to the beginning of this school year, under the direction of our school board, to determine whether we teach all students on-site, through Comprehensive Distance Learning, or utilize a Hybrid model. After heavy discussions, research, and input from parents and staff surveys, keeping current with the direction that COVID-19 continues to blossom, and the health restrictions from our State and The Department of Education, the Bethany Board made the decision to plan for the 2020-21 school year operating online through Comprehensive Distance Learning.
For the safety of our school family Bethany Charter School will be doing distance learning for the start of the school year, at a length to be determined. This means that students will not be coming to school for their lessons but receiving their teaching remotely. This is much the same as what was provided this past spring but with a far better focus and more clear direction of expectations.
Each school is required to develop an Operational Blueprint for Reentry that ensures their school meets requirements outlined in Ready Schools, Safe Learners. You can view that document here. The Blueprint BCS will be submitting to Oregon Department of Education at this time are the requirements for Comprehensive Distance Learning. I have linked the complete list of requirements for your review so you will be able to see the difficulty of our Little School House meeting all necessary protocols to try to keep our Bethany families safe from this pandemic were we to attempt a Hybrid model with students physically in the building. It is not only difficult to meet these requirements, but it still cannot ensure an outbreak won’t occur; indeed, if there is a single positive case or a cluster of cases of COVID-19, we must quarantine, test all parties, and switch to distance learning anyway. Lockdowns and school closures may also occur from the direction of the Governor and the Local Public Health Authorities.
We have searched high and low for a “win-win” situation for all involved in this process. The most responsible and safe approach is through Comprehensive Distance Learning. We feel it is far too risky and detrimental to have our students meet on our small campus under the required recommendations of social distancing, while wearing masks. Returning Oregon students to onsite learning comes with unacceptable risks the potential consequences severe and unthinkable. With the Oregon Department of Education leaving each school and district responsible for their own planning process our decision is to provide the best online learning opportunity to our students until there is a better understanding of the impact of this virus.
We are excited about the opportunity to educate students with more rigor and in a different model that allows for greater accountability and assessment. In addition, we are planning ways to provide team building and socialization opportunities to our students outside of the campus restraints. This is not a forever decision; we are optimistic that there will be more known about this virus soon. If schools open this fall and are successful at providing a safe learning environment or a breakthrough in science creates a new safety barrier, the little red schoolhouse will open its doors widely. We believe students learn best face to face with human interaction and we wish we could safely provide that. I understand if you do not agree with the decision to select all online learning, but hope you know decisions at Bethany are made with love for the human. I know this will not be a preferred choice for all families, but please know it is made with the best interest of keeping our cubs, staff, families, and extended families safe.
Now the decision is in your hands. We need to know by August 1st if you are going to continue at the Charter school of choice. I have attached a confirmation form here. If you are choosing to leave Bethany, I would appreciate you letting me know personally the reason for your choice (child care, internet access, belief system, child’s needs, etc). Our board, staff, family members, and I are dedicated to maintaining the culture of caring for each other through these unprecedented times. Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat.
Virtual hugs and Grrrr….Grrr.. to all,
Mrs. Frank

Here are the forms and FAQ for families to read and complete.
Here are the answers to some of the most common FAQ about our current situation and decision:

This is the form for CURRENT BCS families to complete by August 1st to confirm continuing enrollment with the distance learning:

This is the form for NEW interested families to let us know how to contact you if a space becomes available: