BOE Update - Ready to Reopen

BOE Update: Ready to Reopen
Posted on 07/27/2020

This is a joint message from James Adams, USD 345 Board of Education President, and Dr. Steve Noble, Superintendent.

To all USD 345 staff and families:

Tonight, the USD 345 Board of Education held a special meeting to finalize plans for reopening school buildings for the 2020-21 school year. We would like to give our sincere appreciation to the many staff, students, parents, board and community members who came together to collaborate on the important task of planning for a safe return to school. As we’ve all learned and experienced, situations can change quickly, but we are confident this Ready to Reopen plan will give us a solid foundation and provide protocols for adjustment. Below you will find information on the board approved action from tonight’s meeting. 

July 27 Special BOE Meeting Action: Approved the Ready to Reopen (R2R) plan and the revised 2020-21 school year calendar as presented with the student start date of August 27, 2020 in the hybrid learning environment.

2020-21 Start Date & Calendar: The USD 345 Calendar Committee reassembled to recommend a new start date and revised 2020-21 school calendar. The delayed student start date of August 27, 2020 will provide extra professional development time for teachers and staff while also allowing the district time to adjust bus routes and other school operations affected by additional safety protocols. This will also provide the district more time to order and receive supplies needed to comply with the newest COVID-19 mitigation procedures as stated in executive order 20-59. It is imperative for our faculty to be a part of the preparation process once they come back on duty and we can accomplish this with a delayed student start date.

2020-21 Ready to Reopen Plan: The Ready to Reopen (R2R) Task Force reviewed feedback from parents and staff after the release of the draft plan. The teaching and learning (T&L) department presented a revised R2R plan based on feedback from the draft and provided more detail to help answer some of the questions presented by the public. 

What is the hybrid learning environment? 

Students will be spending two days in the classroom, on-site in school buildings, and three days learning remotely from home. Family Choice Remote Learning will remain an option for parents. 

Why are we starting in hybrid? 

Logistically, it is not attainable to begin the year in a full on-site learning environment with all of the new guidelines and safety measures that will need to be implemented (i.e. temperature checks, mask wearing, social distancing, hourly hand washing, transportation limitations etc.) at the start of the school year. The board has determined that opening in a hybrid learning environment is necessary. 

Beginning the school year in the hybrid learning environment will allow our students and staff time to learn and practice COVID safety protocols with 50% of students on site and 50% of students working remotely. Both scenarios will require rigorous and relevant instruction. 

A hybrid start will also provide our teachers the necessary time to review and advise our district in the process of moving to full on-site learning. Our goal is to transition from the hybrid learning environment to a full on-site learning environment by October 1.

Supporting Documents: 

Archived Board Meetings  
2020-21 Revised School Year Calendar
R2R Plan | R2R Presentation
Family Choice Remote Learning Overview & Agreement

We thank you all for your support and feedback throughout this entire planning process. We will continue to work together as we plan for a safe return to school and a successful 2020-21 school year. 

Click here to view the Ready to Reopen website.


James Adams

USD 345 Board President

Dr. Steve Noble