The PORTA Board of Education approved a recommendation from myself and the PORTA Education Association to begin full five day instruction with remote learning Wednesdays every other week, starting March 15, 2021. Additionally, beginning March 15th, the A/B hybrid option will be discontinued and students/families will be asked to choose between full in-person and full remote options throughout the district. Finally, the district will reinstitute and enforce current attendance/Absence policies, meaning that if a student has chosen to be in person and is not physically present at school that absence will be considered an absence regardless of their ability to sign-on remotely. In the case, of students who choose to be fully remote, if they have not reported to individual courses as required they too will be considered absent and will have consequences consistent with district policy and procedures. For those students who are in-person and have been quarantined by the district, we will continue to allow those students to remotely access courses without attendance consequences as long as they are signing in remotely into classrooms as expected.
One might ask why the district has moved to make these changes during the 4th quarter. The simple answer is that we anticipate beginning the 2021-22 school year with a mandate to offer remote learning because pandemic related issues will remain and rules to mitigate those issues will still be in force. As such, minimizing the options for students will allow the district to focus on student learning with minimal distractions. Currently, allowing students multiple learning options and allowing students to move in and out of in-person and remote options reduces our teaching effectiveness. In short, we are preparing to offer the most consistent and stable option for the vast majority of our students so that we can deliver the best educational opportunities to those students and help them and their families succeed.
In summary: Beginning March 15th, we will have full five day instruction and every other Wednesday will be a full remote day (March 24, April 7, April 21, May 5 and 19 full remote). Students/families will be expected to choose between In-person learning or full remote options only, no A/B schedule and current attendance policies will be fully enforced. If your student was on the A/B model or would like to move from full remote to in-person or Vice versa please contact your building administrator and inform them of your decision March 5th.
We hope everyone realizes that we are working diligently towards more normalization for our students and this is what we consider the final step in that process.