Summer Update- 7/27/2020

July 27, 2020

Dear CMC Parents/Guardians:

As we enjoy the last month of summer prior to school beginning in September, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the plans under consideration for Clackamas Middle College (CMC) this year. 
I know we are all hoping for a safe return to school for all students this fall.  As this month moves on CMC will be submitting its plans for the current school year to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), North Clackamas School District, Clackamas County, and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to ensure a safe and successful school year.  These plans are being created with the main goals of ensuring safety and equity of our CMC Community.  All plans will be created with safety and equity in mind, however, the plan that is the safest for each member in the CMC Community will be chosen to begin the 2020-2021 school year.
We know that this year will be a unique one, so we have to ensure successful planning in case events in and around Clackamas County, and the Portland-Metro Area change either for better or worse.  As mentioned in my earlier communications, our planning focuses on public health protocols, school operations, outbreak response, a modified form of education to return students to CMC safely, and a better model for Comprehensive Distance Learning in case students can't return to CMC in person due to safety reasons/concerns.
It is still unclear what this pandemic will bring in August, and into the 2020-2021 school year.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns on the recent family survey.  The survey can be found at this link (Feedback on School Models at CMC) if you have not had the opportunity to complete it.  The feedback from the July survey will be instrumental in our ongoing planning.  There were many excellent questions/comments raised regarding the safety of our community from our staff and family surveys.  These questions/comments relate to: protocols for infected students, staff, or family members; quarantine times/duration; contract tracing; testing, etc...  CMC is working closely with Clackamas County and North Clackamas School District in developing protocols to help guide us through this pandemic.  We are reviewing new Oregon Health Authority guidelines and protocols as they arrive.  However, this process is new to all of us, and we may not be able to have appropriate answers/protocols in place prior to the 2020-2021 school year. 
Opening school in September with students reporting physically to CMC in some manner, will be based on keeping our community safe and healthy.  There are too many unanswered questions regarding testing, the availability or testing, cost of testing etc...  Because of this, we are leaning heavily toward beginning the school year for all students with the Comprehensive Distance Learning Plan/Model.  This plan will take the staff, student, and family feedback from this spring and summer to create a Comprehensive Distance Learning Model that will be much more effective than the one rolled out in the spring.  If possible, it will also be streamlined with a hybrid model (students safely learn in and away from school) to minimize any distractions transitioning from one model to another, if/when answers to this pandemic become clear and provide us with safety plans for the CMC Community.  All plans will be created with safety and equity in mind, however, the plan that is the safest for each member in the CMC Community will be chosen to begin the 2020-2021 school year.  The details of this plan will be available and communicated to you in mid-August. 
All of our plans will include: safety and wellness, connection and relationship, equity, and innovation.  We are committed to provide the best possible education during this time, and your patience and flexibility will be a key to helping us open our doors in September.  However, if guidance from ODE and the state of Oregon shows that it is unsafe for our Clackamas Middle College Community to return physically, we will turn to our improved Comprehensive Distance Learning Plan/Model for all students.
In August, I will send you any new updates or communications regarding Clackamas Middle College and education for the 2020-2021 school year.  Please know that the safety, wellness, and equity of the CMC Community is the most important factor to opening and running school for the upcoming school year.  We will be focusing on this as we choose the best model for our community.
Take care and stay safe,
Brian Sien, Ed.D.
Clackamas Middle College