Parent and Student Resources » Frequently Asked Questions (Back to School 2020-21)

Frequently Asked Questions (Back to School 2020-21)

What you can Expect for the Start of the School Year-Instruction


The Brookings-Harbor School District has two options for families:


1. Hybrid Model - This model has students attending school in person when the state and county disease metrics permit.  When the disease metrics do not permit, students will be provided Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL).


2. Brookings-Harbor K-12 Academy - With this model, students will attend class online for the school year.



What is the same with the two options?


Regardless of which option is selected, all students will continue to be a part of the Brookings-Harbor School District.  All students will continue to have access to school meals.  All classes will be taught by Brookings-Harbor teachers. All students will have access to extra-curricular activities when allowable under state rules (including high school athletics).  When online, all students will be provided a Chromebook and instructional resources.  In addition, if needed, families can request a wifi hotspot that uses a cellular signal to provide internet access.


What is the difference between the two options?


The most significant difference between the hybrid model and the Brookings-Harbor K-12 Academy is that students in the K-12 Academy will access their instruction online for the school year regardless of whether or not the state disease metrics permit students to attend school in person.  Otherwise, all students are part of the Brookings-Harbor School District and their respective schools. All classes are taught by Brookings-Harbor teachers.


How will it differ from last spring?


Online instruction this year will feel a lot more like regular school.  District teachers are receiving training to strengthen online teaching and engagement skills.  Also, to help support effective online instruction, the district has purchased access to Edgenuity, an online content provider.  The extensive content and materials available with Edgenuity will be used as a resource and support tool when classes are held online.   Our Brookings-Harbor teachers will be using Edgenuity to help support direct instruction and teacher-facilitated activities.  Students will interact with and receive lessons taught by a live teacher.

We are looking forward to getting our schools reopened this school year. We have incorporated a wide range of measures to keep all students and staff healthy and safe.  While the start of this school year will look different, our focus is to ensure that school continues to be a positive, safe, friendly, and welcoming place for all students.  While we know there will be challenges, by working together we can positively and successfully support our students’ growth and learning.


Accurate Contact Information


It is critical that we have accurate contact information for your child or children.  If you change your phone number, your emergency contacts, or jobs, you notify your school office right away.  We are required to contact you if your child is ill.  In some cases, your child cannot remain at school while ill.


Physical Distancing


We are required to provide 35 square feet for each person in a classroom.  This is one of the primary reasons why we are not able to have all of our students at school at the same time. 




Under current ODE and OHA requirements, students and staff are must wear masks or face shields.  All students will be provided cloth reusable masks that can and should be regularly washed.  If a student is unable to wear a mask, the district can provide a face shield.  If a student is unable to wear any face covering, the family must meet with the principal in order to consider other accommodations or education options.




Cohorts refer to smaller groups of students who do not interact with other groups of students.  ODE and OHA require cohort groups (the sum total of all of the students and staff a student interacts with) to be less than 100 students.  All of the cohort sizes in the Brookings-Harbor School District are well under 100.  Most cohorts are between 30 and 50 students.  Cohorts groups allow students to connect, interact, and learn with their peers.  Cohort groups are a measure to reduce the impact or spread of potential exposure.  Cohort groups also allow the local health authority to more quickly and effectively conduct contact tracing in the event of an exposure.


Cleaning and Disinfecting


There has been a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all buildings.  We have disinfectant sprayers that will be used daily to sanitize the classrooms and public spaces. We have also increased the number of times the restrooms are cleaned daily. The water fountains have been shut off.  However, the water fill stations are still on and operational.  Your child may bring a refillable water bottle to school.




The ventilation in all the buildings has been inspected.  Our maintenance staff has increased the frequency of filter inspections.  We are developing room ventilation protocols to use windows and our ventilation system to increase the frequency of outside air exchange.




Drivers and students will be wearing masks or face shields.  Students will sanitize their hands before boarding.  We are required to visually inspect students for Covid19 symptoms prior to them getting on the bus. If a student has any signs or symptoms of illness, they will not be allowed on the bus. 


In order to ensure the required amount of space between each student, students will have assigned seats, only one person to a seat (families are allowed to sit two to a seat). The buses will be cleaned and disinfected between routes, that they will be sprayed nightly with a disinfectant.  We plan on keeping the windows open for ventilation, as the weather allows. We must maintain stable groups (cohorts) in order to minimize risk of exposure.  For those of you who share custody, or have a change of plans, you will need to make arrangements to get your child picked up from their stop. See the 2020-21 Bus Routes and Schedules.


Food Services


Meals will be served in the classrooms.  For families choosing the fully online Brookings-Harbor K-12 Academy as well as times when all students are accessing instruction remotely, food service meals will continue to be provided similar to the meal pick up approach that was used last spring.  In addition, the district is developing targeted meal pick up locations.  If you are unable to get to school to pick up meals, please contact your school office and request consideration for a meal pick up location near you.


Volunteers and Parents in Buildings


Under the current rules, volunteers and parents are not able to enter our school buildings. Parents will not be able to cannot drop off or pick up their students at their classrooms.  Drop-offs/pickups will occur outside the buildings.  We know that this may be a difficult change for some parents. 


Screening and Contact Logs

Schools are required to visually screen students when they entering the bus and the school building, and classroom.  Trained staff will visually screen for specific symptoms related to Covid19.  At this time, there will be no temperature checks as part of the screening process.  Schools are also required to maintain contact logs of all of the students in the building on a given day and of who they interact with.  Our goal is that most of this process will occur in the background and that it does not disrupt the student’s day.  For example, the schools will use existing attendance systems to capture the required contact log data.  From the student’s perspective, it will just be the regular attendance taking.


Hand Hygiene and Sanitizing

All entrances and classrooms will have hand sanitizers available.  Students and staff are required to sanitize their hands when they enter school, before eating and after they use the restroom. Teachers will integrate this process into the regular daily routine.




Our schools will look very different this year, and our approach with your child will be patient, positive, and supportive. It will help greatly if you speak with your child about the changes and let them know that your teacher is there to help you learn, your friends are still your friends, you will make new friends in the new school year and that school will continue to be a place to grow and have new experiences. 

Together we can make this a great school year.

When is the first day of school?

Tuesday, September 8, 2020. See the official academic calendar.

With a focus on safety, predictability, and getting the school year off to a strong start, we will kick off the academic year on Tuesday, Sept. 8, for all BHSD schools (Kalmiopsis Elementary, Azalea Middle School, and Brookings-Harbor High School) with conferences and drive-up opportunities to meet teachers, and pick up laptops and school supplies provided by the district from Tuesday, Sept. 8-Thursday, Sept. 10. Families will be notified of their scheduled times to meet teachers and to check out equipment.

When will virtual or in-person instruction begin?

  • Online-Only option (Brookings-Habor K12 Academy or “Online Academy”) students. Will begin their virtual programs of study on Friday, Sept. 11. Learn more about out learning platform Edgenuity.

  • Hybrid option (In-Person/Comprehensive Distance Learning) students

Start Dates Grades K-5: On Friday, Sept. 11: Kindergarten through Grade 3 students will start school IN-PERSON with students in a morning or afternoon half-day cohort (Official state and local metrics permitting). These students will also be assigned distance learning to complete at home.

On Friday, Sept. 18: Grades 4-5 will start school IN-PERSON with students in a morning or afternoon half-day cohort (metrics permitting). Until that date, grades 4-5 will be in comprehensive distance learning mode only (starting Sept. 11), and they will continued to be assigned distance learning to complete at home after in-person learning begins.

Comprehensive Distance Learning Grades 6-12: On Friday, Sept. 11: Grades 6-12 will begin the school year in COMPREHENSIVE DISTANCE LEARNING and remain in this mode only for the full first academic quarter until Oct. 30. The first opportunity for IN-PERSON for grades 6-12 would be a return to classrooms at the end of the first week in November (Friday, Nov. 6 - metrics permitting).

Where can I get help with online registration?

See information on our 2020-21 Online Registration webpage.

Read step by step instructions on how to register your student.

When will I find out if I got the AM or PM option that I requested for my student(s)? (And, is there a way to raise my chances of getting the option we want?)

TBA. (Date of application will not be used to give priority.)

Where can I find the school supply “shopping lists” this year?

Unlike in recent years when BHSD schools provided a list of recommended school supply purchases for grades K-8, this year the district will provide basic supplies for elementary and middle school students. These basic supplies include:

  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Colored Pencils
  • Rulers
  • Protractors
  • Glue
  • Paint
  • Glue Sticks
  • Calculators K-8
  • K-5 Classroom Snacks
  • Facial Tissues
  • Bleach Wipes

Will my student receive a personal computer for use in completing school work?

Yes. Distribution dates/times TBA.

What if we don’t have internet access at home? 


We are working to provide internet access to families who need it. If you require access, please contact your school. We have a limited number of mobile hotspots available, and have partnered with various community organizations and businesses to create a community WiFi map showing locations where internet access is available and Chromebooks can be synced.

Will all BHHS students be online learning only until November?


The plan is for BHHS students (9-12) and Azalea Middle School students (6-8) to do distance learning/online only for the full first quarter (which ends Oct. 30, 2020), and to start in-person half days at some point in the first week of November 2020. However, the in-person start date is still contingent on meeting the state and county-required metrics prior to that date. We are required to meet the metrics found on our website (also shown here) for three continual weeks before we are cleared to return to face-to-face learning. If we do not meet them then we continue with our Comprehensive Distance Learning process (Google classrooms with teachers). 


When is the deadline to decide whether my student is online only or in the hybrid option with the hope of adding face-to-face later this fall?


We need families to decide BEFORE we begin the start of school because we are using two different programs. Our Online Academy students (Brookings-Harbor K12 Academy) are using state-approved Edgenuity classes supported by BHHS teachers during designated periods. 


Those classes are self-paced and are flexible so that a student may work at any time of the day or evening. This is especially helpful for our students who are working full time jobs. Our Comprehensive Distance Learning program (Google Classrooms with teachers) is NOT self-paced and requires students to log on to morning or afternoon periods to see their face-to-face teachers virtually. 


We will be unable to switch in the middle of a semester between these two options but could switch at the semester break, which is the end of January. 


Will the students have designated times to login to have virtual lessons by the teachers?


If they are in Comprehensive Distance Learning with the plan of returning face-to-face (aka the “Hybrid” option), then yes. ALL students will receive a schedule (AM, periods 1-4 or PM, periods 5-8) designating the periods and times that they are required to log in to meet with their teachers. Students in the Online Academy (aka Brookings-Harbor K-12 Academy) will also receive schedules but their teacher support time could be during any one of the 1st-8th periods. The Online Academy students are not required to log in to meet with their teachers as their online class has all the tools they need, but may do so for support and tutoring. 


What connection will the teachers have with the kids with the exception of answering emails?


BHHS teachers will connect daily with Comprehensive Distance Learning (aka “Hybrid”) students and may be daily (student choice) for Online Academy students. We are also facilitating cohort classes each session (AM, PM, and Online Academy) so that students can interact with instructional staff and their peers for social and emotional learning purposes. We want to ensure that we are connecting and supporting our students through relationship building as much as we can virtually. We know this is incredibly challenging for our families. 


When will the students be allowed full-time instruction?


This is a challenging question because our school planning is solely dependent upon the Oregon Department of Education's (ODE) guidelines/requirements for us to open safely. Because of the limited numbers of students we are allowed to schedule in a group once we are allowed face-to-face instruction (contact tracing), we have had to reduce in-building schedules. Once the guidelines are lifted or expanded, we can increase the numbers of students who could be allowed back in the building at one time, which ultimately means more instructional time. 


I am confused as to why halftime face-to-face starts in November. With all the holidays and only being halftime, not much is going to be accomplished. Would it not provide stability and routine to return as a whole school in January?


Our Superintendent and School Board are optimistic that we might be able to return after the first quarter. If we cannot return after the first quarter, it is possible that they we commit to the second online/distance only, which means we would return (if we meet the metrics) on January 25th. I would encourage you to share your thoughts on this with our superintendent, David Marshall (, and any school board member. Your opinion matters!

Will students wear face coverings?

Face coverings are now required for all students in grades kindergarten and above along with all staff. Certain accommodations are noted in the guidance below. 

ODE, OHA, schools, families, and community organizations have important new roles in preparing families and caretakers to prepare younger children to wear face coverings safely and effectively. This includes instruction on how to properly wear a face covering, desensitization support (getting used to wearing face coverings), recommended materials for homemade face coverings, proper care and cleaning, and how to allow for “face-covering breaks” during instruction. 

Lack of access to a face covering cannot be a barrier to instruction; each school has a responsibility to ensure that students have access to usable face coverings. (BHSD has ordered cloth masks for all staff and students). In general, face coverings are preferred over face shields, as they may provide better containment of small aerosols that can be produced while talking. Clear plastic face shields remain an acceptable alternative in some instances because they enable students to see whole faces. This avoids potential barriers to phonological instruction and reinforces social-emotional cues. 

What is required regarding face coverings?

Face coverings or face shields for all staff, contractors, other service providers, or visitors or volunteers following CDC guidelines Face Coverings. Individuals may remove their face coverings while working alone in private offices.

What are the schools doing to promote “Physical Distancing”? 

BHSD has established a minimum of 35 square feet per person when determining room capacity; and will support physical distancing in all daily activities and instruction, maintaining six feet between individuals to the maximum extent possible. School staff will also work to minimize time standing in lines and take steps to ensure that six feet of distance between students are maintained, including marking spacing on the floor, one-way traffic flow in constrained spaces, etc. In addition to splitting student in-person instruction between a morning and an afternoon cohort, we are exploring various school routine schedule modifications to limit the number of students in the building (e.g., rotating groups by days or location, staggered schedules to avoid hallway crowding and gathering). We are also considering utilizing outdoor spaces, common areas, and other buildings in planning. 

What are the required protocols for student hand hygiene? 

There are two types of hand hygiene: handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds and using alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60- 95% alcohol. The Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance identifies different protocols for different daily needs. Students are required to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds when using the restroom. Hand washing or hand sanitizer is required when students enter school; when taking turns on an electronic device; before meals (after meals is also encouraged);  before and after using playground equipment; and, after coughing, sneezing or handling used tissues. Reasonable accommodations must be provided for students who require additional support to practice hand hygiene. 

How will parents and families be informed about outbreaks in their schools? 

In Brookings-Harbor School District, we will use our website and website homepage notification, One Call message system, social media, and share information with local news media to communicate information, similar to how we would communicate a school closure or early release due to weather or other factors. 

Parents will be informed about how their children were exposed, such as whether it was in a classroom or other part of the school, but they will not be given any information about the identity of the individual to whom they were exposed to protect that individual’s confidentiality. 

How else will the district communicate the latest information about COVID-19?

In emergency situations, BHSD relies on: 1. One Call (automatic messages delivered instantly to your email, phone, and mobile texting device); 2. Website homepage for alerts and notifications; and 3. Official district and school Facebook pages. 

What information will be shared when there is an outbreak at my child’s school? 

Per the Oregon Health Authority, we will share the school of the person who was ill as well as notify staff/students when they have been in direct contact with a positive or presumptive case. 

Will I know whether there was a sick person in my child’s classroom? 

All staff and students who have come into close contact with the individual will be informed. We value protecting the identities of individuals. In some schools and locations, disclosing this information could lead to the identification of individuals who test positive, or are ill. In addition to that being an unauthorized disclosure of personal health information, this could result in stigmatization of these individuals and their families and will be considered when releasing details to protect privacy rights and minimize harm.

Why isn’t school closing? 

Our school has taken steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including placing students in cohorts, wearing masks/face coverings, focus on other prevention measures such as frequent hand washing and social distancing, and additional routine and deep cleaning measures.

How do you define an “outbreak?” 

An outbreak of COVID-19 is defined as two or more cases of the virus in a population within a particular geographic area, and which are epidemiologically linked, such as by sharing a specific location or source. 

What is an epilink?

An epilink, or epidemiological link, is a particular place or individual that people who test positive for COVID-19 have in common, such as a workplace, co-worker, or family member. It serves as a link or connection between people who are confirmed to have COVID-19

Where can I find updated information on the latest decisions regarding reopening school?

Please see the BHSD Fall 2020 Planning page and keep up-to-date with our School Board Information including livestreamed meetings.

What is a local decision and what is a state-level decision?

The planning will be complex and challenging to ensure our schools open safely. Returning Oregon students to onsite learning is an enormous responsibility, and that responsibility is shared by schools, districts, and local and state health and education agencies. The state created guidance for schools in their planning process, including a set of public health metrics to be used in determining safe points to transition between instructional models. ODE requires districts to submit a landing webpage where their school(s) Operational Blueprints for Reentry will be posted by August 17, 2020, or prior to the beginning of their 2020-21 school year. All Oregon schools will create their own Operational Blueprints for Reentry and share it with their school district. The school and district are responsible for their own planning and processes.

What is an Operational Blueprint? 

Prior to the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, every school must complete an Operational Blueprint for Reentry. The requirement to complete a blueprint applies to all schools, regardless of whether they will be starting the 2020-21 school year using a Comprehensive Distance Learning, in-person, or hybrid model. Each school will work under the direction of the school district to develop an Operational Blueprint for Reentry that is tailored to their own local context and informed by local needs. Blueprints will address: 0. Community Health Metrics; 1. Public Health Protocols; 2. Facilities and School Operations; 3. Response to Outbreak; 4. Equity; 5. Instruction; 6. Family and Community Engagement; 7. Mental, Social, and Emotional Health; and 8. Staffing and Personnel. School boards do not have to approve each Operational Blueprint for Reentry; however, by August 17, 2020, or prior to the beginning of the school year, whichever is earlier, the Operational Blueprint for Reentry must be submitted to their local school board. It must be made available to the community on the district website and submitted to ODE. Each school will submit the Operational Blueprint for Reentry to their Local Public Health Authority (Curry Public Health). The LPHA will confirm receipt of the Operational Blueprint for Reentry in writing. The LPHA will review sections 1-3 and stands ready to work together with the school to mitigate impacts from COVID-19. All plans for fall On-Site and Hybrid instruction must include a school’s response to an outbreak. In the event that there is a single positive case or a cluster of cases of COVID-19, schools and districts must partner with the Local Public Health Authority (LPHA) who will work to support them on ongoing COVID-19 mitigation efforts. 

Where can I see our Oregon and Curry County official metrics that are used in school reopening and closure decisions?

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE), Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Willamette Education Service District (ESD) are teaming up to provide a dashboard that makes it easy to see how close a county is to meeting metrics necessary for in-person instruction and what exceptions can be considered. The dashboard uses OHA data, is hosted by Willamette ESD and linked on the ODE website.

The dashboard allows the user to select their county in order to see the case rate and test positivity rate which determine what forms of in-person learning can take place and what exceptions are allowed within the statewide school metrics framework. It shows the trend in the data over a three week period and includes graphics telling the user whether conditions have been met.

The dashboard is updated weekly, on Wednesdays, after OHA releases the source data. ODE would like to thank staff at OHA and Willamette ESD who have been working tirelessly to create this visualization tool.

What’s happening with staff in-service week this year?

Welcome back to school! We hope that you were able to recharge over the summer. Regardless of what makes this upcoming year different, our mission to support all students’ learning and growth has not changed. We know how to connect to students and we know how to help them learn. While we know the work of supporting and connecting to students, we recognize that we need to grow our skills to include new and different ways of accomplishing this work. We are approaching the start of the school year with this in mind. We are still finalizing the training schedule in each building and will have that ready for you when you report to work on Tuesday, August 25. The enclosed building letters will detail what room or area that you need to report to.

As you are hopefully aware, the District and BHEA agreed to delay the start of school with students until Tuesday, September 8. All classified and licensed will be working their regular hours from Aug. 25-Sept 4. (previously classified staff only worked part of inservice week) This provides us additional time for training and planning to help ensure that we get the year off to a strong start. Based on feedback and lessons learned from spring, we’ve built a training schedule that is targeted to the unique needs of the start of this school year. Much of this training will be tailored to the building and even team level needs.

Training Overview:

  • All staff will receive training on the required health and safety protocols and rules
  • Positive Discipline Training and Supports
  • Effective student engagement and instructional strategies for distance ed and classroom use
  • Edgenuity Online Learning System

All staff is required to wear masks for face shields when you are in the building. When you are alone in a classroom or room, you may remove your mask. We will have cloth reusable masks for you when you arrive. You may wear your own mask, but masks that have valves to not meet health and safety standards, so those will not be permitted. You may contact your building principal to request a face shield if you are unable to wear a mask.

Unfortunately, we have to press pause on the staff and community breakfast event. However, we do believe that it is important to welcome you back with a meal, so breakfast will be delivered to your room or location on Tuesday morning. Finally, if you have concerns about your ability to report to work, you need to contact the district office as soon as possible to set up a time to have a conversation about accommodations or modifications that you would like considered. We do not know the path this school year will take. We do know that together we can succeed and find new ways to help students learn and grow.

What is Edgenuity?
Learn more about how we are partnering with Edgenuity for teacher-led online education options here.

Will the Edgenuity program be “robo teaching” my child when they are learning online?
No. BHSD teachers will teach and provide teacher-directed activities.  Edgenuity is an industry-leading online learning resource that supports and enhances online teaching and learning. Your child will be learning from and working with dedicated Brookings-Harbor teachers whether they are online or in-person.

What is BHSD Comprehensive Distance Learning in the “Hybrid” option?
The Comprehensive Distance Learning plan includes curriculum by grade level and subject matter that is designed to maintain instruction and academic engagement for students using Chromebooks, computers, laptops, tablets, iPads, or smartphones. As we transition learning modes, we remain centered on care, community, and continuity of learning.

What is Brookings-Harbor K12 Online Academy option?
BHK12 Academy is a fully-online, year-round program. Students enrolled in this option remain part of the Brookings-Harbor School District and receive instruction and support from BHSD teachers and staff. When available, academy students can participate in BHSD athletics and activities.

Restart. Reconnect. Reimagine.