The 17th of November was the last day of in-person learning for the students and staff of Reynolds Middle School. Located in Fairview, Oregon, the faculty of the school made an executive decision to switch to e-learning, not due to a COVID-19 outbreak or exposures, but due to students struggling with the necessary socialization skills needed for in-person learning.
Reynolds Superintendent Danna Diaz shared, in a message to the school community, that the transition will ensure
“Reynolds Middle School has the necessary social-emotional supports and safety protocols in place to provide a safe learning environment for all students.”
She goes on to mention that the constant switching of in-person and online learning over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic took a toll on the well-being of the students and staff.
The lack of adequate socialization skills has contributed to disruptive behaviour. Teachers are finding it more difficult to plan lessons and create a safe environment in their classroom for all students. District spokesperson Steve Padilla mentioned that the decision was made based on multiple behaviour disruptions and outbursts that have been ongoing since the beginning of the school year. Psychologists say that this is an issue that will continue to affect a lot of children due to the pandemic, and it is important for parents to have open and honest conversations with their children so that they can voice their feelings.
Superintendent Danna Diaz shared a report on discipline in the district. It displayed that there have been 135 instances of physical contact or aggression at the elementary level, and 19 instances of fighting. At the secondary level, which includes both middle and high schools, there have been 148 instances of fighting or “mutual altercation” and 21 reports of “physical altercation”, or pushing and shoving.
“We don’t want to wait until it could possibly escalate into something much more dangerous,” Steve Padilla said.
Many parents are frustrated with this decision due to the lack of stability. After just being able to somewhat safely return to school in person, they do not want to go back to online learning in their houses for a reason that is not related to the pandemic. District leaders ask parents and families for patience at this time, as they are doing their best to ensure a safe return to school.
During the period of distance learning, classes will take place from 9:30 a.m. till 2:45 p.m., and the district will be offering lunch at schools, curbside. Currently in online learning, the students of Reynolds middle school are expected to return to in-person learning on December 10.
Article updated November 18, 2021, some information may be outdated.
Cook, Katherine. “'They Don't Have Enough Time to Learn Anything': Parents Frustrated over Reynolds Middle School Remote Learning.” Kgw.com, 17 Nov. 2021, www.kgw.com/article/news/local/parents-frustrated-reynolds-middle-school-remote-learning/283-6f0628f4-94ef-4f57-855e-97d8e5d66f94.
Miller, Elizabeth. “Citing Social Struggles, Not Covid, Reynolds Middle School to Move to Distance Learning.” Opb, OPB, 17 Nov. 2021, www.opb.org/article/2021/11/17/reynolds-middle-school-to-move-to-distance-learning/.
Staff, KATU. “Reynolds Middle School to Transition to Distance Learning as a 'Safety Precaution'.” KMTR, KMTR, 17 Nov. 2021, www.nbc16.com/news/schools/reynolds-school-district-to-transition-to-distance-learning-as-a-safety-precaution.