Update on Many Nations Re-Opening
By Many Nations Academy Principal Lisa Otero
One thing is for certain, we will never forget the year 2020.
For staff at NAYA’s high school—Many Nations Academy—it has been a year of adapting, building, creating, and coming together in service to our students and their families. March 13th hit us hard. It was the last day of in-person classes before COVID-19 caused us to shut down.
The following weeks were a scramble to make sure our distance learning was up and running as quickly as possible, in order to cause the least disruption for students—especially for our seniors who were right on the cusp of fulfilling their dream of graduating from high school.
Thankfully, the Oregon Department of Education understood these constraints and allowed schools throughout the state a lot of flexibility in structuring distance learning. Then end result? We made it through the end of the school year—victory indeed!
Since then, we at MNA have had the summer to plan and make the adjustments necessary to follow new state guidance on re-opening. Unlike the spring when schools were left to develop their own distance learning plans without strict requirements about things like attendance and how the week should be structured, now the state has provided a comprehensive guide to help schools across Oregon re-open. Ready Schools, Safe Learners can be found here.
Following this guidance, MNA’s Organizational Blueprint for Re-Opening has been approved by the state. It outlines our specific plans to offer Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) to our students. CDL differs from the distance learning we offered in the spring because it provides more structure to the academic week, specifies the percentage of time students should be working in virtual, real-time, teacher-led instruction and what time is spent learning independently, among other changes.
Our plan follows state guidance on CDL, which is fully explained here.
As we have all learned this year, even the best laid plans can require adjustment. For now, MNA plans to offer instruction only virtually. On November 5, 2020, we will evaluate if a transition to a hybrid model (i.e. both CDL and on-site classes) can be offered.
The official start of Many Nations Academy’s academic year is September 8, 2020. Because we anticipate students and families will need some time to get situated with distance learning equipment, schedules, and planning, the first week of school is considered our “soft opening.” MNA staff will be available to help students get ready for the start of classes on Monday, September 14, 2020.
As returning students know well, our Many Nations Academy community feels like a family. Because of this, we want to provide all assurances that our staff remains committed to helping each and every student live up to their fullest potential. COVID-19 or no COVID-19, we will all get through this academic year together—and become stronger and more resilient because of it.