Oregon school districts are required to have a plan in place for the ’20/’21 school year by August 1st. Mapleton Superintendent and elementary school Principal Jodi O’Mara explains, “There’s three different models to choose from as a district when you make your plan. There’s the on-site, there’s the hybrid which is on-site and online, and then there’s the comprehensive distance learning.”
O’Mara says districts must come up with the plan that is best for their community. In Mapleton’s case, on-site learning, with students divided into cohorts. She says they’ve gotten federal dollars to help cover expenses.
“It’s based on your Title 1 funding formula," says O'Mara. "We’ve been tracking what we’re calling COVID-related expenses. For instance, one of the projected costs I just figured out is playground equipment. Balls, hula hoops, jump ropes, frisbees: Each cohort needs to have their own set. Now we have to have five sets instead of just one set.”
If COVID costs go beyond their $69,000 CARES Act allocation, O’Mara says it will significantly impact their budget.