New information from Oregon Department of Education was released on Tuesday, August 11th. Westside Christian High School is reviewing the updates and will provide an additional update on the 2020 Fall Schedule during the week of August 17th. If you have any immediate questions please contact the following:
Current Families email: email@example.com
Prospective Families email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Town Hall
Thank you to everyone who attended our Community Hall Zoom meeting on Monday, August 10, at 7:00 PM.
If you would like a recording of the Town Hall please contact Amanda Howard, email@example.com.
Dear Westside Christian Families:
Yesterday, Governor Brown made an announcement with new restrictions regarding the opening of schools for face-to-face instruction. Under these new guidelines, Washington County, and therefore Westside Christian, falls within the area of schools prohibited from opening for in house instruction. I understand that this is an emotional issue with a great many perspectives, but foremost in our minds here at Westside is to honor the name of Jesus Christ and be a positive witness for Him in our community. Therefore, any plan we devise to address the school closure will be made with this in mind. Over the ensuing few weeks, we will be putting together a plan for the start of school should the closure order still be in place five weeks from now.
I continue to look at this crisis as a time of great opportunity for Westside Christian. We will continue to not only provide an exceptional educational experience, but will increase our efforts towards intentional discipleship even more. Our small size allows for us to be very creative with how we educate students, and I fully plan on many very safe, face-to-face opportunities with students to be a part of our opening plan. The best part of what makes this a great school will be preserved; the intimate relationships with students and teachers.
Please continue to keep this school in your prayers as we forge ahead through this crisis. Nothing is beyond the scope of our great Redeemer and Savior, and I am confident we will emerge even better and stronger than before.
Head of School
Good afternoon Westside Christian Families.
As the pandemic transpires and regulations change, I want to be sure to offer you weekly updates from our planning team for the start of school.
As I mentioned last week, we are planning on starting five days a week with face-to-face instruction. In an effort to significantly decrease the number of times a student transitions from class to class, we have adopted a new schedule. This schedule is attached and features a few exciting changes:
- A full block, 80-minute schedule has proven for years to be the most effective format for the education of teenage students. It decreases the number of classes they have in one day, and slows the pace when it comes to the transmission of vital content. It also is intended to decrease the stress of homework in the evening and provide more free time for students and their families. It has proven to significantly increase depth of learning, and improves performance on standardized testing. I will be committed to providing the most thorough and cutting edge professional development to the faculty so as to take full advantage of the features of this schedule.
- The start time is now 8:00 instead of 7:55.
- In this model, Flex has been moved to the end of the day. We hope this is a temporary fix. However, it allows for students to leave earlier than normal, and provides for one-on-one time with teachers to occur in an environment with fewer students on campus.
- Except for Wednesday, when students will meet with their focus group to view chapel and fellowship, students will move only three or four times in any one day, significantly decreasing their exposure to both each other and outside facilities.
- We will allow cohorts of friends and grade levels to meet during lunch in pre-approved and organized areas.
- Please note that the dismissal times vary. We understand this may be a slight inconvenience to some, but students who stay on campus to wait for a ride, wait for athletics to begin, or meet with teachers, will be supervised and safely assembled.
Speaking of athletics. The OSAA announced yesterday that practices for Cross Country, Volleyball, and Soccer may begin officially as scheduled on August 17th. The first contest date, however, has been moved to September 23rd. If for some reason this changes, and they have to push the date out even further, they are committed to trying to move all sports to the spring. Lets pray this is not necessary.
Finally, we are putting the final touches on our Blueprint for reopening. This document will be posted on our website early next week. I will notify you when this occurs. The Blueprint is a working document that establishes all safety protocols we intend to implement per the Local Health officials guidelines. We welcome any feedback you may have on this Blueprint once you read it.
Let's continue to pray this virus away! In the meantime, be safe and be blessed,
John Hynes, Head of School
Dear Westside Christian Families,
I have been in place now just two weeks, and I am already experiencing the qualities that make Westside a very special school. A common reaction I get from those who know about my new position is that it must be a very difficult time to take over as a school leader. My response is that while obviously in some ways it is, overwhelmingly it is far more exciting than not. The opportunities that COVID-19 has presented to education are rich and creative, and if taken advantage of, pose an opportunity for schools to do things better. At Westside, we intend to take full advantage of these opportunities and provide an educational experience during COVID-19 that can in many ways be even better than before. While many details of the way a typical school day will look next year are yet to be hammered out, due to the ever changing guidelines that come from both the state and the county, I want to share with you a few things that we are currently planning for.
We plan to be in session full time, all five days starting on September 8, 2020. The schedule will look different, and the day will be replete with many safety guidelines, but face-to-face education and discipleship is what we are in business for, what we yearn to do, and we intend to fulfill this mission.
We will not be able to provide lunch service. This means that vendors will not be catering lunches to campus. We will ask that students bring their own lunch to campus each day.
We will conduct Chapel and Focus Groups. These weekly events are integral to the spiritual enrichment of our students, and will not be compromised. Especially now, we are keenly aware of the heightened emotional needs of students, and will be equipped to minister to them as needed.
We are not sure about athletics and activities. The commencement of athletic contests will be largely up to various governing bodies and no statement regarding this has been made yet. School activities that include large gatherings, such as the back to school barbeque, will be placed on hold until we are allowed to proceed within the guidelines set forth by the Washington County Health Department.
We will accommodate every WCHS learner. If you have specific concerns related to your students health and safety, please let us know, and we will do our best to accommodate.
Please understand that as the policies change, we will be continually updating our plan and communicating these updates with you. Our primary goal is to keep your students safe while at school, and to be sure to follow the guidelines of the experts and authorities above us. It is a joy to serve as your new Head of School during this challenging time, and I am certain we will emerge stronger as a result.