A middle school in Oregon is pausing in-person instruction for two weeks over classroom disruptions that officials say are caused by some students “struggling with the socialization skills necessary for in-person learning.”
It comes after the school was forced to provide distance learning over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, starting in spring 2020. The school was able to provide some in-person instruction in the spring of 2021 but still continued with distance learning before recently shifting to full in-person learning.
“The shifts in learning methods and isolation caused by COVID-19 closures and quarantines have taken a toll on the well-being of our students and staff,” Superintendent Danna Diaz told families and staff. “We are finding that some students are struggling with the socialization skills necessary for in-person learning, which is causing disruption in school for other students.”
Steve Padilla, assistant director of public relations for the Reynolds School District, told The Oregonian, “It’s not just fighting, it’s disruptive behaviors as well. Students are disrupting other students, making it hard for them to learn.”
Reynolds Middle School in Fairview will have distance learning for about two weeks starting Nov. 22. Students will have Nov. 18 and 19 off to allow teachers and support staff to prepare for the transition, Reynolds superintendent Danna Diaz announced.
During the planned two weeks of distance-learning, school administrators and staff will put in place “operational safety procedures” before the the school resumes in-person learning Dec. 7.
The measure is to ensure the school “has the necessary social-emotional supports and safety protocols in place to provide a safe learning environment for all students.”
“The safety and security of our students, families, and staff is our highest priority,” Diaz said.
Reynolds Middle School is one of three middle schools in the district, admitting students from parts of Gresham, Fairview, and Wood Village, and is the only one to have taken such actions due to disruptive behaviors. The school has 928 students.