OREGON CITY — Mary Haluska, principal at St. John the Apostle School, was determined to get as many students safely back into the classroom as possible starting in September.

Working withguidelines set up bythe Archdiocese of Portland, the state education department and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a blueprint was created, which offered specific protocols to follow. St John the Apostle staff came together and workedhardon two aspects inpreparation for the school year. First, thephysical changes needed to happen in order to be ready for students to be in the building. Second, perpetrations were made for the challenge of creating an academic platform that reached students both remotely and in-person, sometimes doing both at the same time.

“My remote learners are doing great,” said one third grade teacher at the school (ASKING FOR NAME). “They get some things done independently and come to two-three Zooms a day and participate as much as the in-person students.”

Right from the start, the school’s goal was to get students back to a two-hour in-person and distance learning platform. Once metrics were met, the school was able to bring back kindergarten throughthird grade students full time, adding fourthand fifthgrade when allowed. Middle school students are expected to return full-time soon.

From changingaroundclassrooms to utilizing the gymandcafeteria as classrooms, St. John the Apostle did everything possibleto best serve the students.Staff adapted entrance doors for student drop off. Dismissal was changed from in school pick-up to adrive-through system in the church parking lot.

St. John the Apostle “teachers have gone over and above expectations to be able to teach both in person and at a distance this year,” said Haluska.

“I love how they are keeping our distant learners engaged in class all day.”