By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Thursday morning, Bend-La Pine Schools announced a new school option for students and families who don’t want to return to in-person learning.
Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) will continue even after schools reopen next month.
“With the federal funding that came through with the latest CARES Act there is money to cover (CDL) and we can hire additional teachers to support Bend-La Pine Schools Online, in-person options and CDL.”
Before the CDL announcement, the only option for students staying home was Bend-La Pine Schools Online, which doesn’t have much teacher or peer interaction.
Stacey Sebastian is thankful for CDL for her Desert Sky first grader.
“We definitely want CDL,” Sebastian said. “It gives us more opportunity to keep working, stay safe for our own personal family reasons, and not become homeschool parents.”
She’s not the only one. Nordquist said about 170 out of the 3,500 respondents to a school survey said they were interested in CDL.
For parent Amber Hossick, the new option feels like the right choice for her sons from a health perspective.
“We don’t actually have good studies to say, yeah, this doesn’t spread through schools,” Hossick said. “For the safety of our children and their long-term health, this was a better option.”
For parent Melissa Blackette, some high-risk family members and a son who has been thriving in online school make the new option seem like the right fit.
“One of my sons does amazingly well with it,” Blackette said. “He’s more of a quiet introvert type and the amount of interaction there is is just right for him.”
Parents need to let the school district know if they’ll partake in CDL by Jan. 20.
The new option is estimated to begin Feb. 8.