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Remote Learning

Background and Purpose of ODE’s Remote Learning Work


ODE started a multi-year process in the fall of 2021 to update and revisit policies related to remote learning in Oregon with the key question driving this work asking: How do we ensure high-quality, equitable opportunities and outcomes for students in remote learning models throughout Oregon?

The goals of this work are to:

  1. Listen deeply to educators and educational partners to better understand the scope and depth of remote learning across the state.

  2. Reflect on the learning from engagement efforts in order to develop remote learning quality program standards and a comprehensive system of accountability and support.

  3. Engage in research and make connections with other states regarding the processes for supporting high-quality remote learning.

  4. Begin to analyze current data to better understand remote learning across the state and possible improvements to data practices related to remote learning. 

  5. Develop remote learning program quality standards based on engagement findings, research, and current data.

  6. Update and revisit policies related to remote learning in Oregon in order to ensure that remote learning options across the state provide equitable access to high-quality learning.

To meet these goals, ODE has developed an internal cross-office team to lead the work which is centered in external engagement efforts which have included listening sessions with educators, state education partners, and statewide advisory groups, voluntary remote school visits, the development of a Remote Learning Advisory Committee, and student and family engagement which currently includes feedback in the form of surveys.

The following beliefs support this vision for educational equity within distance and online learning throughout Oregon. All students accessing remote learning options in Oregon deserve a high-quality education, which includes:

  • Access to high-quality instruction where both the teacher and education leaders play an invaluable role in student learning and well-being. 

  • A sense of belonging and safety that is inclusive of students of color students of color, including students who are African-American/Black, Alaska Native and American Indian, Asian Pacific Islander, Refugee, Latino/a/x, Compact of Free Association (COFA) citizens, students who are emergent bilingual (English Learners), students of migrant and farmworker families, students receiving services under Section 504 or IDEA, students who are neurodivergent, students experiencing disability, and students who are LGBTQ2SIA+, where students' intersecting identities are honored and affirmed within the classroom and school culture by educators and the whole school community. 

  • Culturally appropriate and anti-racist curriculum and quality instructional materials aligned to Oregon content standards;

  • Access to school- or district-provided devices, digital resources, and connectivity that are conducive to remote or online learning. 

  • Accommodations, modifications, differentiated instruction, and research-based strategies address the strengths and needs of all students including students experiencing disabilities, and emergent bilingual students.

  • Access to a  well-rounded education including college and career planning, health, arts, CTE, physical education, music, world language, etc.).

  • Intentional and consistent opportunities for peer engagement,  social emotional learning, mental health services and access to support from educators.

  • Culmination of learning in our Oregon K-12 system leads to a diploma and the readiness and disposition for postsecondary pursuits.

Remote learning programs have expanded across Oregon for well over a decade in the form of specialized courses available to students in rural communities, hybrid and virtual options for local schools, virtual public charter schools, and home-based options. Most recently, remote learning has become a familiar part of many students’ education through the COVID-19 pandemic response. Even with a return to in-person learning for the significant majority of public schools, remote learning will continue to play a role in K-12 public education. This work serves as a response to the continued growth of remote and online programs as well as other factors including a 2017 Secretary of State Audit of online and alternative education, disparities in educational outcomes and access for students attending online schools and programs and those attending brick and mortar schools and programs, and research focused on online learning and student outcomes at a national level. The remote learning work is the first step in directly addressing the findings and recommendations identified in the 2017 Secretary of State Audit. Additional information regarding the Remote Learning work can be accessed in the Remote Learning in Oregon Background document.