All Salem-Keizer students will begin the year in comprehensive distance learning, with in-person instruction tentatively beginning the week of Nov. 16, 2020.

Earlier today, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released additional guidance for schools that included metrics on safely reopening schools for in-person instruction. Following their guidance, Salem-Keizer Public Schools (SKPS) Superintendent Christy Perry announced that all students will begin the first nine weeks of the school year in comprehensive distance learning.

“We know this is heartbreaking for those students and families who were counting on in-person learning in September,” said Perry. “This direction from the state prioritizes the safety of our educators, children and families, and community.”

In October, SKPS leaders will review metrics to establish a timeline to move into blended learning mid-November.

This means students in kindergarten – tenth grade will not attend in person until the week of Nov. 16 at the earliest. November 16 is the beginning of the second quarter of the school year. Students in grades 11 and 12 will not attend in person until the second semester at the earliest, which begins on Feb. 2, 2021.

“Comprehensive distance learning will not look like distance learning from last year,” said Perry. “Comprehensive distance learning will include significantly more teacher-facilitated instruction, more independent and family-supported applied learning, daily attendance, students will earn grades and high school students will earn credits.”

Salem-Keizer Public Schools will also implement a slow start to the school year. The week of Sept. 8 will be used to establish connections with students and families. The official start of comprehensive distance learning, including the recently announced online-only EDGE program, is set for Sept. 14, 2020.

“We struggle with this news as you do,” said Perry. “We miss our students in the schools and value in-person learning, which is where we want to be sooner than later. Know we are committed to our educators, students, and families and stand with you during this time.”

Return-to-School Webpage


A message from Superintendent Perry along with frequently asked questions are included below in English, Spanish, Chuukese, Marshallese and Russian.