PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Parents, teachers and even students have a lot of questions about online learning and possibly returning to the classroom this year amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

Between the uncertainty of when students will be allowed back into the classroom, how children will meet grade-level benchmarks, how schools are protecting faculty and staff members and more, KOIN 6 News held a special town hall on Thursday with superintendents from across the Portland and Vancouver metro areas to talk about what comes next.

The special included Portland Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero, Beaverton Superintendent Don Grotting, Salem-Keizer Superintendent Christy Perry and Evergreen Superintendent Mike Merlino.

Part 1 of 3 (video at the top)

They answered our questions, along with viewer questions, on COVID-19-related hurdles facing educators. All four superintendents talked about their confidence in their respective distance learning plans for the upcoming school year now that they’ve had some time to prepare.

Part 2 of 3

Grotting said the Beaverton district struggled to figure out the distance learning system in the spring on such short notice. But now as they look to the start of a new school year, the district feels confident in their ability to keep kids connected and provide teachers with the tools they need to reach out to students. He said the district learned a lot from surveys sent to parents, students and staff on how to provide the best possible education to kids under the current circumstances.

Part 3 of 3

Perry said Salem-Keizer set up programs over the course of the summer to help support families, including programs specifically for migrant children. She said parents are now coming into the start of the new school year more equipped and ready to handle distance education for their kids.

KOIN 6 Town Hall Digital Extras

Despite online learning pediatricians say don’t forget this critical part of your back to school routine

Doctors emphasize the importance of regular health maintenance and said this year may be the most important year to get your child vaccinated