Oregon Department of Education releases new COVID targets for schools to reopen in person. School districts have some summer homework of their own after the Oregon Department of Education released guidance for how schools across the state should approach reopening for … School reopening policy: Districts to decide; On June 10, the Oregon Department of Education released guidelines for schools to reopen for the 2020-21 school year. Hanna Merzbach reports for NPR’s Next Generation Radio. Since the state’s metrics were first issued in August, the OHA has recommended people wear face masks rather than face shields, except for when communicating with the deaf or hard of hearing who may need to read lips. The "Reopening School Work Group" is scheduled to complete their framework this week. Be a part of it! Sign up to get important news and culture from around the Northwest, delivered to your inbox six days a week. Together with the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Department of Education announced the Ready Schools, Safe Learners plan for the 2020-2021 school year. “Every day I walk by a closed elementary school and then numerous open bars, restaurants, and pot shops. “The state is going to have to step up with some CARES Act funding in order to make sure that we can give them extra personnel,” Owens added. It takes over an hour to drive from there, to the school in Jordan Valley, both within Malheur County. Oregon. “Under our new guidelines, we’re not only recommending testing for everyone who has the symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of the severity of symptoms, we’re also recommending the testing of all close contacts of people who are infected regardless of whether or not a close contact has any symptoms,” Allen said. As of July 27, Powell said the following districts have notified the Oregon Department of Education that they have met the 3% cap for students enrolled in a virtual public charter school. Zach Olson’s two kids were attending school in Nyssa, where the infection rate is nearly five times the state average, as of last week’s OHA report. The state's department of education estimates that potentially 130,000 students could at some point soon return to some in-person instruction. The Oregon Department of Education says they are waiting to see ... of Public Instruction is preparing for their first meeting on Wednesday of a workgroup that will be focused on school reopening. Olson said he’s fortunate to be able to afford a nanny while his family juggles child care, and resentful that other kinds of business reopened before schools. If you believe a school is not in compliance with the RSSL guidance you can file a named or confidential complaint with Oregon OSHA at 1-833-604-0884 or online. At over 10,000-square-miles, it’s the second-largest county in the state and a case study in the complexity of regulating Oregon’s diverse geography. The Oregon Department of Education on Wednesday released Ready Schools, Safe Learners, the initial guidance for how public and private schools will develop an … With cases continuing to fluctuate, questions remain about where Lane County's school districts are with the possibility of reopening. Testing sites will also be expanded for congregate-care facilities, the Oregon Department of Corrections, community testing locations, schools and other settings. But districts are still trying to figure out what these benchmarks mean. Since then, the Oregon Health Authority has made its own changes to tracking COVID-19. If residents of one town frequently travel to another for work or to shop, outbreaks in those communities would also cause schools to close. OHA is working closely with the Oregon Department of Education on their Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance for public and private K-12 schools for the 2020-21 school year. School Reopening Oregon public health officials have developed evidence-based metrics to help school boards and school districts make decisions about how they can safely reopen schools. The updated metrics also include exemptions for rural school districts in more populated counties. However even under the new, relaxed metric requirements, about 80% of Oregon students will still not be eligible for in-person learning, state officials said. ODE’s revisions mean that in her district, two of Central Oregon’s smallest schools — Paulina and Brothers — will open their doors next month. Oregon announces new COVID metrics for school reopening By SARA CLINE October 30, 2020 GMT SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials on Friday announced new COVID-19 metrics to determine when students can return to K-12 schools for in-person learning, … Under the plan, individual public and private schools will need to submit an Operational Blueprint for Reentry to their local public health authority before they reopen. “It is great that the governor keeps taking steps towards prioritizing elementary and rural schools, but she is giving us whiplash,” he said. This guidance is effective July 1, 2020 and will remain in effect Owens is married to a teacher, with a 16-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. You may be aware that the Oregon Department of Education released statewide guidelines for the safe reopening of schools for the 20-21 school year. There are no more planned changes to the guidance until after school starts. A framework for schools for the 2020-21 school year that ensures the health and safety of all students and staff and the families they return to each day. ODE said that rural health departments face unique challenges tracking and containing COVID-19. If it does, actions will be taken, proper precautions will be maintained, and we’ll have lessons learned,” he said. ... Oregon Department of Education is excepted to publish their first round of guidance some time this month. The dad of two boys was critical of how often the guidelines have changed leading up to the start of the fall semester. OPB’s critical reporting is made possible by the power of member support. On the state’s eastern border with Idaho, Malheur County has become a hotspot for the virus in some areas, while other communities remain untouched. Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill warned that reopening schools will depend on whether the public can do its part to reduce Oregon’s case rates. the increase in Oregon’s coronavirus test capacity, Oregon Department of Education makes temporary change to COVID-19 school reopening standards. “The idea behind this guidance is that some of our very large geographic counties, where towns are spread out, could have an outbreak in one community, and then for thousands of square miles, no outbreaks,” Gill said. The Oregon Department of Education announced Thursday that it’s allowing school districts to disregard test positivity rates from September, opening the … Brown did not specify whether there would be changes to state or county coronavirus caseload metrics. The Republican from Crane represents Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur and part of Lake counties — a vast swath of Oregon with a small fraction of the state population, where statewide rulemaking has long been a political target. This is not a comprehensive list of all resources and we are here to support you. If you have questions about the RSSL guidance, please contact the Oregon Department of Education. “These actions include the potential to withhold State School Fund (SSF) payments if needed and as a means of last resort,” according to the state guidelines. “I think it’s a great first step,” said Rep. Mark Owens of the revised guidance for small population counties. President Trump falsely claimed that children are "almost immune" from the coronavirus, but a new review of state data finds child cases are up 40%. School safety and other COVID-19 school related questions … The governor created that situation and it can not stand,” Olson said in an email. This week, the state’s Department of Education bowed to pressure from rural community leaders and released new standards for in-person instruction in the state’s most sparsely-populated areas. The influx of new tests comes at a crucial time, as Allen said coronavirus cases have increased by 25% since Aug. 31, with the average number of daily cases increasing from 220 to 285. When Summit High School’s spring production was abruptly interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, teacher Lara Okamoto and student Maya Gardner had to get creative with how to perform online and keep the safe space for students. WESD provides this page as a resource for your use as you are working through creating Operational Blueprints for reopening schools in the fall of the 2020-2021 school year under the Oregon Department of Education Ready Schools, Safe Learners Guidance. The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) made the announcement last week and said it will distribute 5 million face masks to school districts to make the requirement happen. Oregon State Rep. Mark Owens, R-Crane, wants rural schools to reopen. New state school reopening plan would be less restrictive, Bend-La Pine superintendent says Nordquist learned details of the plan in a virtual meeting with chief of Oregon Department of Education At the end of October, Gov. Oregon schools won’t reopen until state sees substantial coronavirus decline, Gov. Dr. “We’re still exploring this issue,” Brown said in a press conference, “but I think it’s fair to say the statewide metric, frankly, is quite challenging for communities around the state, and my top priority is that we get our kids back into school safely.”. Tags: COVID-19, Health, Education, Oregon, Schools. “We’ll be looking at all the metrics, but I think that’s an example of the kind of thing we’ll be evaluating.”. Despite two straight days of record high reported COVID-19 cases, the State of Oregon and Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has adjusted their reopening schools … Adding to the uncertainty, ODE officials have said they expect to update the guidance a few more times before school starts. In an effort to respond to questions about planning for the 2020-21 school year, we’ve updated this page with the newest frequently asked questions. We want to reduce the number of students and staff interacting,” said Gill. Brown and Allen also touched on the increase in Oregon’s coronavirus test capacity. Kate Brown said Tuesday she and other state leaders in the coming weeks will be reevaluating the metrics used to determine when K-12 schools can reopen in-person. Related: Oregon schools face tough climb to on-campus learning. OPB’s critical reporting is made possible by the power of member support. Kate Brown and the Oregon Department of Education changed the metrics for reopening schools for in-person instruction. The latest information on Child Nutrition Programs Find resources and news about wildfires in Oregon. Oregon Department of Education makes temporary change to COVID-19 school reopening standards . Owens also acknowledged that after years of budget cuts, and in some cases total defunding, many of the rural health departments these school plans now depend on “are not set up to deal with a global pandemic, or be successful without help.”, Related: Harney County hopes public health can save its economy. How and when Oregon kids will go back to classrooms is still an open question, with the opening of school fast approaching. Those counties can open schools that serve fewer than 250 students if certain criteria are met. But rural schools can reopen if the school serves fewer than 250 people if there is no transmission in the community, and if they meet the same case metrics for counties with smaller populations. Schools all across Oregon will need to keep students of all ages six feet apart when schools reopen in August or September, state officials say. The state's department of education estimates that potentially 130,000 students could at some point soon return to some in-person instruction. That doesn’t just apply to in-state communities. The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing Oregon fall high school sports to spring. “For those very low population, but very large geographic counties, that does become a challenge,” said Gill, adding that health departments were consulted when making guidelines and that larger counties do have bigger health departments. As director of the Oregon Department of Education, Gill has the authority to close a school facility and address any complaints raised about flouting its guidance. The Oregon Department of Education said in July that schools couldn’t open period — unless statewide positive testing rates stayed below 6%. “I think we’ve got enough experience now to be able to look at the utility of that metric as an indicator of a broad level of coronavirus in the community generally and ask whether that statewide metric is indicative enough of disease that it should override local metrics,” Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said Tuesday. SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials on Friday announced new COVID-19 metrics to determine when students can return to K-12 schools for in-person learning, with the aim of getting more children back into the classroom. Counties with populations of less than 30,000 will be able to open, even if they don’t meet the statewide standard of fewer than 30 cases per 100,000 residents. For urban schools to reopen, there needs to be less than 10 cases per 100,000 for three consecutive weeks. The Oregon Department of Education temporarily relaxed COVID-19 standards for schools, making it easier for some schools to return to in-person learning. Conditions include limiting the total number of cases in a county over the previous three weeks to no more than 30. In counties with a population of fewer than six people per square mile, schools can reopen regardless of size if there have been fewer than 30 cases total in the last three weeks. ... noting that it does not have a set date for the gradual reopening of schools … The Oregon Department of Education (ODE), in coordination with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), is updating the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance for the 2020-21 School Year in accordance with . We hear from ODE director Colt Gill. The Oregon Department of Education updated its guidance to school officials this week, giving the authority to open and close schools during COVID-19 to local officials. Allen said the increased testing capacity is allowing the state to expand its testing guidelines. Oregon Gov. There are about 600,000 public school students in Oregon. The state also requires counties to have no more than 10 positive cases per 100,000 residents in order to open to in-person instruction for children in grades 4-12, or up to 30 cases per 100,000 for younger students, with some exceptions. “We foresee the strong possibility … For months, Owens and other rural lawmakers have been advocating for rural school districts to be allowed to customize reopening plans with local public health officials: “I have no fear of COVID-19 spreading rapidly in our schools. “We want to make sure no local health authority would be overwhelmed by contact tracing. Sign up to get important news and culture from around the Northwest, delivered to your inbox six days a week. There can’t be any transmission happening in the school community and only schools where less than 10% of students travel from another area will qualify. The schools can’t serve a “significant number” of students commuting from other districts, and there can’t be active outbreaks in commuters’ hometowns. Sales said relying on current recommendations from the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education makes sense, but he understands schools provide much more … Governor Brown’s Executive Order20-29. Related: MAP: Tracking Oregon's coronavirus cases by county. “We’ll take what we can get given the circumstances, and we’re thankful the state was willing to hear the feedback of our rural communities and find a common-sense solution,” said Crook County Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson in a Tuesday press release. To make sure counties can identify outbreaks in time to close schools, presumptive cases do not need to be confirmed with a laboratory test to count. For reference, you can find all previous FAQs in the Archived FAQs section below. Colt Gill, director of the Oregon Department of Education, said in an interview that the state expects school buildings to reopen in September. “I honestly feel that my family will be safer with the practices in place in school than they are when traveling to Home Depot, or traveling to some of the other things that are allowed currently,” he said. There are about 600,000 public school students in Oregon. OPB's special coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in Oregon, Oregon schools face tough climb to on-campus learning, For months, Owens and other rural lawmakers have been advocating for rural school districts to be allowed to customize reopening plans with local public health officials, Harney County hopes public health can save its economy, MAP: Tracking Oregon's coronavirus cases by county, At least 97,000 children tested positive for coronavirus in last 2 weeks of July, Oregon pushes fall high school sports to March. Officials will also need to take into account outbreaks in nearby communities across state lines. REOPENING SCHOOLS IN 2020-21 | 6/10/20. Many people in Oregon have reported delayed test results in the last month, sometimes waiting for as long as three weeks to find out if they have COVID-19. However, regardless of how individual Oregon counties are doing as far as positive coronavirus cases, contact tracing and other factors go, there’s a requirement that the state’s test positivity rate be below 5% for three consecutive weeks — though that metric was suspended in September as wildfires interfered with testing. That roughly doubles Oregon’s current testing capacity. Crook County officials are among school administrators across the state scrambling to decipher the guidelines and decide which facilities can have kids attend classes in-person. The Oregon Department of Education has announced new health metrics that make it easier for rural schools to reopen. “We wanted provisions to address rural towns that are more of a bedroom community to a city that might be impacted by COVID-19,” Gill said, “[Local public health authorities] do need to understand if the majority of that community works in or shops in another community that is impacted, they’re not isolated.”. Because some rural towns are far apart or aren’t connected by major roads, some schools can stay open even if there is active community transmission in the county. They cancelled their live show and instead produced a Shakespeare Cabaret over Zoom, giving Gardner experience with virtual performances before facing new realities in college theater. Earlier today, the Oregon Department of Education released its initial guidance for reopening schools for the 2020-21 school year. The state is expected to have 60,000 to 80,000 new rapid antigen tests each week through the end of this year. Oregon Department of Education Says Schools May Not Reopen Before June, Shifts to Support Distance Learning. The district will incorporate that guidance into our own plans as we work toward reopening schools in the fall. ODE Director Colt Gill said that the goal of these updated protocols is to allow rural schools the flexibility to reopen their doors while ensuring that any school-related outbreaks remain small. If more than half of those cases occurred in the final week of that three-week period schools would have to remain closed, because it could indicate increasing community transmission. Related: OPB's special coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in Oregon. Be a part of it!
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