I hope everyone had a joyous holiday and a restful winter break. I am so glad 2021 is about to start!
I am also very glad that Governor Brown announced that the health metrics for allowing in person school for K-12 would be changed from mandatory to advisory. There have been letters and pressure mounted from school superintendents, school boards, and professional organizations representing small districts which I believe contributed to her change in this regard.
I have consulted with Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer from Douglas Public Health Network and he has indicated that the virus is very low in our area of the county and wished us luck in reopening schools. In addition, yesterday’s Daily Update from the Douglas County Covid-19 Response Team (DCCRT):
Good news for Douglas County residents and businesses is that we have succeeded in getting our COVID case numbers down, and the State of Oregon notified Douglas County that we are among a small group of counties that will be moving to a lower risk level based on COVID-19 spread, starting on Friday, January 1, 2020. Douglas County is being lowered to the High Risk Level from the Extreme Risk Level. The new risk levels will be in effect from Friday, January 1, 2021 to Thursday, January 14, 2021.
Oakland School District will use Monday, Jan. 4 to reconnect virtually or by phone with students to check on their social emotional wellbeing and inform them of our new plan for in person instruction. This will allow all staff to review procedures for transportation, meal service, sanitizing protocols, classroom instruction and other social distancing and hygiene protocols for students on campus. Grades K-6 will start in person on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Starting Monday, Jan. 11 grades 7-12 will be welcomed back to in person learning on campus. I cannot wait to see all the smiling faces of our students in person!
Thank you all for your patience and your support over these past several months. I know many times I have felt the same frustration that many of you have felt. Your students are precious to us and we miss them very much. We will do everything we can to review and practice the protocols that we are mandated to adhere in the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance from the Oregon Department of Education. I am also encouraging each of us to do all that we can to insure that we are able to stay open for our children by practicing social distancing, frequent handwashing, and appropriate mask wearing when outside of your family circle or in public or at school.
Have a Safe and Happy New Year!!