Since then, the Oregon Health Authority has made its own changes to tracking COVID-19. Dr. 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. The governor created that situation and it can not stand,” Olson said in an email. There are about 600,000 public school students in Oregon. If you have questions about the RSSL guidance, please contact the Oregon Department of Education. “We foresee the strong possibility … “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. The Oregon Department of Education on Wednesday released Ready Schools, Safe Learners, the initial guidance for how public and private schools will develop an … The state is expected to have 60,000 to 80,000 new rapid antigen tests each week through the end of this year. Oregon State Rep. Mark Owens, R-Crane, wants rural schools to reopen. 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. 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. 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. Colt Gill, director of the Oregon Department of Education, said in an interview that the state expects school buildings to reopen in September. ODE’s revisions mean that in her district, two of Central Oregon’s smallest schools — Paulina and Brothers — will open their doors next month. “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. “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. 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. ODE said that rural health departments face unique challenges tracking and containing COVID-19. 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. “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.”. 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. The Oregon Department of Education said in July that schools couldn’t open period — unless statewide positive testing rates stayed below 6%. Oregon Gov. “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. ... noting that it does not have a set date for the gradual reopening of schools … There are no more planned changes to the guidance until after school starts. The state's department of education estimates that potentially 130,000 students could at some point soon return to some in-person instruction. OPB’s critical reporting is made possible by the power of member support. This is not a comprehensive list of all resources and we are here to support you. The district will incorporate that guidance into our own plans as we work toward reopening schools in the fall. If residents of one town frequently travel to another for work or to shop, outbreaks in those communities would also cause schools to close. “It is great that the governor keeps taking steps towards prioritizing elementary and rural schools, but she is giving us whiplash,” he said. Hanna Merzbach reports for NPR’s Next Generation Radio. 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. School safety and other COVID-19 school related questions … If it does, actions will be taken, proper precautions will be maintained, and we’ll have lessons learned,” he said. 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 . “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. We hear from ODE director Colt Gill. Kate Brown and the Oregon Department of Education changed the metrics for reopening schools for in-person instruction. 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. The "Reopening School Work Group" is scheduled to complete their framework this week. Conditions include limiting the total number of cases in a county over the previous three weeks to no more than 30. “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. 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. 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. 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. “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. We want to reduce the number of students and staff interacting,” said Gill. Be a part of it! Oregon. Owens is married to a teacher, with a 16-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. Brown did not specify whether there would be changes to state or county coronavirus caseload metrics. The updated metrics also include exemptions for rural school districts in more populated counties. 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. 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. 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. There are about 600,000 public school students in Oregon. Related: OPB's special coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in Oregon. 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. 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. “We want to make sure no local health authority would be overwhelmed by contact tracing. 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 announced Thursday that it’s allowing school districts to disregard test positivity rates from September, opening the … Governor Brown’s Executive Order20-29. Sign up to get important news and culture from around the Northwest, delivered to your inbox six days a week. The Oregon Department of Education has announced new health metrics that make it easier for rural schools to reopen. 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. “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. 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. Testing sites will also be expanded for congregate-care facilities, the Oregon Department of Corrections, community testing locations, schools and other settings. Brown and Allen also touched on the increase in Oregon’s coronavirus test capacity. “We’ll be looking at all the metrics, but I think that’s an example of the kind of thing we’ll be evaluating.”. “Every day I walk by a closed elementary school and then numerous open bars, restaurants, and pot shops. The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing Oregon fall high school sports to spring. 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. That doesn’t just apply to in-state communities. How and when Oregon kids will go back to classrooms is still an open question, with the opening of school fast approaching. Sign up to get important news and culture from around the Northwest, delivered to your inbox six days a week. 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. Earlier today, the Oregon Department of Education released its initial guidance for reopening schools for the 2020-21 school year. 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. The Oregon Department of Education temporarily relaxed COVID-19 standards for schools, making it easier for some schools to return to in-person learning. 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. OPB’s critical reporting is made possible by the power of member support. 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. 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%. 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. 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. 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. 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. Population counties rapid antigen tests each week through the end of this year can open schools that serve fewer 250. 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