Dear OSD Families,
I hope that you are having a wonderful winter break. As you may have heard, Governor Brown modified the regulations and expectations about school operations in a COVID-19 environment. Beginning January 1, the state metrics for school reopening have moved from mandatory to advisory. While the metrics have not been removed, the ability to work together to improve the safety of the schools has increased for local governments and agencies.
The governor’s goal is to have most schools safely reopened by February 15. To that end, the Oakridge School District administration will begin meeting on Monday, January 4, 2021 to review and adjust our reopening plan as we prepare a safe and staged reopening strategy with this new information in mind. Implementation of an effective plan will depend on coordination between the District, the Lane County Health Department and local public health advisors. It also depends upon our entire community continuing to follow CDC guidance mitigating the transmission of Covid-19, which includes frequent hand washing, wearing a face mask and social distancing. We have been planning for this eventuality for months, and we will be able to communicate our reopening plans soon for your input.
The regulatory guidance for on-site learning has not changed. When we are able to safely bring students and staff back into our school buildings, everyone will be required to wear masks, wash their hands frequently, and stay 6 feet apart. The governor has directed the Oregon Health Authority to help schools access on-site rapid testing for symptomatic individuals. The testing system will become a key part of our strategy to create a safe learning environment and minimize quarantine times. The Oregon Department of Education is releasing updated Ready Schools, Safe Learners, (RSSL) guidance on or about January 15. The RSSL plans remain in place and will guide the safe reopening of our schools to on-site learning.
As we return from winter break, we will remain in CDL (Comprehensive Distance Learning), the first week of January. Those who were in Limited In Person Instruction (LIPI) before the break will continue with LIPI on January 4. We will safely build the LIPI process as we plan choices for students to return to an on-site learning model, while continuing to have our CDL on-line learning option available for those students not ready to return to on-site.
Additional updates will be provided to ensure families, students, and staff are well informed of our planning process. We are also working on a survey for our families. This will be posted on our website and social media soon. I hope everyone has a wonderful close to the holiday season, while staying safe and healthy.