Jessica Cejnar / Wednesday, July 29, 2020 @ 12:59 p.m.

Brookings-Harbor School District Superintendent Discusses Reopening Process

With a 13.1 active cases on July 19 and a zero percent positive test rate in Curry County, Brookings-Harbor School District students may be able to attend classes during and morning and afternoon sessions, the superintendent said Wednesday.

In a letter to the community, Brookings-Harbor School District Superintendent David Marshall said if Oregon’s numbers improve and stabilize and if Curry County maintains or improves on its current level, in-person instruction may be possible. But there’s still a chance that the district can only offer distance and online learning only, Marshall wrote.

“We will continue our planning to build schedules and develop the processes and protocols for in-person operation as well as planning for full online instruction as well,” Marshall wrote. “In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more details of what our in-person and online offerings will look like.”

Marshall wrote his letter after Oregon Governor Kate Brown released an updated set of metrics determining when schools will be able to offer in-person learning. According to a news release from Brown’s Wednesday, in order for students to learn in classrooms, including a blended learning model, a county must have 10 or fewer cases per 100,000 people over seven days and a test positivity rate of 5 percent over seven days.

Oregon must have a test positivity rate of 5 percent or less over seven days for schools to reopen statewide, according to the governor’s news release.

There are exceptions for remote and rural schools as well as for in-person instruction for kindergarten through third-grade if a county has 30 cases per 100,000 cases over seven days and a test positivity rate of 5 percent or less over seven days. COVID-19 must also not be active within the school community, according to the news release.

School districts must also plan to switch from in-person instruction to distance learning if a community has 20 cases or more per 100,000 over seven days and a test positivity rate of 7.5 percent or greater over seven days, according to the news release. Districts must offer training for staff and notify the community.

Districts must offer online learning only if there are 30 or more cases per 100,000 over seven days or if there is a test positivity rate of 10 percent or greater over seven days, according to the news release.

“Based on these metrics, with the increasing spread of COVID-19 in both rural and urban Oregon this summer, many, if not most, Oregon students live in school districts that will begin school in the fall by focusing on online distance learning or will have a hybrid model that combines remote online education and in-person classroom time,” Brown’s office states.

According to Marshall, Brookings-Harbor School District will still provide services for students on 504 plans, individual education plans as well as English language learners and those engaging in the Indian Education program. The district has also invested in technology ensuring all students will have a device and the ability to access online learning programs.

“We are taking the lessons learned from spring and are committed to quality instruction and opportunities regardless of the format,” Marshall wrote.

For more information, visit the school district's website.


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