FRSD students and families,
As many of you are aware, on Wednesday, December 23rd, Governor Kate Brown released a statement regarding new guidelines around returning to in-person instruction (click here to read).
The stated goal within this release is to have a larger return to in-person instruction by February 15th and to allow more local decisions based on health metrics and the local circumstances. In short, this is good news, however, I want to ensure some finer points of the press release are communicated clearly.
- While the move from “mandatory” to “advisory” in regards to the metrics is helpful, the current metrics of Lane County would “advise” us not to return students to in-person instruction yet. In addition, it is expected that NEW metrics (essentially the guidelines we should follow) will be released on or before January 19th. While I would expect those metrics to allow for a more rapid return to in-person instruction, the current metrics would advise us, due to our case count being over 200 per 100,000 to stay in distance learning, and that a case count of under 200 per 100,000 we should be transitioning back to more on-site learning. As soon as new metrics are released, I will share them here. You can access the CURRENT metric table and the Lane County data at this link (click here).
- The second piece that is easily overlooked is the statement that says schools must continue “to adhere to required health and safety protocols.” There are restrictions such as the number of students per square foot, allowable cohort size, the number of cohorts a student can be a part of in a given day/week, and transportation limitations, just to name a few. The entire 90 page Ready Schools Safe Learners Document, the document that outlines how schools must operate (and is changed/updated often), can be found by clicking here.
Finally, to summarize, the District will be sticking with our plan made just before Winter Break to return to Limited-In-Person Instruction for around 200 students beginning Tuesday, January 5th. Any student that is in this group should have already been contacted by their building. By tomorrow afternoon, we will have bus routes for these students posted here: Jan 5th bus routes. At a minimum, we will stick with that plan through the next update to the metrics, expected around January 19th. I hope that a significant change in the number of students on campus materializes by the start of the 2nd semester, the week of February 8th. As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact your building administrator.