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New School Guidance In Oregon Officially Calls For Full-Time, In-Person Instruction

SALEM, Ore. – Right after Governor Kate Brown announced Oregon’s June 30th reopening date, the Oregon Department of Education updated its guidance.

And parents are going to be happy.

The Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework calls for full-time, in-person instruction next school year.

It also gives safety decision making to local communities. That means mandatory protocols such as face coverings are now advisory.

Schools must still submit disease plans.

Here’s more from the ODE:

(Salem, Ore.)– The Oregon Department of Education today announced the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 School Year. The Resiliency Framework helps school districts prepare their staff and campuses for the next academic year. As Oregon enters the next chapter of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Resiliency Framework shifts public school districts to a more traditional, local decision-making model, so that communities can make the health and safety decisions that serve students best. The framework also reflects Governor Kate Brown’s announcement Friday of her order lifting all remaining COVID-19 health and safety restrictions issued under Oregon emergency statutes, including the executive order for K-12 schools.

“The path is clear for students to return to full time, in-person instruction next year. Working together, we can harness this opportunity to rekindle joy and learning in the classrooms, auditoriums, and playgrounds across Oregon,” said Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill. “Oregon schools are ready to once again be vibrant places for learners, staff, and their families.”

The key Resiliency Framework pillars are:

  • Oregon public schools will be returning to full-time, in-person instruction next school year.
  • A focus on connecting and relationship building as staff and students move back into full-time, in-person instruction.
  • Pre-pandemic instructional time requirements will be reinstituted.
  • School districts and charter schools may continue to offer online programs for students at their discretion. The Department will engage in an inclusive process to update Oregon’s remote learning quality standards over the next school year.
  • The vast majority of health and safety protocols, including face coverings and physical distancing in Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance, which are currently mandatory, will move to advisory next academic year. The switch to advisory means school districts, public charter schools and private schools will have the option to implement, as appropriate, relevant advisory guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and the Oregon Health Authority, and may require face coverings, physical distancing and other measures.
  • Key measures that remain required include: Maintaining a communicable disease plan, maintaining an isolation space in schools and submitting a plan for operation.
  • This Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 School Year replaces Ready Schools, Safe Learners: Guidance for School Year 2020-21 version 7.5.2 issued on May 28, 2021. The Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 School Year becomes effective on June 30, 2021. The Resiliency Framework may be used for summer school 2021 as well as school year 2021-22.

“Schools have more than a year of practice on how to mitigate COVID-19 and create a welcoming and inclusive learning environment for students and staff,” Gill said. “Moving to an advisory framework is a logical progression from emergency state direction to local decision-making for keeping students and staff healthy within each school’s unique context.”

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