PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The Oregon Department of Education released updated guidance and metrics Tuesday for when schools can return to in-person learning. 

ODE first released "Ready Schools, Safe Learners" guidance in Aug. 2020 for public schools across the state. The guidance was developed under the direction of Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority.

The new metrics announced Tuesday are based on the latest COVID-19 studies and data, according to ODE.

"We are providing school leaders with the information they need to make local decisions about returning to in-person instruction," said ODE Director Colt Gill. "We all know that in-person instruction provides our children and families with access to an equitable education. Schools are a center of services to students and families, offering nutritious meals, access to social-emotional and mental health supports, as well as physical health services. This guidance provides new resources to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and better meet students’ needs in this time."

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ODE says the key changes to the metrics include:

  • Gov. Brown returned the decision for operating schools in-person to the local level on January 1, 2021. This guidance provides local leaders with guidance, information, and resources they need to make informed decisions.
  • Updated advisory metrics aligned to the Harvard Global Health Institute recommendations. These metrics allow for a return to in-person instruction for elementary students at higher levels of community case rates than previously recommended.
  • A new requirement, that when students and staff return to in-person instruction out of alignment with the metrics, schools must offer access to on-site COVID-19 testing for symptomatic students and staff identified on campus as well as those with known exposure to individuals with COVID-19.
  • Multiple new resources to support learning outside, field trips, equitable grading practices, attendance best practices, contact tracing partnerships, COVID-19 testing, and more.

The new guidance takes effect immediately.

ODE says schools must focus on two critical factors when making decisions about returning to in-person learning:

  • It remains important that the community case counts (or case rates) are low enough that the community is not regularly introducing new COVID-19 cases into the school. The county metrics remain the best tool for determining when cases are down enough to return to in-person instruction.
  • The ability to implement public health and safety protocols in the school with fidelity. Oregon’s guidance is comprehensive and includes diligent entry screening, universal use of face coverings, physical distancing, cohorting, frequent handwashing, and over 160 other requirements for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

For more information on the updated "Ready Schools, Safe Learners" guidance, click here.

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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(9) comments

JimmieRedbeard

This is absolute hogwash. I'll post the link but the Harvard metrics don't say "This is when Kate says", but I'm guessing everything short if "stay at home" is fine for her. This has nothing to do with children and everything to do with money, and getting people who can return to work when their kids are in school off unemployment. She could care less what that means for any of the kids or their families. All the government officials have been amazingly inept and selfish through all of this, regardless if party or position. With our money and votes. I would like to point out that Kate putting herself on the commission means nothing except she can make up whatever guidelines she wants, and she has No Healthcare Training or Experience of any kind and was Never actually elected (Inherited position that she never had to primary for). httpss://globalhealth.harvard.edu/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression-researchers-and-public-health-experts-unite-to-bring-clarity-to-key-metrics-guiding-coronavirus-response/

PDX2MtHood

Public school is such a joke and in Oregon it's the worst in the country right there with Oklahoma.

Delta85

Teachers are spoiled.... They get holidays off, long summer breaks and now they just want to sit home and teach. Kids need to be around other kids not sitting home staring at screens all day.

Delta85

So today is what day? Jan1 has come and gone I am just saying! Enough talk get it freaking done. Kids need to be in school not at home doing nothing!

Maddog 10

Brown doesn't want the schools to open before they can get more communist teachers hired.

Delta85

[lol][thumbup]

Merlin

Oregon Department of Education, now that’s an oxymoron!

Kenny Rogers

The public school system/teacher's union has caused more damage and destruction than the covid pandemic has. And this has been going on for years with schooling.

Delta85

[thumbup][beam]

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