Schools' leeway to continue in-person learning extended
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Schools that are offering in-person learning can continue as long as students and staff are staying safe, the Oregon Department of Education said Wednesday.
When ODE updated its coronavirus metrics in October, it created a “safe harbor” until Jan. 4 for schools that already had students in classes to continue in-person learning. ODE is removing that cutoff date from the “Ready Schools, Safe Learners” guidance.
Under the revised safe harbor clause, school leaders are encouraged to discuss with local officials if they should continue in-person learning if their county moves into the “transition” level of the metrics. If their county moves into the “distance learning only” range, schools would have to implement distance learning if they have multiple cases in their schools or they are unable to maintain enough staff.
As of Monday, 29 counties were in the transition or distance learning levels.
Schools generally have not been a source of COVID-19 transmissions and the protocols appear to be preventing the disease’s spread in schools, according to ODE.