Governor Kate Brown announced today she will be issuing an executive order to return Oregon public school students to the classroom. In a letter to the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education, she directed all Oregon public schools to offer universal access to in-person instruction on or before the weeks of March 29 for K-5 students and April 19 for students in grades 6-12.
“Thanks to the smart choices Oregonians have made, our COVID-19 numbers have declined. All but six counties now meet or exceed Oregon’s advisory metrics for a return to in-person, hybrid learning for all K-12 grade levels,” said Governor Brown. “And, five of those counties meet the advisory metrics for a return to elementary school.”
“The science is very, very clear: with proper safety measures in place, there is a low risk of COVID-19 transmission in school. Oregon parents can be confident about sending their children back to a classroom learning environment.”
After the weeks of March 29 and April 19, all public schools in Oregon will operate under either a fully on-site or a hybrid instructional model when counties meet or exceed Oregon’s advisory COVID-19 metrics. Individual students or parents who want to remain in comprehensive distance learning, or who have health needs, may do so. Comprehensive distance learning for all will be an option for school districts when community transmission rates of COVID-19 warrant a transition, as determined by state or local public health directives. No later than March 19, the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education will issue updated guidance to match the directives set out by the Governor.
“Closing schools in Oregon is a decision I will never forget. Parents, educators, school staff, but especially students have come so far while navigating the challenges of this pandemic. Welcoming students back to every school across Oregon will be a milestone worth celebrating,” Brown said.