SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - High Wind Watch - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Districts in Klamath and Josephine County mull Oregon's new school metrics

Most counties in southern Oregon, with the notable exception of Jackson County, will be cleared for full in-person learning under the new metrics. But districts still need to sift through new guidelines.

Posted: Oct 30, 2020 3:49 PM
Updated: Oct 30, 2020 5:43 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Under new, relaxed coronavirus metrics revealed on Friday, Governor Kate Brown says that roughly Oregon 130,000 students will be allowed to return to their classrooms. Most counties in southern Oregon, with the notable exception of Jackson County, currently have a clear path to bring students back.

Even so, Friday's announcement comes with a brand new set of guidelines that school officials will have to navigate, and several districts indicated that they would need time before any concrete changes appear.

"Grants Pass School District 7’s goal has always been to bring as many kids back to school as soon and as safely as possible," GPSD said in a statement. "We look forward to reviewing these new metrics and determining our next steps for reopening. We appreciate our school community’s patience as we take time to process and plan so that the adjustments we make are done safely and in the best interest of our students and staff."

Three Rivers School District, also in Josephine County, issued a similar statement:

"The goal of the Three Rivers School District continues to be returning as many students as possible back to the classroom. The district leadership team will be analyzing these new metrics and requirements in order to determine what needs to happen to make on-site instruction safe and available for all students and staff."

The Klamath County School District, which was already cautiously moving ahead with increased in-person learning in more rural areas, also said that it would be looking over the new guidance — but would go forward with the changes already in motion.

“We appreciate the support we received from parents and public health officials in promoting schools reopening for in-person instruction,” Superintendent Glen Szymoniak said. “We will continue to be diligent with safety and health protocols in keeping schools safe for students.”

Though the new metrics are effective immediately, KCSD said, Monday will be the first time that districts will be able to do a required two-week review of cases.

Oregon's new metrics removed the statewide test positivity benchmark, but kept county-level benchmarks relatively unchanged, with the exception of the timeframe. For a full K-12 return to in-person learning, a county needs to have a case rate of less than 50 cases per 100,000 people for a 14-day period, and a test positivity rate of less than 5 percent. With Klamath County's population of roughly 68,000, the first benchmark is actually 34 cases.

Klamath County has had a test positivity rate of under 5 percent since the week of October 11. Between October 11 and 24 (the last full 14-day period), Klamath County Public Health reported a total of 25 cases. On Monday, school officials will have to re-evaluate based on the most recent two-week period — but a spike this week, bringing the 14-day total to at least 38, appears to have broken the streak.

Regardless of the new metrics, several schools in the KCSD will have a return to some form of in-person learning on Monday. All Bonanza Junior/Senior High School students return for Monday through Thursday classes. Chiloquin schools will be returning with a mixed model beginning on Tuesday, with K-2 students in the classroom two days per week and grades 3-6 in class one day per week.

“The district will continue to monitor health metrics and will notify families if any changes need to be made to school models,” Szymoniak said. “It is vital that we all do our part to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”


EDIT: This article has been updated with clarification on ODE's metrics, and with the latest case counts from Klamath County.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 352026

Reported Deaths: 4185
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55306692
Washington38321316
Marion36352445
Clackamas29350304
Lane27309299
Jackson22783304
Deschutes19886124
Umatilla14286144
Linn12617120
Douglas11918241
Josephine9292195
Yamhill8584111
Klamath7765111
Polk719680
Malheur552774
Benton537630
Coos492593
Columbia375743
Jefferson366351
Union316247
Lincoln313338
Wasco282640
Crook277646
Clatsop240729
Baker199228
Tillamook194929
Hood River190137
Morrow183023
Curry178723
Harney110225
Grant98012
Lake89711
Wallowa67312
Gilliam1494
Sherman1463
Wheeler1031
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4825708

Reported Deaths: 70829
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147768626443
Riverside3704095008
San Diego3649124169
San Bernardino3574215597
Orange3234075528
Sacramento1584372283
Fresno1451192063
Santa Clara1450041895
Kern1449141615
Alameda1202831381
San Joaquin1022501721
Ventura1008011165
Contra Costa99612995
Stanislaus856421319
Tulare79513958
San Francisco54220644
San Mateo53970622
Monterey50772583
Solano45898340
Santa Barbara45005522
Merced42047579
Sonoma40822402
Placer39118420
Imperial35794764
Kings32587315
San Luis Obispo29797331
Madera23680281
Butte23649265
Shasta23544341
Santa Cruz20928218
Yolo20240248
Marin17644243
El Dorado17083149
Sutter13847172
Napa12855100
Yuba1000882
Tehama9406107
Humboldt9171108
Nevada909490
Mendocino757686
Lassen749946
San Benito741372
Tuolumne680893
Lake6565104
Amador540364
Siskiyou445842
Glenn433632
Calaveras385180
Del Norte357141
Colusa302818
Inyo203540
Mono16565
Plumas16046
Mariposa130815
Trinity86711
Modoc6758
Unassigned1820
Sierra1810
Alpine1030
Out of CA00
Medford
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 37°
Brookings
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 42°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 37°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 37°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 30°
Winds pick up Tuesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events