EAGLE POINT, Ore. — The Eagle Point School District Board of Directors announced on Thursday that they have heeded the call from their Medford counterparts to pressure Governor Kate Brown for relaxed coronavirus metrics in an effort to bring more students back into classrooms.
Medford School District's Board of Directors passed a resolution last week that urges Governor Brown to "follow the science" and revisit the state's coronavirus metrics for schools for a second time. Along with the resolution came a message from the Board exhorting other local districts and community members to add their voices.
Though Brown and state education officials relaxed school metrics somewhat in October, Jackson County's case rates have been prohibitively high since the beginning of the school year for any more than limited in-person learning.
Now, according to a statement from the Eagle Point School District, another local school board has joined the chorus advocating for more in-person learning. The Eagle Point School Board passed its own resolution on Wednesday.
"Eagle Point School District knows educating students well, including focusing on their mental, emotional, physical, and social wellbeing is vital," the District said in a statement. "At the same time, the district's highest priority is to safeguard the health and wellness of its students, staff, and the community. Despite heroic efforts by Eagle Point District teachers and staff who are working harder than ever before, there are currently undeniable setbacks to our student’s education and mental health."
Like Medford, Eagle Point referenced findings — acknowledged by the CDC — that children are at lower risk of getting or spreading coronavirus. However, the agency also says that risk of in-school transmission is "lowest if community transmission is low."
"While Eagle Point School District has had cases of COVID, as of the date of this letter, it has not had a single outbreak," the District said. "A strong commitment to safety has made this possible."
"The Eagle Point School Board urges Governor Brown to prioritize the return of all students in grades K-5, with an ultimate goal of returning all students to school, by establishing metrics that follow the science and align with successful models used in other states and countries which have prioritized education first," the District continued.
Like Medford, Eagle Point is also asking people to signal support for the resolution by December 21, after which the resolution will be sent to Governor Brown, state lawmakers, and the Oregon Department of Education.