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Governor Brown directs Oregon schools to provide in-person learning by March, April deadlines

Governor Kate Brown says that she will issue an executive order directing schools to provide in-person instruction by March 29 for K-5 students and April 19 for 6-12 students.

Posted: Mar 5, 2021 12:01 PM
Updated: Mar 5, 2021 12:04 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown is directing Oregon public schools to reopen for in-person instruction by a pair of deadlines in March and April. The Governor's office said on Friday that she will issue an executive order requiring schools to offer "universal access" for in-person learning by March 29 for K-5 students and April 19 for grade 6-12 students.

"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."


RELATED: Gov. Brown says 'science is clear' on bringing students back into classrooms safely


While many districts have already approached in-person learning on their own internally devised schedules since Brown made her COVID-19 metrics "advisory" at the end of December, some districts have lagged behind. Reopening schools has become a refrain for Oregon Republican lawmakers, who released a letter on Thursday urging Brown to "utilize the full authority" of her office to immediately reopen schools.

"We have a collective responsibility to ensure vulnerable children receive high-quality instruction and a well-rounded educational experience," House and Senate Republicans wrote in the joint letter. "However, many students have not stepped into a classroom for nearly a year and they are feeling the academic, social, and emotional consequences. Students are falling behind academically, which is jeopardizing their futures."

With educators, in some cases, still in line for the COVID-19 vaccine, teacher's unions have resisted an abrupt return to full in-person learning. However, the Oregon Education Association and local unions indicated on Friday that they would support the Governor's timeline.

"We hear, understand, and share the frustration expressed by many in our communities about the uncertainty this pandemic has caused for our public education system, and the long-standing educational disparities that continue to be exacerbated by reopening plans that fail to truly center student equity," the OEA said in a statement. "We urge our local school districts to continue to work in good faith with local educators to craft plans that will truly serve all of our students, and we are committed to expanding in-person instruction at our schools this spring."


RELATED: Governor Brown okays outdoor contact sports for high schools and colleges


“The science is very, very clear: with proper safety measures in place, there is a low risk of COVID-19 transmission in school," Governor Brown continued. "Oregon parents can be confident about sending their children back to a classroom learning environment.”

Brown's office said that after the weeks of March 29 and April 19, all public schools in Oregon will be operating under a fully on-site or hybrid model, "when counties meet or exceed the state's advisory COVID-19 metrics." Students or parents who want to remain in comprehensive distance learning will be accommodated.

"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," Brown's office said.

The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education will issue new guidance on the directives by March 19.

“Closing schools in Oregon is a decision I will never forget," Brown said. "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."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 176157

Reported Deaths: 2461
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah35145568
Washington23569229
Marion20282299
Clackamas15499204
Lane11722144
Jackson9984127
Umatilla798483
Deschutes721472
Linn418763
Yamhill412575
Klamath353759
Polk346452
Malheur343058
Josephine307862
Douglas305765
Benton275418
Jefferson207432
Coos198431
Columbia155426
Union141824
Lincoln130520
Wasco130228
Hood River113029
Morrow108115
Clatsop9008
Crook89119
Baker86114
Curry5999
Tillamook5833
Grant4204
Lake4147
Harney3136
Wallowa1575
Gilliam571
Sherman571
Wheeler261
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3723446

Reported Deaths: 61122
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122964123668
Riverside2976204547
San Bernardino2949734561
San Diego2753683674
Orange2691764900
Santa Clara1173172017
Kern1080131331
Sacramento1016651647
Fresno1007021646
Alameda855831477
Ventura803321002
San Joaquin717351334
Contra Costa67157782
Stanislaus605831032
Tulare49443831
Monterey43301364
San Mateo41226560
San Francisco36094529
Santa Barbara33926446
Solano32047239
Merced31289453
Sonoma29720311
Imperial27995719
Kings22781245
Placer21908283
San Luis Obispo20991257
Madera16289240
Santa Cruz15666204
Marin13868226
Yolo13572200
Shasta11747219
Butte11601196
El Dorado9797109
Napa971579
Sutter9299109
Yuba612744
San Benito598963
Lassen567924
Tehama544556
Nevada448975
Tuolumne408664
Mendocino399347
Humboldt363138
Amador362946
Lake341643
Glenn235825
Colusa220416
Calaveras206252
Siskiyou196521
Inyo141838
Del Norte12907
Mono12744
Plumas6936
Modoc4904
Mariposa4287
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned440
Medford
Clear
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Hi: 73° Lo: 37°
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Brookings
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 64°
Medford
Clear
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Hi: 51° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 76°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 76°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 65°
Warm and windy Thursday
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