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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: 357526

Reported Deaths: 4284
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55810707
Washington38782324
Marion36837455
Clackamas29779309
Lane27744302
Jackson23059310
Deschutes20336125
Umatilla14492150
Linn12911131
Douglas12118243
Josephine9384196
Yamhill8715113
Klamath8020119
Polk737381
Malheur563677
Benton549431
Coos503794
Columbia382644
Jefferson376052
Lincoln319939
Union319549
Crook291846
Wasco288841
Clatsop244328
Baker203529
Tillamook196932
Hood River192837
Morrow185023
Curry180625
Harney113927
Grant100013
Lake93912
Wallowa68612
Gilliam1544
Sherman1523
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4850807

Reported Deaths: 71341
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148419226540
Riverside3716705041
San Diego3673614183
San Bernardino3586775692
Orange3242885562
Sacramento1596362309
Kern1463481648
Fresno1463182094
Santa Clara1455431897
Alameda1206921400
San Joaquin1027761721
Ventura1010381167
Contra Costa1000181008
Stanislaus862991335
Tulare80375978
San Francisco54440649
San Mateo54168623
Monterey50911586
Solano46063341
Santa Barbara45223523
Merced42422581
Sonoma40997404
Placer39435429
Imperial36071766
Kings32938325
San Luis Obispo29973333
Madera23955285
Shasta23924352
Butte23818273
Santa Cruz21034221
Yolo20397248
Marin17706244
El Dorado17207149
Sutter13937175
Napa12898100
Yuba1011582
Tehama9534110
Humboldt9269109
Nevada916790
Mendocino766787
Lassen754347
San Benito744972
Tuolumne691790
Lake6631105
Amador547364
Siskiyou451246
Glenn438433
Calaveras391481
Del Norte358742
Colusa307618
Inyo214241
Mono16723
Plumas16607
Mariposa133916
Trinity88011
Modoc6895
Sierra1880
Unassigned1460
Alpine1050
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