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Medford School Board will urge Gov. Brown to expand in-person learning

Medford School District's Board of Directors passed a resolution Thursday night, asking Governor Brown to loosen COVID-19 metrics to bring more students back into classrooms.

Posted: Dec 4, 2020 2:39 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2020 2:48 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Medford School District's Board of Directors passed a resolution Thursday night, asking Governor Kate Brown to loosen COVID-19 metrics in order to bring more students back into classrooms.

NewsWatch 12 spoke with School Board member Cynthia Wright this week, ahead of the meeting, about the the prospect of that resolution.

"The Medford 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 many states and countries which have prioritized education first and foremost by reopening schools, or delegating authority to local districts to decide when it is appropriate for these students to safely return to school," the Board said in a Friday statement.

Even with Governor Brown and state officials loosening Oregon's school metrics at the end of October, the surge in cases statewide has all but prevented expansion of in-person learning.

School districts in Jackson County have been almost entirely relegated to comprehensive distance learning since the beginning of the school year due to ongoing high coronavirus case rates. While there has been no indication that the spread in Jackson County is dropping off — quite the opposite — MSD's Board of Directors posits that the risk is low for reopening Medford schools.

"Findings from other states and countries where schools reopened are demonstrating that schools are not super spreader events, but in fact, serve as guardians against transmission because social distancing and masking are adhered to, contact tracing is performed, and robust communication with local public health authority occurs," the Board said. "While the MSD has had cases, at the time this letter was drafted, it has not had a single outbreak. A strong commitment to safety has made this possible."

Beyond passing the resolution, the MSD Board is now urging other local districts to pass similar resolutions, and asking people in the community to sign a form supporting the document.

"We will be sending the full list of supporters to Governor Brown, state elected officials, and the Oregon Department of Education," the Board said. "For your school board, please consider supporting this effort by passing a similar resolution in your school district. If you are interested in doing so, we are happy to send you an editable version of our resolution as a starting point."

MSD's Board indicated that they are hoping to have supporting statements gathered by December 21 before officially sending out the resolution.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320990

Reported Deaths: 3682
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah52083644
Washington35615280
Marion33366399
Clackamas27185275
Lane24597256
Jackson21336267
Deschutes17215104
Umatilla13006129
Douglas10969202
Linn1083488
Josephine8772173
Yamhill7704101
Klamath666493
Polk642172
Malheur494667
Benton474228
Coos436272
Columbia333539
Jefferson325747
Lincoln283430
Union280938
Wasco248139
Crook220639
Clatsop217526
Tillamook185123
Baker180524
Morrow170721
Curry168617
Hood River165835
Harney88318
Grant8678
Lake7418
Wallowa54012
Gilliam1404
Sherman1333
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4680552

Reported Deaths: 68599
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles145417226013
Riverside3600584843
San Diego3543914051
San Bernardino3490475540
Orange3162215384
Sacramento1516592138
Santa Clara1411661844
Fresno1373871927
Kern1369321532
Alameda1168001333
San Joaquin983511628
Ventura982921134
Contra Costa96331924
Stanislaus814771256
Tulare74142898
San Mateo52540612
San Francisco52328615
Monterey49733567
Solano44452312
Santa Barbara43353505
Merced39734546
Sonoma39609384
Placer37033367
Imperial34462755
Kings30419293
San Luis Obispo28582318
Madera22042263
Butte21781236
Shasta21374290
Santa Cruz20255214
Yolo19359239
Marin17200242
El Dorado16194130
Sutter13228154
Napa1235295
Yuba937161
Nevada856885
Tehama843786
Humboldt843093
San Benito711470
Mendocino698476
Lassen653027
Tuolumne623393
Lake613592
Amador498859
Glenn407530
Siskiyou406241
Calaveras351170
Del Norte342035
Colusa293918
Inyo168539
Mono15145
Plumas12676
Mariposa102713
Trinity74310
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1370
Alpine1010
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