MEDFORD, Ore. — Since the beginning of this school year, Jackson County's coronavirus case rates and state metrics have ensured that the Medford School District could, at most, provide limited in-person learning. Governor Kate Brown's recent decision to make those metrics "advisory" instead of mandatory has allowed the District to dip its toes back into those waters.
"While decisions to resume in-person instruction can now be made locally, we cannot make these decisions alone," Superintendent Bret Champion said in a statement. "In addition to working with our local public health department and following all required health and safety protocols, we are committed to honoring all voices in our community, including yours, our students and staff."
Champion advised that families and staff should reference a few documents before taking the survey — Oregon Department of Education research on COVID-19 transmission in schools, Jackson County's case rates over the past several months, the District's internal case data, MSD's measures for COVID-19 prevention, and MSD's guidelines for limited in-person instruction.
"We will be convening a task force that includes teachers, staff, parents, students, and administrators to help determine how and when to increase in-person instruction safely," Champion continued. "We will also meet with Jackson County Public Health as we await new health and safety guidance from the Oregon Department of Education that is expected in mid-January."
MSD tentatively plans to announce its course of action at the end of January, for a target transition in February.