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Medford Schools prepare for discussion on new social distancing guidance

Governor Kate Brown announced that Oregon schools now only have to socially distance three feet instead of six feet while inside classrooms. This is part of the goal to get more student back into classrooms.

Posted: Mar 30, 2021 12:23 PM
Updated: Mar 30, 2021 5:15 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Governor Kate Brown and state officials announced last week that Oregon schools now only have to socially distance three feet instead of six feet while inside classrooms. This is part of the goal to get more student back into classrooms. 

As local schools wrap up spring break vacation we're hearing from the Medford Education Association (MEA) and the Medford School District (MSD) about the changes being made to meet these new guidelines.

"Medford teachers, from the beginning, wanted their students back as quickly and as safely as possible. So to that extent, I think we're super excited about this change," said Troy Pomeroy, MEA President.

He said he believes there is a sense of frustration with all the changes schools have gone through this year.

"What people don't realize is that it takes a ton of energy resources, manpower. You mobilize a district of our size and that usually happens in the summer," Pomeroy said.  "And that hasn't really happened this year. We have restarted the school year so many times, midstream with classes going on, while people are running schools and teaching classes at the same time. It's exhausting."

He said that despite the frustration, Medford teachers are still doing what they can to help the school year run smoothly.

"I know this about Medford teachers, they have been resilient and adapt," Pomeroy said. "And they have taken whatever is thrown at them and always done the best thing for kids through it all."

Dr. Bret Champion is the Superintendent of the MSD and he said that changes were made with the classroom set-up during spring break for when plans are finalized.

"Because folks were out for spring break, our amazing facilities crew got all that furniture back. It's not that we're making the change tomorrow," Dr. Champion said. "But we want to be able to make the change and not have the furniture be a holdup."

Pomeroy and Dr. Champion both said one of the challenges will be figuring out schedules for students to go to lunch, because six feet of social distancing is still required while eating. 

"Figuring out how those schedules will work is part of the puzzle we'll need to solve as we move toward getting all of our students back," Dr. Champion said.

He also said a reopening task force committee for the MSD will be meeting this week to go over the best ideas to move forward in this process. 

The Medford Online Academy will still be an option for families who are not yet comfortable with sending their kids back to in-person learning.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206299

Reported Deaths: 2750
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40280614
Washington26740248
Marion23370323
Clackamas18872235
Lane13862162
Jackson11518146
Deschutes998682
Umatilla859287
Linn557280
Klamath477478
Yamhill477379
Polk397755
Douglas385881
Malheur361163
Josephine357572
Benton325422
Jefferson236339
Coos216637
Columbia190829
Union149124
Wasco143830
Lincoln142721
Crook128923
Hood River121933
Morrow115316
Clatsop10449
Baker100915
Curry70111
Tillamook6604
Grant5487
Lake4678
Harney4309
Wallowa1945
Gilliam761
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3806465

Reported Deaths: 63274
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124703324444
Riverside3015434625
San Bernardino2991864811
San Diego2815313771
Orange2729225109
Santa Clara1200322187
Kern1107341402
Sacramento1075601730
Fresno1028671722
Alameda895621272
Ventura816091030
San Joaquin746291438
Contra Costa70478810
Stanislaus633871069
Tulare49799849
Monterey43831421
San Mateo42615581
San Francisco37243556
Santa Barbara34593455
Solano33673266
Merced32284477
Sonoma30825323
Imperial28801741
Placer23477299
Kings23185247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16618245
Santa Cruz16232208
Marin14185229
Yolo14141212
Butte12644194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10363116
Napa1001480
Sutter9650113
Yuba646451
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama572763
Nevada490375
Humboldt446248
Mendocino430650
Tuolumne420771
Amador373147
Lake356345
Glenn243027
Siskiyou239337
Colusa228418
Calaveras220156
Del Norte14548
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5565
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1130
Alpine890
Unassigned400
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