MEDFORD, Ore. -- Medford School District had students return to the classroom Monday, August 23.
School started a week earlier than usual since the federal funds designated for COVID-19 remediation allowed educators to make up for learning time lost during the pandemic.
With students learning in person comes mask requirements, and many parents at the Medford School District are happy to have their students wear a mask if it means they can come to school in person.
Kevin Stine is one parent at Wilson Elementary School who also happens to be on the Medford City Council. He tells Newswatch 12 his daughter is resilient.
"She's able to wear a mask and follow the rules, and for her at least, she's been just fine throughout all of this."
The principal at Wilson Elementary School, Charity MacLeod says the district is aware of some of the mental health challenges children experience as a result of the Covid mandates.
A Social Emotional Advocate has now been hired at all Medford elementary schools to address behavioral and social needs of the students.
All of the elementary schools across the district have also hired assistant principals to support educators when it comes to behavioral discipline and Covid guidance.
In addition to masks now becoming part of the day-to-day learning experience, students at Wilson Elementary also have assigned seats inside of the cafeteria measured 3 feet apart. The current capacity for students in the cafeteria is 160 with this regulation, while there are more than 400 students present on school grounds.
School districts across the Rogue Valley are still waiting on additional guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department Education for further information on Covid-19 vaccine requirements for all educators.
So far, the Medford School District said it has not had any of its staff resign due to Covid mandates.