MEDFORD, Ore -- We are starting to get an idea of what school will have to look like when students to return.
The CDC released a 60 page document with guidelines on how to reopen America with the coronavirus. Part of those guidelines includes schools.
The Oregon Department of Education is combing through those guideline. Here is the statement sent to NewsWatch 12, "ODE is creating a plan for the 2020-2021 school year and will finalize and release the plan in June. As you can imagine, this is a complex undertaking with many moving parts as we work to ensure care, connection, and continuity of learning for Oregon's students." said Marc Siegel. He is the Communications Director for the Oregon Department of Education.
Our local school districts are also looking through these guidelines. "It's a little bit overwhelming. There is going to be a lot of planning that our district will need to do." said Natalie Hurd. She is the Communications Specialist for the Medford School District. "As great as kids are, as great as teachers are, none of us are going to be able to be perfect. It's going to be a learning process." said Laurie Rooper. She is the Director of Human Resources & Communication for the Ashland School District.
The guidelines emphasize the importance of cleaning and sanitation. It also describes social distancing inside classrooms. "We are poised to do it. We are actually really excited about the opportunity to re-invent education for students in the Medford School District." said Hurd. "Not all of it is going to be easy however." said Rooper. She says the biggest challenge will be social distancing.
"Anytime we get guidelines it's appreciated, because we are just in uncharted territory right now." said Hurd. She says the health and safety of students is the top priority. This summer the school district gets to test out these guidelines with summer school.
NewsWatch 12 asked both Hurd and Rooper if they think classes will be able to fully resume in classrooms this fall. "Oh definitely, I do. If it doesn't start five full days ... it will still be open for learning." said Hurd. "I think it is too soon for us to know. That will depend on what happens in the next months and ultimately it's the Governor's call." said Rooper.