October 13, 2020
Dear Coos Bay School District Families,
As we continue to monitor the metrics in our county, it is a good opportunity to clarify the decision making process for when we switch from in-person to Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL). The case numbers were up above 30 per 100,000 residents for the first time last week. On the other hand, the test positivity rate went down significantly for our county. The case count above 30 causes us to continue to monitor closely and to continue our preparations for a move to CDL, but the number 30 does not automatically move our Kindergarten – 3rd grade students to CDL. At this time, we are working with Coos Health and Wellness to monitor cases in our community. One very important factor is cases in our schools, which we have none at this point, and cases in the community that can’t be traced to a source. Below is the language from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) regarding clarification of pausing in-person instruction and moving to CDL:
Explanation for understanding when to pause for schools that opened under the exceptions to the metrics
For schools that have opened under any one of the exceptions to the public health metrics for reopening schools for in person K-12 instruction, including the K-3 exception, they should consider the spread of COVID-19 within schools and the broader community in deciding to temporarily return to Comprehensive Distance Learning. If there are cases in two or more cohorts without an identified common exposure, school officials should discuss with local public health officials to determine if this represents unexplained spread within the school or broader community. It is encouraged that the school follow recommendations from their local public health authority on whether a temporary move to Comprehensive Distance Learning (for two weeks or longer) is recommended to protect the health and safety of the students, staff and families.
As of now we are continuing with K-3 in-person instruction. It is important however, that we also continue to prepare our students and ourselves for a potential move to CDL for K-3. If we have an outbreak in our schools we may need to temporarily pause in-person learning for a cohort or a school. I hope this clarifies the guidance on moving to CDL from in-person instruction, as well as how the metrics factor in. The initial metrics were a guideline for beginning in-person instruction. Once we started with in-person we shift to the pause guidance explained in the previous paragraph. It is important that we all continue to take the necessary precautions to slow the spread of the virus. Please keep your face coverings on when around other people and wash your hands frequently. Most importantly, if you are feeling sick, stay home.
Have a great week!
Stay safe, Stay healthy
Coos Bay Public Schools