Dear Coos Bay School District Community
I want to start by saying that the latest two week freeze ordered by Governor Brown does not directly impact K-12 schools. We continue to operate under the Oregon Department of Education’s “Ready Schools, Safe Learners” guidance. Under this guidance we look at local county case numbers and use the metrics to determine how we are able to operate schools.
The latest two week metrics have been released. Unfortunately, the case number in Coos County has gone above 100 per 100,000 people and the test positivity rate has gone above 5%. Both of these place us into the Orange zone of the Oregon Department of Education guidelines for schools. In this zone we can continue with our K-3 in-person and grades 4-12 will remain in Comprehensive Distance Learning. We can also continue to bring students on campus for “Limited in-person instruction” at the other grades. We will need to evaluate and monitor our local cases in order to consider bringing back grades 4-6 to in-person instruction. I wanted to announce today that we would be doing that on Nov. 30th. At this time we will have to watch the metrics and if they go down we could move forward with that date. If the metrics continue to increase then we will have to delay that decision.
It is important that we all do our part to limit the spread within our community so the case numbers drop and we can get more of our students in person. I realize that the increase in cases for our county may give some of you some anxiousness and worry. I want to emphasize and reassure you that the cases impacting our school district are isolated and not connected which means we have done an excellent job of limiting the spread within our schools. The protocols we have in place are so far working to allow us to trace the exposures, isolate the cases, and quarantine when necessary.
Our kids need us to follow the guidance and safety practices. Many of our students are not being successful in distance learning and the best opportunity for them is to be back in our schools. For some, online learning works well and our staff working with students online and in CDL are doing amazing work. For the majority of kids, being in-person with their teacher and their classmates is the best option and we need to do everything in our power as a community to bring the cases down so that can happen. I will continue to keep you updated as we move forward. Let’s hope for a good week and a reduction in cases in Coos County.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy,
Coos Bay Public Schools