Superintendent update: Reopening 8th -12th Grade Update

Dear Coos Bay Families and Community,

It seems like a long time ago that we began preparations to bring our 8-12 students back to hybrid in-person instruction. Our first target date was in early February and due to the rising COVID-19 case numbers in our county, we have been pushing that date back week after week.

Last Friday, Governor Brown released an Executive Order requiring school districts to offer all grade levels at least a hybrid in-person model by April 19. This is great news for our 8th -12th grade students who want to get back in the classroom.

In conversation with our School Board this week, there was optimism about getting our kids back on campuses, but also some hesitation due to the high cases numbers in our county. In order to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order, the Coos Bay School district will begin to offer hybrid in-person instruction to our 8th -12th grade students beginning April 12th. This date makes sense for the following reasons: 

  1. It is the beginning of the 4th quarter and many students will have new classes.
  2. It provides time for our county to work together to get the COVID-19 case numbers trending downward.
  3. It allows for the potential to bring our 8th grade back a few days early to orient them with the High School campus, plus gives our teachers and students time to practice the protocols with a smaller group before bring all students back.

While I am excited for our kids and families who wish to come back to in-person school, I am cautious about the rising case numbers in Coos County. I realize there is fatigue out there and resistance to public safety protocols. But I want to plead with our community to become more vigilant in practicing these safety protocols. The vaccine alone will not bring down our case numbers in the near future. We need those numbers to come down so the risk of cases impacting our schools goes down. I do not want to send our High School students back to campus only to send them home again because our case numbers continue to rise at an alarming rate.

This school year will go down as one of the most difficult years in history. We have done some really great things during this time with some in-person instruction, distance learning, and sports/activities for many of our kids. We now have an opportunity to provide even more for our kids in-person instruction as we close out this year. Let’s work together as a community to make sure we end this difficult year on a positive note. Thank you Coos Bay community for your support of our schools and our kids.

Bryan Trendell
Coos Bay Public Schools