Superintendent Update: Full Time Class Schedule and Mask Update

July 30, 2021
Dear Coos Bay School District Families,
It has been a month since my last update regarding the impacts of COVID-19 and our plans to return to school in September. Although case counts in Coos County have increased, we remain within the moderate level of potential spread. However, the new Delta Variant is increasing our numbers in our area and around the State.
The Oregon Department of Education released the final draft of guidance on July 22. Much of the guidance is similar to previous versions but much of the latest version includes “advisory” guidance and local decision making, unless mandated by the State. The Coos Bay School district is excited to bring our students back to school full-time, 5 days a week, returning to our schedule we had for the 2019-2020 school year.
To accomplish this, we also have to do our part to keep our students, staff, and community safe while they are in our schools. Some of the health safety protocols will remain in place. We are required to maintain 3 feet of social distancing while at school, to the extent possible. We will continue to encourage hand washing and cleaning procedures. We must maintain cohort logs and be prepared to contact trace any case that impacts our schools. With contact tracing, we will quarantine non-vaccinated students and staff who have been exposed to COVID-19 or are showing symptoms.
While the new guidance does give local control for face-coverings (masks), yesterday Governor Brown mandated that ODE and OHA will develop a rule in regard to face coverings in k-12 schools. We have not seen that rule and I do not anticipate seeing it until next week sometime. This new rule may change things in regard to local decisions around face-coverings. Once the new rule comes out, we will evaluate our options as a district.
It is easy to get wrapped up in the mask/no mask debate. I would be hard pressed to find anyone, including myself, who has enjoyed wearing a mask this past year. However, I want us all to focus on the real victory here; our kids will be coming back to school full-time! Our students and staff are resilient, and we will work hard to keep them in school and keep them safe as we learn to live with COVID-19. We will also be offering a fully online option for any family that wants it.
I realize many families want as much information as they can get to adequately plan for this next year. As I have said many times before, the rules seem to change often during this pandemic. We will be working hard to prepare for our students to return in September. I will continue to update you as new information comes in. As for now, the Coos Bay School District is planning for full-time in-person school with a fully online option.
Have a great rest of the summer and I look forward to the start of the 2021-22 school year.  
Bryan Trendell
Coos Bay Public Schools