What are the metrics for bringing students back to in-person learning?
The Oregon Health Authority allows a hybrid model of on-site and distance learning for elementary
Schools (K-6) when counties have less than 100 cases per 100,000 people and less than 8.0% of COVID-19 tests come back positive over a 14-day period. Since LCMCS resides in Clackamas County and draws the majority of its students and staff from GBSD in Multnomah County, we must meet the required metrics for both counties.
If a decision is made to return to on-site learning this school year we will likely take a gradual phase-in approach starting with our youngest students.
How do these new metrics affect Elementary and MAC students?
If the 14 day metrics are met, elementary students may be permitted to begin on-site Hybrid learning. They would be in smaller classroom cohorts and on-site 2-days per week on a rotational basis.
If the decision is made for our Elementary students to return, and both counties are able to maintain a 4-week span of safe metrics, we would then be able to start the gradual phase-in of our 7th and 8th grade students for in-person Hybrid Learning. They would be in smaller classroom cohorts and on-site 2-days per week on a rotational basis.
How do these new metrics affect Children’s House and Kindergarten students?
The same metrics apply to all students, however, the ratio of students per class has been increased to 20. If we are able to return to on-site learning, our Children’s House and Kindergarten students could potentially participate in a 4-day school week (Mon-Thu).
Who is responsible for determining when it is safe to transition to hybrid or on-site learning?
Once the metrics are met in Clackamas and Multnomah County, the decision to reopen schools for in person on-site learning is the responsibility of school administrators. Please keep in mind, if prior to the planned on-site reopening date, the 2-week metrics allowing for on-site, Hybrid Learning, change for the worse and exceed the on-site threshold, the school will remain in Comprehensive Distance Learning until the metrics improve.
What are some considerations when >10% of students and/or staff live in other counties?
If a school draws >10% of students or >10% of staff from a given county where case rates or test positivity put them in the “Transition” column (see metrics table) they should consider delaying a
return to on-site in-person instructional models until these counties also meet the required metrics, unless, after a directive by the local public health authority, a collaborative decision is made that the neighboring county community spread does not pose significantly higher risk. This decision will take into account trends in our surrounding counties and will be done in close partnership with OHA and ODE.
What happens if a student or staff is exposed to or tests positive for Covid-19?
Any school increasing in-person learning needs to be aware that there is a very real risk of having a case in a student or staff member given our current rates of community spread. Schools must be prepared with plans for identification and quarantining of cohorts, which will require a return to distance learning for all potentially exposed during their quarantine period. It is up to the school to determine when the number of staff or students in quarantine will affect the operations of the school such that a return to full comprehensive distance learning is needed based on the school’s resources or a substantial change in current metrics.