Harrisburg Elementary School has successfully completed 11.5 weeks of in-person learning for grades k-3. The staff and students continue to follow all of the safety guidelines with protocols in place. All of their hard work has paid off so far as we are happy to report that at this time we have had no staff members or students with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in the district. Thank you to everyone that has helped make this happen for our kids! As a result of these efforts our elementary school fell into the “Safe Harbor” clause of the new metrics that the Oregon Department of Education released on October 31st. This means that as long as we don’t have any identified cases at the school we will at the very least be allowed to continue in-person instruction until January 4, 2021. At that point we would then have to follow the new metrics and hope that we have less than 200 cases per 100,000, or under 10% test positivity rate in Linn County. If not, this would place us in the red column and force us to return to distance learning and limited in-person instruction. (See link below for columns and metrics)
In order for our older students to return we need to see a reduction in cases. Our district is monitoring the Linn County metrics as they have climbed the past three weeks. For the weeks of 11/1-11/14 we had 161.2 cases per 100,000 and a 9.6% positive test rate. We are in the orange column and unfortunately trending towards the red column. Students in grades 4-12 will not be able to return for anything other than limited in-person instruction until we see less than 100 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate below 8% (yellow column). With that being said we are still able to move forward with our plan to bring grades 4-6 on campus for limited instruction beginning on Monday, December 7, 2020. The principals have designed a plan in conjunction with our transportation department. Although this is not ideal, it will be a step in the right direction and a great way to begin transitioning our students back onto our campuses. Your building principals will communicate these details in the near future.
I want to thank everyone who provided thoughts in our latest thought exchange. It is apparent that our stakeholders would like students back in person learning. However, with the recent increase in the number of positive cases in Linn County we have to wait until we are in the yellow column. It takes all of us working together in order for us to continue with our in-person learning models. We must social distance, wear face masks, wash our hands frequently and stay home if feeling sick. We will continue to do our part by working closely with our local health authority and following all ODE/OHA protocols. Thank you to everyone for your continued patience and support as we work together to safely bring back our students.
Metric Table with General Metrics and Exceptions-https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Documents/Following%20the%20Metrics%20Visual.pdf