Important Update on St. Paul District Operations
October 30, 2020
Dear St. Paul Community,
Our district continues to operate under the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance from the State of Oregon. We know that our staff, parents and students all want to be back in school in as close to normal a situation as possible. We also know that it is critically important especially for our younger students to receive their instruction in person at school. This morning some major changes to the conditions that must be met prior to opening our schools to a larger number of students was announced by the Governor and the Director of the Oregon Department of Education. This new information is based on research that has been done and data that has been collected since the start of the Covid outbreak. We understand what a burden the closure of our schools has placed on our students and their families. Our teachers have worked long hours to provide support to the at home learning effort. It is my hope that we can soon be in a position to reopen our schools to the benefit of everyone, in particular our students. Here are the highlights: the county will now use a 14 day look back at case rates to determine whether or not students will be allowed back on site in our schools. A case rate of less than 50 per 100,000 and a test positive rate of less than 5% must be met over a 2 week period. Though Marion County still does not currently meet the requirements for opening, this new metric gives us a glimmer of hope that we will be able to consider reopening sooner than would have been possible under the previous guidelines. Our test positive rate in Marion county is currently at 7.5%. Many other changes were also announced including cohort size for limited in person instruction and the removal of a state wide metric requirement for returning to school. I will continue working with our district team and the school board to make sure that we are ready to open as soon as possible once the metrics have been met. It has been the combined effort of school leaders across this great state with the support of our communities and other educational organizations and school boards that has allowed us to move to a place where the reopening of our schools could be a possibility in the near future. We will host another Town Hall virtual meeting on Nov.10th in an effort to provide additional information to the community. A link to the meeting will be posted on the website prior to the 10th of November. Thank you again for all of your support. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.
Joseph M. Wehrli
St. Paul School District