Important Update on St. Paul District Operations
January 8, 2021
Dear St. Paul Community,
Getting students safely back to school in-person is a high priority for Oregon and for the St Paul School District. The district is planning for a phased-in return of students to school as soon as possible when public health conditions allow. Until that time we will remain in a distance learning model with some students allowed to return for limited in person instruction. Our Kindergarten students will return to school on January 11th following the schedule that was in place prior to the closure in November. In addition, other students will participate in limited in person instruction starting January 11th and the school will contact you this week if your child will be returning for academic support.
Under Oregon’s advisory requirements for safely reopening schools, Marion County must have fewer than 100 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in the previous two-week period, and a test positivity rate under 8%, before the district can begin the careful phasing in of on-site learning, starting with the youngest elementary grades. The Oregon Department of education will release updates to the Ready Schools Safe Learners guidance on January 19th. It is my hope that this update will include relaxed metrics that will allow us to bring more students back to school. Even though the Governor released a letter on December 23rd making the guidelines advisory at this time in order for our district to maintain liability coverage from our insurance carrier we must continue to follow the guidelines listed above that are included in the Ready Schools Safe Learners Guidance. Until those metrics change or are met we will continue with comprehensive distance learning with some limited in person exceptions.
We are looking ahead to the new year, with a clear goal of returning to full time instruction for all students as soon as we are able.
At the December Board of Directors meeting on Monday, January 11th the district will consider options for returning more students to school if the RSSL guidance to be released on January 19th allows a pathway for our district. These options are subject to change if conditions improve or worsen. Please go to the district website and participate in our parent survey to provide us with feedback about your beliefs regarding a return to school.
Joseph M. Wehrli
St. Paul School District Superintendent/Elementary Principal