August 20, 2021 UPDATE

Posted by Patrick Lee on 8/20/2021

Dear Rogue River School District Community:

The first day of school is quickly approaching. School leaders and staff are excited and busily preparing. On August 30, we will welcome back our students for in-person instruction all day, every day. I am thrilled to have our students back full time, and I want to work with you to ensure we can keep it that way.

With COVID-19 taking a heavy toll on our hospitals and our community right now, it will be more important than ever that we emphasize safety and good hygiene. We have many protocols in place at our schools to help us protect staff and students. You can help by making sure to keep your child at home when they have any signs or symptoms of illness.

On August 12, 2021, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) adopted (OAR 333-019-1015) requiring masks to be worn in schools until further notice. This is a law that the RRSD as a government entity must follow. Failing to do so would lead to fines, legal liability for staff and board members, loss of licensure for staff, and loss of insurance coverage for the District.

At their August 17, 2021 meeting, the RRSD Board passed a resolution to, “urge Governor Brown to return local control and change the recent Oregon State COVID-19 requirements to recommendations and allow Rogue River School District to work directly with Jackson County Public Health to determine the appropriate mitigation strategies for our schools.” The RRSD is joining with several other southern Oregon school districts in making this resolution. Though the RRSD Board disagrees with our local authority being taken away from us and the local health department on this matter, we will follow the law regarding masks in public buildings.

New quarantine guidelines from OHA will help to keep students in school. When students all wear their masks and maintain 3 feet of social distance, they are not required to quarantine if exposed to a COVID-19 case. This means less disruption to school, fewer days missed, and fewer families having to miss work or scramble to figure out childcare on short notice.

This pandemic has created so many challenges and obstacles for our students. I hope we can all come together and do as much as possible to keep our students and staff safe and in our classrooms all day, every day.

We look forward to seeing your children on August 30th!

Sincerely,

Patrick Lee
Superintendent
Rogue River School District #35

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