Grades K-6 return full-time to Oregon city schools

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Oregon students in grades K-6 started going back to school five days per week last week, Superintendent Hal Gregory said in a board of education meeting on Tuesday.
        Previously, the students had been attending school four days per week.
        “We’re very excited to get kids back,” said Gregory. “Obviously, though, it’s going to continue to be a little bit choppy moving forward. Between the vaccinations, which are in two weeks for staff, we determined we would have a remote learning day on Friday the fifth to allow a little flexibility for staff.”
        The staff received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine the weekend of Feb. 12 and Feb. 13. The second dose is scheduled for March 5 and March 6.
        Students in grades K-6 will not attend classes on Thursday, March 4, because it is the K-6 parent/teacher conference. Students in grades seven through 12 will attend that day.
        A tentative return to school plan for grades seven through 12 was sent to the board a couple of weeks ago, said Gregory, but he said he was not yet ready to reveal it to the public.
        “I don’t really want to unveil that tonight because I do have a few more people we need to talk to. But certainly our goal is to bring back our students in the fourth quarter eventually to five days per week. A formal announcement was expected by the end of the week or by next week, he added.
        Currently, students in grades seven through 12 follow a hybrid model – a combination of in-person instruction two days per week and learning remotely from home on other days.
        “It’s going to look and feel very similar to how we did K-6, kind of a phased in approach. I’ve been having lots of conversations with other school districts. Our plan will be very much in line with most of the other school districts in the area. Not that every date will be exactly matched, but certainly within the same time frame. We’re all going to be mostly moving towards this goal of bringing our kids back full time.”
Clean schools
        School board president Carol Molnar assured the public that the schools are sanitized by custodians to protect students and staff from the virus.
        “As we enter the next phase of having our children going back to school daily, I do want to assure everybody that our schools are as safe as they can possibly be,” said Molnar. “Since last spring, we reinstated all custodians placed on leave, and we have employed three more custodians. Two of these were hired strictly and specifically to disinfect our classrooms. Each of them are assigned to three buildings per night. They use electrostatic and backpack sprayers for efficiency. Everything is disinfected nightly. The classrooms are still cleaned every other day as in pre-COVID, but they are disinfected each and every night. Disinfecting is first and foremost in our schools.”
        She said she received a letter from Ben Pfeiffer, president of the Oregon City Federation of Teachers, that assured the cleaning and sanitizing levels in the schools are in line with bringing students back full-time five days per week.
        “I just want to reassure everybody that our buildings are being well taken care of and are the safest anyone can make them,” said Molnar.
        The board’s next meeting is on March 16 at the Clay Learning Commons. “Unless something happens and then we would notify you that we would be going back to remote,” she said.
        Gregory said the board will continue live stream meetings on Youtube.
        “Even though we may not be virtual in this setting for the actual meeting, we’ll continue to live stream it,” he said.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association