FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April 2, 2021
Media Contact: George Mendoza, Superintendent, 541-663-3201, email@example.com
LA GRANDE SCHOOL DISTRICT TO RETURN ALL STUDENTS TO IN-PERSON LEARNING EVERY DAY
Superintendent George Mendoza announced in a virtual town hall meeting Thursday night the La Grande School District will be returning all students to daily, in-person learning on April 12, 2021. For grades 6-12, the instructional schedule will continue to be in a block format, but all students will be present from 9 am - 1:30 pm each day. Elementary grades will also continue with their 8 am - 1:00 pm time each day. “To support the shift of K-12 students back everyday on April 12, students in grade level 6-12 will not have school on April 9th as staff have much work to do related to prepping, planning, and organizing lesson plans and units of instruction. We also need time to organize and reconfigure classrooms, bring back furniture, etc.,” stated Mendoza.
On March 22nd, the Oregon Department of Education released updated Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance to synchronize with current guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The updated guidance lowers the physical distancing rule for students in schools from 6 feet to 3 feet and removes the 35 square feet per person requirement for counties that meet COVID-19 moderate risk levels. Union County is currently at the moderate risk level, allowing La Grande School District the opportunity to allow all students in their buildings at the same time.
The updated guidance still requires staff to maintain 6 feet of physical distancing between staff. Staff must also physically distance from students to the greatest extent possible and close contact rules still apply.
Superintendent Mendoza and the La Grande School Board have been committed to return all students to full-time, in-person learning as soon as it was deemed safe to do so. As soon as Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance was updated, the La Grande School District dispersed a survey inquiring of students and families if they would desire a full return. The survey results and consultations with the Center for Human Development, Grande Ronde Hospital, Union County Commissioners and Union County Emergency Management all support the full return.
“Our staff is excited to have all of our students in our buildings every day,” said Mendoza. “We are prepared to ensure all safety guidelines are followed while providing for the academic and social/emotional needs of our students.”