12-01-2021  4:15 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
infographic showing recommended health tips listed in article
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 03 September 2021

(Salem, Ore.) – This fall, students, staff and families share a homework lesson: doing what’s needed in our communities to keep schools open and thriving. 

“I know many parents are anxious about the Delta variant’s impact on schools, and at the same time excited for kids to return to the classroom."

"My goal for this school year has been to keep students learning in the classroom, with minimal disruptions,”

Governor Kate Brown said. “The more we do to protect our families at home, the more we help our students succeed at school. By wearing masks, getting vaccinated, and working together to take these simple and effective precautions to heart, our classrooms can again be centers for learning, growth, and achievement all year long.”

“We know that in-person instruction, delivered safely, provides our children and families with the greatest access to an equitable education,” ODE Director Colt Gill said. “Every school district is implementing health and safety protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and combining those steps with these tips for families is the best way to ensure that in-person instruction will not be interrupted.”

Safety tips!

To promote simple ways for students, staff, parents and families to join the collective effort to reduce spread of the highly-transmissible Delta variant, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) offer 5 health and safety tips for students and families:

  1. Make a plan to vaccinate all eligible household members. As school starts, help protect your child and their classmates, including those too young to get vaccinated, by making sure to vaccinate all eligible household members.
  2. Wear face coverings or masks in public and in carpools. Face coverings are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 and can reduce the need to be quarantined and miss in-person learning.
  3. Limit gatherings with other households for now — including big events for kids, like birthday parties. If your kids have an early fall birthday, celebrate with just your household. You might consider postponing larger celebrations until the Delta variant’s rapid spread has subsided (plan a half-birthday bash!).
  4. Move social activities outdoors. To help minimize kids’ exposure to COVID-19, try to plan outdoor activities when possible — especially when with other households.
  5. Make a plan in case your child needs to miss school. Being prepared can make this difficult time easier and will help your child transition to and from the classroom.  

“Back-to-school is my favorite time of the year,” Oregon PTA President Kristi Dille shared. “We’ve heard from many parents and families who have mixed emotions about sending their children to school. These five tips make it easy for everyone to do their part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon communities.”

“As many families are preparing to return to in-person learning and others are opting to stay at home, we know that most are nervous about how their child who experiences disability is going to transition back to school," said Roberta Dunn, Executive Director of FACT Oregon. “At FACT Oregon, we are with you. And we want to support you in making a plan that fits your family’s specific needs.”

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