BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Steven Cook told parents Friday evening the district is doing "everything we can" to avoid a return to remote learning and continue in-person classes, and asked for families' help to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19.
Here's the full text of his email to parents:
Good evening families,
As we are seeing a few schools across the state temporarily close for in-person learning, we have had some families reach out to ask if Bend-La Pine Schools has similar plans. I want to take a moment and assure you our schools remain open, with no plans to go remote at this time. Please know that we are doing everything we can to keep our schools open for in-person learning, as we firmly believe that is the best place for students. Our schools continue to be places filled with learning and engagement where students are thriving.
Keeping schools open and extracurriculars continuing has been challenging at times due to the number of students and staff that are currently dealing with illness, however, we remain committed to sustaining as much structure and stability for our students as possible, and remain focused on our commitment to in-person instruction.
We are prepared for the expected rapid rise in positive COVID-19 cases to continue through most of January and have made some temporary changes to support our efforts to keep our doors open, including:
• Limiting spectators at athletic and activities events,
• Dispatching district staff to help at schools when the number of substitute teachers and staff available do not meet the demand,
• Providing COVID-19 testing for qualifying employees and students to keep them at school when they’ve been exposed (per state guidance),
• Making diagnostic testing available in all schools,
• Providing 3-ply medical grade masks and KN95 masks to students and staff who request them,
• Working toward alignment to Center for Disease Control and Oregon Health Authority guidance for shortened isolation and quarantine periods for students. This could allow students to return to school earlier after isolation or quarantine, thus reducing instructional time loss.
Please help us meet this goal to keep our doors open to in-person learning: get vaccinated/boosted, stay home when sick, up your mask game, and avoid large crowds.
Thank you for continuing to support the work taking place to provide your students with safe, healthy teaching and learning environments.
Superintendent Steven Cook