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Bend-La Pine Schools eye return to more normal lunches, with students spread out in cafeterias

Bend-La Pine Schools

Easing staff burdens; those returning from five-day quarantine would still be in separate area

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Steven Cook is asking the school board on Tuesday evening to lift some COVID-19 rules that have spread students’ lunch to rooms throughout the buildings and return them in spread-out fashion to cafeterias, relieving some added burdens on staff.

Cook noted that revised guidance from state and federal health officials have shifted the isolation and quarantine period to five days, for students who meet the guidelines, returning on day 6 with a well-fitted mask and restrictions through the 10th day.

While districts move to that policy, it has been a challenge to continue the “resource-demanding lunch plan at every school to cohort students as much as possible and to space them out throughout the school as much as possible to minimize spread of the virus and, subsequently, loss of learning time for students due to possible exclusion,” Cook wrote.

The staff and supervision hours to do so and to meet the conditions of union contracts “have completely tapped our resources,” the superintendent added.

Returning to the use of cafeterias to the maximum extent practical, with students spread out as much as possible, “would free up a tremendous amount of supervision responsibility and a tremendous number of rooms/spaces that are currently being used to cohort student lunch groups,” Cook said.

He also said it would reduce the added duties of custodial staff and teachers to clean up after classrooms after classrooms and the operational challenges of preparing for indoor or outdoor lunches, depending on the outdoor temperatures.

Students returning from quarantine for days 6-10 still would need a supervised, separate lunch space, to be arranged for the unique conditions at each of the district’s 33 schools, and.

Cook said that would align Bend-La Pine Schools with the latest public health guidelines and what other districts are doing “and most importantly could provide some supervision relief to our beleaguered staff.

The school board will discuss the recommendation at a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday; the regularly scheduled work session will follow immediately after).

To review the meeting agenda, read the recommendation from Dr. Cook and submit comment, visit:

To watch the meeting live on YouTube, visit:

KTVZ news sources



  1. Welcome to Bend where the new school board consists of Marxists who made small children eat in the cold, wear masks proven to be completely unnecessary now “allow” children that have zero risk to sit 6ft apart further drilling fear and separation into them. don’t you dare use the word normal until it truly is normal. Meanwhile few parents have the bravery to stand up for children who cannot. choose oregon then bend lapine

  2. Those who might have a more severe than the yearly flu like reaction to this virus need to take their own health precautions and leave the healthy the hell alone! Geez, it’s like no one ever had a horrible flu or cold before. I’m so sick of this wimpy fearful attitude pushed by the government. The healthy majority are not responsible for the unhealthy few.

    1. If the unhealthy weren’t infecting everyone around them – including staff – who then get sick and have to take sick time, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But there is a severe shortage of staff because so many are home sick, or haven’t you caught onto that yet. The unhealthy send their kids to school sick to get everyone else sick. And if the un-vaxx’d unhealthy would stay home and not clog our hospitals things would be much better for everyone too.

      1. If you are worried about clogging the hospitals- why did you support the mass terminations of medical professionals over illegal (that according to the SCOTUS) vaccine mandates ?

          1. FACT- The Supreme Court did not uphold the vaccine mandates for US Companies with over 100 employees. … Federal Health Care workers are still free to resign their positions and join the rest of the free Americans celebrating the demise of Biden’s illegal mandates.

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