PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Estacada School District is one of the first districts in the Portland metro area to reopen schools.
After nearly a year, it is time for some students to go back to school in Estacada. Kindergarten and first-grade students had their first full day of hybrid, in-person learning on Monday. Starting February 8, second through fifth-graders will return to class.
It is a classroom that doesn’t look like the old classroom — with everyone masked up and desks spread out — but it is the first step toward the resumption of schoolhouse learning.
“[We are] so incredibly excited,” one parent, Ken Riedel, said. “It is significant because it’s been a long time coming.”
Riedel is a parent of two kids in the district and a school board member. He says the deliberate approach to phasing groups of kids back into the building was a decision made with input from parents, teachers and the community at large.
This comes the same day that Oregon begins Phase 1b of its vaccination distribution plan, which makes all teachers and school staff eligible to receive a vaccine. Governor Kate Brown says this is an effort to get kids back in the classroom sooner — though her office says teachers are not required to get the shot to come back to school.
With teachers and support staff now eligible for vaccination, the hope is schools across Oregon become a safer place for kids and teachers to be after a school year like no other.