PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Students from pre-K through second grade are reporting to the classrooms once again out in Beaverton.
Beginning Monday, the district will start allowing some students to return to school for in-person hybrid classes, while still leaving them the option to continue comprehensive distance learning if they’d like to. Other elementary school students go back Thursday. Middle school students start hybrid learning on April 19 and high schoolers are going back on April 22.
As more students returning to school in Oregon — health experts are giving warnings about community spread.
Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb talked to Face the Nation Sunday morning on KOIN 6. He said it’s going to be crucial for students to wear masks and learn in small groups while inside the classroom.
“If you’re taking those measures in schools, I think the schools can be made safer, and I think the benefits of being in school outweigh the risks,” he said. “But we need to be cognizant of the fact that schools are a risk factor, children are vulnerable to the infection, and that the schools can become focal points for community spread if we’re not careful.”
Gottlieb pointed out that recent case surges in Michigan and Massachusetts were greatest in school-aged children. He says that’s not a coincidence with schools in both states recently reopening.
As hard as it was for students and parents to go into lock-down, experts say it could be harder for some to reintegrate back into places like schools. Beaverton School District has 54 Behavioral Health and Wellness Teams placed in all of its schools. The teams are made up of social workers, counselors, and student success coaches.
Danielle Hudson, the executive administrator for Student Services at Beaverton School District, oversees the Office of Intervention and Prevention and the Behavioral Health and Wellness Department. She says her team will be hyper focused on students’ needs as they return for in-person hybrid classes.