First day of class for Tigard-Tualatin schools

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Tigard-Tualatin School District saw a drop in enrollment during the 2020 school year. This year, the district has bounced back and will be welcoming over 12,000 students Wednesday.

Officials with the TTSD say the greatest key to their success will be communicating with families — aiming to always share important information with families as they learn it. The district’s number one priority, they say, is keeping any disruption to learning as low as possible by prioritizing early testing, urging vaccinations and erring on the side of caution whenever necessary.

The district is also part of a pilot COVID-19 screening program, partnering with the Oregon Health and Science University to track the coronavirus within their schools. Parents can opt in to have their child — vaccinated or not and symptomatic or not — regularly tested for COVID-19. 

One doctor at OHSU told KOIN 6 News she only anticipates about 10% of families to opt into the program. A survey has been sent out to parents asking whether or not they would be interested and the district is awaiting those results. 

Traci Rose, a spokeswoman for the district, tells KOIN 6 News although some students will start the year off in quarantine, they have a list of priorities they believe will keep cases low and keep students in school.

When students returned for hybrid in-person learning last spring, a positive case would mean quarantine the whole classroom. This school year, if kids are masked, vaccinated and remain socially distant — only those showing symptoms will be required to isolate.

One issue, however, is that elementary kids under 12 years old cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine at this time. Those exposures will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, depending on whether exposure may have happened in the classroom, lunchroom or at recess. 

Regardless, district officials say they are prepared for many different scenarios and plans as they head into the school year.

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