PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Lake Oswego School Board is pushing Governor Kate Brown and Lake Oswego School District Superintendent Dr. Lora de la Cruz to reopen schools.
The board passed two resolutions on Monday, asking the governor and superintendent to prioritize a safe return to classrooms. Board members say the district’s students are disproportionately impacted by distance learning.
Although Clackamas County is still well above the case-rate metrics outlined by the governor for reopening in-person education, Brown has said she and the Oregon Health Authority will reevaluate the guidance.
In the “Resolution of the Lake Oswego School Board Regarding State Guidance,” the board expressed their thanks to the governor for her willingness to reevaluate the guidance but asks that she continues to hold the return of disproportionately impacted students at a high priority.
In the resolution directed toward Superintendent Dr. Lora de la Cruz, board members are asking her to make immediate plans for K-5 students to return to the classroom and accelerate plans for all other students. Titled the “Resolution of the Lake Oswego School Board Regarding Planning for A Return to School,” the school board is compelling the superintendent to limit risking transmission of the virus while still prioritizing in-person instruction for those students who need it most.
The resolution penned to Brown was passed by a 4-1 vote, while the resolution to Dr. de la Cruz was passed unanimously.
Charles Boyle, the deputy communications director for Gov. Brown’s office, released a statement regarding the resolutions on Wednesday.
“We will continue to monitor and evaluate all school metrics based on available data and the advice of health and education experts, and those experts are currently in the process of reviewing and reevaluating Oregon’s school metrics for in-person instruction,” Boyle said. “In developing school metrics for a return to in-person instruction, our office works with doctors and health experts at the Oregon Health Authority and the Governor’s Medical Advisory Panel and education experts at the Oregon Department of Education and Early Learning Division to balance the twin objectives of protecting public health and providing healthy learning environments.”
Boyle also said the governor’s Healthy Schools Reopening Council is meeting Wednesday afternoon, to expect another statement from Brown afterward.
In recent weeks, other school districts in the area extended their distanced learning plans. In early October, Portland Public Schools announced it will continue its distance learning format through January 28, 2021. The PPS statement came one week after Beaverton School District announced it would continue most of their distance learning into February 2021.
Both districts made this decision based on the fact that neither area has reached the qualifying health metrics to reopen in-person learning safely.
Find the full metrics criteria for in-person learning below: