PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Students returned to class in Portland Public Schools on Thursday, as the state’s largest district resumed in-person learning for kindergartners and 1st graders.
Gov. Kate Brown toured Scott Elementary School in Northeast Portland on Thursday in the literal first day of school ever for some of the kids.
School looks a lot different now with kids not yet being able to get vaccinated against COVID. Parents do have the option to keep their children exclusively with online, distance learning.
The students who are back in class don’t share materials and supplies. Desks are spaced apart and all the kids must keep their masks on at all times. On this day, the kids were in school from 8 a.m. until 10:15 a.m., then back to online instruction in the hybrid model.
Asked if she thought this is the right time to bring kids back as coronavirus cases are rising, Brown said she’s comfortable with this decision.
“What the CDC makes clear is that the risk of transmission is low as kids come into the classroom and we observe the safety protocol,” the governor said. “The good news is Oregon has some of the most rigorous safety protocol in the entire country.”
Before students enter the building they get COVID checkups, and there are plenty of markings to keep them physically distanced.
Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero said two-thirds of students are expected back in the classrooms.
The plan is for students in 2nd through 5th grade to begin in-person instruction on April 5, while students in 6th through 12th grades will start the week of April 19.