Reopening Schools 2020-21

  • Face Coverings and Physical Distancing Update

    July 13, 2021

    On July 12, the School Board approved staff recommendations for the 2021-2022 school year based on updated Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance

    The following are key health and safety updates, effective July 19th, and in place for the 2021-2022 school year. 

    Face Coverings Strongly Advised, No Longer Required

    In alignment with the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education, face coverings will be strongly advised but not required during the school day for all PK-12 students and staff. Students and staff who have not been vaccinated are strongly advised to continue wearing face coverings when inside buildings. 

    District staff will continue to work with students and families to ensure:

    • District, school, and classroom culture respects each person’s health and safety needs and preferences. No individual will be harassed or singled out based on their decision regarding face coverings.
    •  Face coverings will continue to be made available to students and staff.
    •  Certain accommodations for medical needs or disabilities will be provided.

    Physical Distancing Maintained to the Extent Possible, No Longer Required

    OHA and ODE strongly advise that schools support and promote physical distancing in all daily activities and instruction, maintaining 3 feet between students to the extent possible. Physical distancing for students and staff in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District will be maintained to the extent possible but will no longer be required.

    Physical distancing of desks, floor markers, and one-way traffic in hallways will no longer be required, but personal distance preferences will continue to be respected. 

    District staff will continue to work with all families to ensure:

    • District, school, and classroom culture respects each person’s health and safety needs and preferences. No individual will be harassed or singled out based on their decision regarding physical distancing.
    • Certain accommodations for medical needs or disabilities will be provided.

    Updates to the Use of Cohorts, Isolation and Quarantine Protocols

    Primary schools will continue to use classroom cohorts for students to the extent possible.  The A/B cohort rotation will no longer be used. Instead all students will attend each day, every day.  However, classroom groups (e.g. Ms. Jones’ 2nd grade class) will stay intact for specials like PE, Music, Library and to the extent possible with recess and lunch to start the school year.  As contact tracing expectations loosen in our county, so will efforts to maintain classroom cohorts during lunch and recess. Maintaining single class cohorts will no longer be required for middle or high schools.

    The West Linn-Wilsonville School District will continue to follow all local public health authority guidance and requirements regarding COVID-19 isolation and quarantine procedures. Schools will continue to communicate with families using established protocols in the event of a positive case of COVID-19 or possible exposure. The District will no longer provide OHA-sponsored COVID-19 testing at school sites.

    Vaccinations, Handwashing and Ventilation Updates

    According to the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework, getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to stop the pandemic. The West Linn-Wilsonville School District recognizes that the opportunity for vaccination is currently only approved for adults and children age 12 and over. Additionally, some staff, students, and school community members may not or cannot be vaccinated due to medical, religious, or personal reasons. The District has provided its facilities for free vaccination clinics and will continue to make this service available in partnership with health care clinics and the local public health authority in the future. 

    The West Linn-Wilsonville School District will continue to implement protocols and systems to ensure students and staff have access to soap, water, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Schools will continue to prioritize handwashing throughout the day as appropriate. The District will continue to remind and encourage families to screen their students prior to every school day and to keep students home if they are exhibiting symptoms of illness. 

    The West Linn-Wilsonville School District will also continue to ensure effective ventilation and will improve the indoor air quality in schools by:

    • Continuing the amount of fresh outside air that is introduced into the system;
    • Exhausting air from indoors to the outdoors;
    • Maintaining a climate level that balances comfort and safety within a classroom and building;
    • Cleaning the air that is recirculated indoors with effective filtration methods to remove virus-containing particles from the air.

    Interested families can read the complete list of recommendations on the district website.

    Updates Included Feedback from Stakeholder Groups

    The recommendations to the Board were a result of thorough analysis of the updated June 25 Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework, community feedback, meetings with district stakeholder groups, and consultation with the Clackamas County Public Health Department. All recommendations are in alignment with the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Health Authority, and our local public health authority.

    We wish to thank all of our families for their patience and partnership during this past school year, and for providing thoughtful and critical input these past few weeks. We understand that families’ comfort level with COVID-19 health and safety measures varies, and we are committed to creating learning environments that provide flexibility for every child and family. 

    Enrollment for 2021-2022 School Year

    We are excited to welcome students back for five full days of instruction with the health and safety strategies outlined above. We encourage new or returning families to complete their online registration if they have not already.

    Families who are interested in enrolling in the WLWV K12 Online Academy for the 2021-2022 school year can learn more by visiting the WKOA website. District staff hosted an information session on June 29 providing an overview for what the Academy will look like during the 2021-22 school year. Families can review the video recording of the information session and can contact their school principal if they are interested in enrolling in the WLWV K12 Online Academy. There is currently no deadline to enroll.