The Oregon Department of Education on Tuesday released new health metrics for smaller, rural school districts that will allow a couple of Crook County schools to fully reopen this fall.
Paulina and Brothers’ schools plan to open September 8th after meeting the new exceptions for schools with fewer than 250 students served by counties of less than 30,000 people.
Crook County’s population is just under 25,000, while enrollment at Paulina is currently at 17 students and 11 in Brothers.
“We’ll take what we can get given the circumstances, and we’re thankful the state was willing to hear the feedback of our rural communities and find a common-sense solution,” said Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson.
All other schools operated by Crook County School District are located in the City of Prineville and have more than 250 students.
That means most students will be starting the first day of school online.
Crook County was meeting the exception for K-3 to start in-person when the state first released the health metrics, but a spike in cases the last week of July has called that plan into question.
District leaders are coordinating with the Crook County Health Department and are reviewing the health metrics. A final decision on K-3 starting in-person on September 8th will be made this Friday.