▶️ Local parents react to the possible 2021 return to in-person learning

By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

If local leaders agree, elementary students will be going back to school in the new year.

Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday she wants Oregon school districts and counties to have the flexibility to reopen elementary schools in mid-February.

Candice Anderson is the mother to a fourth grader at Bear Creek Elementary School in Bend.

“He is very excited,” she said about her son possibly returning to in-person learning. “He doesn’t believe it because we have been strung along for a very long time.”

Brown now wants state and education leaders to make current metrics for a return to in-person class “advisory” rather than “mandatory.”

She wants elementary school kids back in class by February 15th.

Shawna Blair, mother of a kindergartener at Lava Ridge Elementary in Bend is eager for her daughter Rose to return to school.

“We are very excited,” Blair said. “Our kids have been working so hard at distance learning and trying to keep our community safe, but they are definitely ready to get back and interacting with other kids and playing.”

The state’s first priority for vaccinations is health care workers and seniors in long-term care facilities.

“With them prioritizing vaccines to those who are most at risk, gives me peace of mind,” Anderson said about her kid going back to school.

The second wave of Oregon’s COVID vaccine efforts will prioritize teachers and child care providers.

“I think everybody is going to be a little bit nervous, but if we keep doing what we have been doing for months and trying our best to be as safe and clean and distant when possible I think we can do this in a safe way,” Blair said.

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