Tuesday marked the first day of school for many students across Central Oregon, but with a new year comes new COVID-related guidelines.
Quarantining protocols vary in the Bend-La Pine, Redmond, and Crook County school districts.
Within Bend-La Pine Schools, a student who tests positive must quarantine for 10 days after initial symptoms.
That goes for Redmond as well.
Those two districts also share the same protocol when it comes to close contacts.
“If your student is at least three feet from the student who tests positive and they’re both wearing masks correctly,” Sheila Miller, Redmond School District said. “Then they do not have to quarantine.”
This exception does not apply to Bend-La Pine teachers, staff, or other adults.
If a Redmond teacher tests positive, the quarantine rules for students are a little tighter.
“If they were within six feet of a child, even if that child was masked, that child will have to quarantine,” Miller said. “That’s just a rule that the state has determined.”
Crook County is taking a case-by-case approach with close contacts of at least three feet.
Jason Carr, Crook County School District communications director says this will likely reduce the number of students who are forced the quarantine.
Close contacts will not have to isolate if vaccinated, that goes for all three districts.
“If a student gets quarantined and then gets tested and that test comes back negative,” Carr said. “Their quarantine will only last seven days.”
Without being tested, or in the case of a family exposure, that quarantine jumps to 10 to 14 days for Crook County students.
But how do those quarantined or isolated learn during this time?
The Redmond School District plans to utilize Canvas like last year.
Elementary students will be issued a Chromebook, and hotspot if needed, upon transition to quarantine.
“They will be expected to keep up with their class work and be in touch with their teachers while they’re out quarantined,” Miller said. “I would also note that a student can end their quarantine after seven days if they take a PCR test and test negative.”
The Crook County School District will rely on Google Classroom.
“For some of the older students, middle and high school, there may be lectures that are recorded,” Carr said. “There will be assignments they can download and other things.”
Central Oregon Daily News could not get in contact with Bend-La Pine Schools for distance learning specifics.
But all districts can agree, the goal is to have kids in school as often as possible.