▶️ Parents divided on plans for kids; concerns over homeschooling, teacher health, masks

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Jean Bakwin is a mother of four from Sisters.

She’s hoping two of her children, 12-year-old Quinn and 16-year-old Samantha, will be able to go back to school this fall.

Especially in Quinn’s case.

“I have a special needs kid,” Bakwin said. “And doing distance learning with him or homeschooling him is extremely difficult.”

Bend resident Elise Jones has two elementary school children.

She says she’s not comfortable sending her kids back to school just yet.

“I think sending everybody back to school is just asking for trouble,” she said.

Based upon metrics released by Governor Kate Brown Tuesday, in-person instruction is unlikely unless COVID-19 cases go down.

Currently, only one Oregon school districts meet the COVID case-count metrics to reopen (fewer than 10 cases per 100,000 per week for three weeks).

And in Central Oregon, Deschutes County would need to cut its cases in half each week to even come close to the exceptions which would allow for in-person instruction for grades K-3.

Brown says students with disabilities are an exception, but Bakwin is still preparing to home school her kids.

“Even if the cases stay low, it’s sounding like the requirements that the kids will have to meet are not things I would want my kids to do,” Bakwin said. “I don’t want my kids to wear masks all day long.”

Jones is mostly concerned with keeping the virus from spreading through children or adults.

“It’s not really about the kids getting sick,” Jones said. “So much as it is about the teachers, the support staff of the school. Children don’t live in a little bubble all by themselves, they are part of our community.”

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