Crook Co. schools could switch to in-person learning Oct. 5 thanks to ODE exception

Wildfires and an unexpected decision by the Oregon Department of Education may pave the way for all students in Crook County to head back to the classroom.

Kindergarten through third grade students are already back in school. For older students, two metrics must be met.

First, less than 10 cases per 100,000 people in the county. Second, a statewide positivity rate of less than 5%.

Because so many people were displaced by wildfires in September, ODE is throwing out the statewide positivity rate for the month.

The decision puts Crook County on the verge of brining all students back to the classroom.

“I’m surprised by ODE’s announcement today, and I’m more optimistic than ever that we are going to have students back in person soon,” Superintendent Dr. Sara Johnson said.

Dr. Johnson said the school district will submit plans to ODE to transition from distance learning to hybrid if the county metrics are met on Monday.

“If we can return, next week will be used to get bus routes finalized, instruction planned, and get buildings ready for students,” Dr. Johnson said.

They could start with a hybrid model as early as Oct. 5.

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