The Redmond School District will suspend all in-person learning beginning Wednesday as Deschutes County COVID cases continue to rise and the district deals with a rash of infections among students and teachers.
Superintendent Charan Cline said the district had 19 cases and 91 people in quarantine “just out of our student and staff population.”
“The health and safety of our school community is of paramount importance, and teachers will continue to serve your students through Comprehensive Distance Learning,” Cline said in a letter to parents. “We know there is no substitute for in-person instruction and LIPI has been a valuable addition to comprehensive distance learning. However, until our county’s numbers decline, we believe it is the right choice to suspend LIPI.”
And because of the specialized instruction happening with students, substitutes aren’t an option, he said.
Currently, about 1,640 of the district’s 7,500 students are spending two hours a day at school for in-person instruction.
Some of the students are there for special-ed instruction, some have internet issues the district can’t fix and others are taking career-tech classes such as welding that need hands-on work.
Cline said the district had hoped to increase the number of kids getting in-person instruction, but the recent spike in cases derailed that plan.
“The rates are currently more than double the numbers we would need to expand Limited In-Person Instruction or begin the process of bringing our students back to in-person learning,” Cline said.
Deschutes County COVID cases have jumped significantly in recent weeks from fewer than 200 cases a week in mid-November to 456 cases last week.
Cline echoed the message of health officials that community members wear masks and continue to keep your distance from others so cases can fall.