Nestucca Valley School District Board of Directors decided during a board meeting Monday, Jan. 11, to wait to begin the in-person instructional model for schools until staff can be vaccinated for COVID-19 and the county moves out of Extreme Risk. The school district will continue with comprehensive distance learning until this time.
Gov. Kate Brown on Dec. 23 directed the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority to implement new policy initiatives, with the goal of putting more school districts on track to return students to in-person instruction – especially elementary students – by Feb. 15.
Nestucca Valley School District had committed to comprehensive distance learning through the second quarter. The school district has worked with Tillamook County to develop better internet connectivity for students.
Superintendent Misty Wharton said the board had agreed previously to continue with distance learning until the third quarter. Tillamook County has been in Extreme Risk for over a month, which under the governor’s previous metrics for schools, would recommend comprehensive distance learning.
“Educators have been identified in Phase 1 for the vaccine,” Wharton said. “They’re Phase 1, Subgroup 5.”
Right now, groups 1-4 of Phase 1 are actively receiving the vaccine, Wharton added. This includes healthcare workers, frontline workers and long-term care facilities. Educators have been identified in Group 1B to receive the vaccine. They will be phased in next after Phase 1A.
Tillamook School District began a hybrid model for students K-6 in December and plans to phase in a hybrid model for grades 7-12 in mid-January. Limited in-person learning continues at the junior high and high schools until the hybrid model begins.
Neah-Kah-Nie School District will begin an onsite/hybrid model on March 15.