Hermiston School District decides on back-to-school plan

Photo Credit: Hermiston School District
The Hermiston School District released a list of guidelines that it will follow when assessing back-to-school plans.

HERMISTON, Oreg. — The Hermiston School District released an update on their back-to-school plan for the second half of the 2020-21 school year.

Parents of elementary school students in the area should be prepared for major changes starting on February 16, 2021. Distance learning is shifting to the afternoon with limited in-person learning taking place in the mornings. The Hermiston School District says that this transition into hybrid learning should be smooth.

For building-specific information, parents should be on the lookout for instructions from their child’s school via newsletters and “electronic communications.”

Data used to track COVID-19 trends in concurrence with Hermiston Public Schools is being gathered from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). The HSD is using zip code-specific metrics to monitor the public health of Umatilla County and Hermiston specifically. If COVID-19 rates get out of hand again, the Hermiston School District wants to be ready to react.

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Superintendent Dr. Tricia Mooney is elated to see children and teachers back in classrooms.

“The excitement of our teachers and building staff is palpable,” Superintendent Mooney said. “We are excited for the return of more students to the classroom. We will continue to observe Hermiston’s COVID-19 case counts, and we won’t be satisfied until we can offer in-person instruction to every student.”

As for what’s to come, the HSD release this evening had this to say: “As decisions are made regarding the instructional model, the district will communicate timelines that allow for necessary district planning, staff training, family communication, and a gradual opening.”

One concern looming over school re-openings is the health of school teachers, faculty and staff. For those in at-risk health categories, including any school workers age 65+ or with underlying health conditions, returning to school may be a concern.

However, the Hermiston School District is following the instructions of public health officials and government officials in strategizing their return to classrooms.

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