Hermiston students return to hybrid learning after snow delay

HERMISTON, Ore. — Young students in the Hermiston School District returned to hybrid learning Wednesday after the snow delayed the original restart date.

Superintendent Tricia Mooney said having kindergarteners and first-graders back is just the first step “in having all of our students get on-site instruction this school year.”

She noted that because of COVID-19 case counts dropping and teachers becoming vaccinated, reopening became plausible.

“Everyone in the community is doing their part to wear their masks, social distance and stay home when they’re sick. All those pieces are helping us,” Mooney said. “We are one step closer to that herd immunity.”

Mooney added that even though she is unable to visit students in the classroom, the buildings are already “more exciting” with them back.

“Having kids in buildings brings a different energy to school and in the district,” Mooney said.

For older students, Mooney plans on having a potential return date in March.

“We are looking at March 1st for our second and third graders and March 8th for our fourth and fifth graders in hybrid instruction,” Mooney said.

Students are placed in A and B cohorts that meet separately in the morning and afternoon. Mooney credits all “staff, students and their families” for working together to find remote learning solutions.

“We can’t undervalue the importance of that in-person connection with our kids,” Mooney said. “This is critically important.”