Letter from North Wasco County School District

Dear Parents and Guardians of North Wasco Students,

I hope you and your family are well. This is a brief update on where our district is regarding in-person instruction.

First, I want to recognize the hard work and dedication of not only the teachers and support staff in navigating the challenges of comprehensive distance learning, but of you, the parents and guardians supporting our students. This is indeed hard work! I am privileged to witness the teamwork between staff members, teachers and parents, and teachers and students. I am in awe of the work put forth on behalf of our students’ education. Thank you all.

October 16th, the mid-way point in our trimester, is nearly here. It is also the date selected to re-evaluate our health metric status to determine if our district is able to move out of comprehensive distance learning to a hybrid learning model. If you’ve been following the COVID-19 case count for our county you know that our numbers have been on the rise. Many families have been directly affected by the virus’ transmission within our community, some tragically so. Our hearts go out to those impacted.

When we look at the school health metrics, we look at the test positivity rate (must be at or below 5% the preceding 7 days), the case rate (must be at or below 10 cases per 100,000 population in the preceding 7 days) and the state test positivity rate (must be at or below 5% in the preceding 7 days). All the above metrics must be met three weeks in a row for our district to move to a hybrid learning model. Currently we are not able to move to hybrid learning due to the county and state health metrics.

Please be aware that there are statewide exceptions in the health metrics which allow for two types of in-person instruction. One is limited-in-person instruction where select small groups (no more than 10 people, including adults) are allowed to meet for no longer than 2 hours per day. The other is in-person instruction for kindergarten through third grade. Both of these require specific metrics to be in place at the local and county levels before either is allowed. Again, due to our current COVID-19 case count we are not able to provide either of these at this time. We will continue to monitor the metrics and prepare for both these types of in-person instruction allowed through the statewide exceptions.

In order to continue to give families and staff time to plan, and to bring some certainty in these uncertain times, we will continue with comprehensive distance learning through the end of this trimester. We will continue to monitor the metrics and give an update on our status as we get closer to the end of the trimester, December 3rd. We will also continue to monitor the metrics for limited-in-person instruction and move forward with this when the metrics allow and when we are able to do so safely for students and staff.

Thank you for your continued support and for partnering with in our student’s education, whether it is through comprehensive distance learning or through the fully on-line option available at our North Wasco Virtual Academy.

Please remember the important role we all play in limiting the spread of the virus within our community. Again, I leave you with a reminder for your safety and the safety of others:

Wear a face covering, Watch your social distance,

Wash, wash, wash your hands.

Please take care and stay safe.

Theresa Peters, Interim Superintendent