Washington and Oregon schools seeking feedback about reopening plans

BENTON, FRANKLIN & UMATILLA COUNTIES - In terms of planning for the fall, school districts want nothing more than to be able to resume normal school operations. So far, no local district has concrete information to share.

However, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has put together a "Reopening School Work Group" to discuss potential models for reopening. More than one hundred people from across Washington state are participating in the work group.

The group includes teachers, administrators, education support professionals, elected officials, community-based organizations representatives and education partners. Together, they are looking at health data and different options for how to safely reopen schools.

In Pasco, the district has a reopening work group that is working on their framework for next fall. Before they finalize the plans for the district, they are waiting to see guidance provided by OSPI.

In Richland, their district is beginning to study potential reopening scenarios. They are engaging with their students, families and staff to prepare for the fall. No formal plans or decisions have been made at this time.

In Kennewick, the district is waiting for more information and guidance from OSPI as well. That will be used to formulate their plans for next school year. When they know what the options are for opening and which one are feasible for the district, they will reach out to families for feedback.

The "Reopening School Work Group" is scheduled to complete their framework this week. Once the districts receive the report, they will be able to move forward with developing a concrete plan for each district.

So far, similar to Washington state school districts, none of the Oregon districts in our area have concrete information to share.

Oregon Department of Education is excepted to publish their first round of guidance some time this month. The department is currently listening to teachers, school leaders and parents across the state through multiple engagement methods. They are also hosting listening sessions.

In Pendleton, the district is waiting for guidance from the Oregon Department of Education. Once they receive the guidance for reopening they will meet with their administration team to discuss logistics and impacts from previous "normal" routines.

In Hermiston, the district is also waiting on guidance from the Oregon Department of Education. Once they have that guidance, they will begin working on their plan.

We are still waiting to hear from the other districts in our area. 

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