August 27, 2021
Greetings, Medford School District Families!
THANK YOU for your partnership, patience, and grace as we worked to serve your students this first week of the 2021-22 school year. We had a great first week of school, and that wouldn’t be possible without your support!
Please take a moment to read some of the updates and reminders to our safety guidance.
NEW OUTDOOR MASK RULE
Governor Brown announced a statewide outdoor mask requirement effective today, August 27, masks will be required in most public outdoor settings, including large outdoor events, where physical distancing is not possible, and regardless of vaccination status.
The outdoor mask rule does not apply during the day for K-12 schools (recess, outdoor PE, lunch break outside, etc.).
The outdoor mask rule does apply to attendees at outdoor events (games, performances, etc.).
Athletes in competition or performers are exempt from the mask rule.
ODE released its guidance on vaccines for staff yesterday. It applies to MSD teachers, staff, partners, and volunteers who work in our school buildings directly or indirectly with students effective Oct. 18. It does not apply to parents and guardians who are short-term visitors.
Folks can request a medical or religious exception.
Districts that grant an exception must take reasonable steps to ensure that unvaccinated staff and volunteers are protected from contracting and spreading COVID-19.
We will be releasing more information and exception forms soon.
If a student is exposed to COVID either at school, on a bus, or at home, the student is required to quarantine (there are exceptions outlined in our safety standards). If a student is vaccinated, they are exempt from quarantine, as long as they provide proof of vaccination status to the school.
We are down 50% of our normal number of bus drivers. This is impacting routes, so if your student rides the bus, please check bus routes frequently. Also, if you can walk or drive your student, please do so. It’s important to note, all students on a bus must quarantine in the event of an exposure on the bus.
Our full COVID prevention guidance can be found here: MSD Safety Standards.
Grateful for your continued trust to serve your children.
Aug 5, 2021
Greetings, Medford School District Staff and Families.
As you know, the State of Oregon passed a rule requiring all students, staff, and visitors to wear face coverings while indoors in our K-12 schools. We’ve received a lot of feedback about the rule, in addition to some great questions. Here are our best answers to a few frequently asked questions:
What happens if the district refuses to implement the rule or I refuse to allow my student to wear a mask?
If the district or school violates the rule, we could be fined $500 per day, per violation. Not following the mandate would result in the district losing its liability coverage, and educators who intentionally disregard the rule could lose their licenses. It goes without saying, all of these violations would impact our ability to provide quality in-person instruction to students, which we don’t want!
If a family refuses to allow their child to wear a mask, the family will be asked to enroll their student in our virtual learning option, Medford Online Academy.
What if my student cannot wear a mask due to medical reasons?
We absolutely will work with you! A student may have an exception to the rule written in their Special Education Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or families can provide a doctor’s note to their school for consideration. Oftentimes, when documentation is provided, face shields can be approved medical exceptions to a mask.
How long will the mask mandate last?
The Oregon Health Authority will reassess the rule at least every month with the intent to return districts to local decision-making when case rates decrease.
Are there any benefits to the mask mandate?
More time in school for our students! The new rules state that if students are wearing masks properly and seated three feet apart, they will not need to quarantine in the event of a case. We know from our experience last year that quarantining made continual learning time for students and teachers challenging. Additionally, face coverings help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses, keeping our school communities well and in school.
What about sports or after-school activities?
The Oregon Department of Education is allowing masks to be optional during optional activities, such as athletics and after-school activities that are not required as part of a student’s education. The Medford School District will allow masks optional at after-school athletics and activities that are not required as part of a student’s education.
On Tuesday, August 10, the Medford School Board will be having a Board meeting to discuss the rules and advocating for local decision-making at the state level. The meeting will be held at 5:30 PM at North Medford High School and available on live stream at this link: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/msbm/. Due to the increased number of COVID cases in Jackson County, the meeting space will not be open to the public. Written public comment will be accepted until noon August 10 at this link. A summary of comments will be shared at the meeting, and all public comments regarding face coverings will be provided to Board members and shared with the Governor’s office.
If you have any questions about the meeting please visit our website, email email@example.com, or contact 541-842-3621.