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Survey on Face Coverings

July 20, 2021

The Medford School District remains committed to striking a balance between managing risks associated with the COVID preventative measures and the quality and effectiveness of the educational experience.  We do not take our responsibility to students and staff lightly and are working diligently to establish a safe and effective educational environment. 

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the State of Oregon have made the preventative measure guidance advisory so that local school districts may make decisions based on their community’s current circumstances, while holistically managing the student educational experience along the continuum of risk.  

On July 7, we shared our COVID guidance for our students and staff in our Summer Experience.  We continue to have a multi-layered mitigation approach that includes: encouraging and providing masks, requiring masks on school buses, physical distancing at 3’ to the fullest extent possible, screening, contact tracing, quarantining and isolation, training staff and students, signage, high contact surface disinfection throughout the day, daily disinfection of all spaces, increased run times on HVAC systems, increased fresh air supply, and the use of MERV 13 air filtration.

As we work toward opening schools this fall, we are receiving a lot of feedback on whether or not to require face coverings. In order to get a complete picture, please mark the statement in this survey that aligns most closely with your thoughts regarding face coverings for the 2021-22 school year:

July 7, 2021

Greetings, Medford School District Staff and Families, 

At the end of June, the Governor lifted the majority of COVID-19 restrictions in Oregon.  Additionally, our state governing body, the Oregon Department of Education, in conjunction with the Oregon Health Authority, has given greater flexibility to local districts on COVID protocols. 

For the last 16 months, the Medford School District has worked closely with Jackson County Public Health (JCPH) to thoughtfully implement all mandated health and safety guidance. We were one of the largest districts in the state to get back to full-time in-person learning last spring,  and did so with minimal COVID-19 spread in schools.  Moving forward, we will continue to partner with JCPH to prioritize the safety and wellness of our students, staff, and community.  

Beginning July 12, 2021, we will be implementing the following regarding COVID guidance:  

  • Maintain contact logs in order to identify and isolate COVID-19 cases and exposures (state requirement). 
    • We will continue to work with JCPH to identify COVID cases as well as those considered exposed to COVID, and will be required to quarantine affected unvaccinated students and/or staff.
  • Set up spaces for three-feet physical distancing to the maximum extent possible, while not limiting activities due to distancing.
  • Make face coverings optional.
    • We know that education is more effective (and fun) when we can see each other’s faces. We have also received strong feedback from our families about allowing masks to be optional. We will work with our students and staff to respect everyone’s individual choices.
  • Continue other safety measures.
    • These include: diligent cleaning and disinfecting, increased fresh air intake and upgrades to MERV-13 filters, education and training, and dedicated school COVID safety teams.

This guidance will be in effect for our Summer Experience program, and is the direction we are leaning for the 2021-2022 school year. ODE is due to share additional guidance July 22, so the following week we will be sharing our plan for the fall of 2021.  

The last year and a half have been trying for our staff, families, and community in so many ways. While COVID-19 may not be fully behind us, we are grateful and hope-filled to put more of our energy where it belongs,  into ensuring ALL our students are learning and achieving their potential! 

If you have questions, please email them to We will ensure they are answered by the appropriate person. Please know it’s summer break for many of our staff, so our reply might be a bit slower than usual. 

Have a great rest of your summer!

Bret Champion