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Elementary school students will potentially begin participating in hybrid instruction in late January

PMG FILE PHOTO - Estacada students tentatively will begin participating in hybrid learning in late January.

Estacada School District leaders are tentatively planning to reopen elementary schools for hybrid learning beginning in late January.

In an announcement on Thursday, Jan. 7, the district said students in kindergarten and first grade potentially would be returning to class Monday, Jan. 25, and second through fifth graders will tentatively return Monday, Feb. 8.

Middle and high school students will return to hybrid learning "at a later date still to be determined."

Estacada School District students currently are participating in comprehensive distance learning.

The district's announcement comes after Gov. Kate Brown's statement last month that Oregon's COVID-19 health metrics for returning to in-person instruction will become advisory rather than mandatory as of the new year.

"Moving forward, the decision to resume in-person instruction must be made locally, district by district, school by school," Brown wrote in a letter to health and education agencies.

Estacada School District leaders noted that they are still in the process of planning "a thoughtful, efficient and successful reopening" and are collaborating with building staff, public health officials and the Oregon Department of Education to do so.

"A variety of factors influenced this decision, including parent and employee voice, but a primary factor is the research that has emerged suggesting that elementary students are less susceptible and less infectious than older students," the announcement read. "Safety, research and the feedback we have received from local, state and community partners — including families — continue to influence our decisions."


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