Hillsboro plans to reopen closed schools this week
The Hillsboro School District says it plans to resume in-person classes at two elementary schools this week after they were closed temporarily last week because of a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Indian Hills Elementary School is set to reopen immediately after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
Brookwood Elementary School is expected to return to in-person learning on Friday, Jan. 21.
A third school, City View Charter School — which is sponsored by the Hillsboro School District but is largely autonomous, like most of Oregon's public charter schools — plans to reopen Monday, Jan. 24, after charter school officials decided to close the campus last week.
Across the Hillsboro School District, 77 staff were in isolation and 106 students were also isolating due to COVID-19, according to the district's dashboard, which was last updated Friday, Jan. 14. However, the district says there is a "significant lag" in the data, meaning the information on the dashboard may not be fully up-to-date.
Hillsboro officials stressed in a message to the school community Thursday, Jan. 13, that closing schools is an extreme measure.
"These decisions are not taken lightly and are seen as a last resort to be implemented as needed for the health and safety of students and staff," the district said in the statement.
Like many of its neighboring school districts, Hillsboro considers both student and staff absences in determining whether to move a school back to virtual instruction.
The Forest Grove, Beaverton and Tigard-Tualatin school districts, among others, have all had to close multiple schools this month as the extremely contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 drives record-high case counts in Oregon.
Schools and classrooms in Hillsboro that are closed due to COVID-19 will typically be shut down for 10 days before returning to in-person instruction, according to the school district.
"Generally speaking, when a classroom or school is closed there will be one day for teachers to prepare for the transition to temporary distance learning (TDL), then students will engage in TDL on all other days of the closure," the district noted.
Indian Hills Elementary School announced it would be closed for all of last week on Jan. 8. Brookwood Elementary School moved to distance learning on Jan. 11.
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