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Kindergartners and first graders were welcomed back, with other elementary grades to follow.

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Hallinan Elementary educational assistant Barb Bogdan helps kindergartener Audrey Cherrytree to the first day of class.Just a few days shy of a year since the district experienced its first case of COVID-19, elementary schools across Lake Oswego School District welcomed kindergarten and first graders back to the classroom for the first day of hybrid in-person learning Tuesday, Feb. 23.

"It was joyous," Director of Communications Mary Kay Larson said. She was present at Hallinan Elementary's reopening and helped welcome students in.

"Everyone was really joyous and really excited to see each other and be back together," she said.

She said the students received a warm and organized welcome.

A plethora of added health and safety features went into making the reopening possible.

For one, anyone entering a school building must wear a face covering. Each school building is equipped with ionization devices which bind fine particulates, as well as electrostatic cleaners and plenty of personal protective equipment for every student, teacher and staff member. Desks are spaced out to provide physical distance. Hand sanitation stations are available and signage helps guide students while keeping their distance.

District nurse Ann Nelson said the district has implemented health screening protocols for staff and students, reorganized the health rooms to allow more space in between cots, assigned designated isolation areas and created documents for parents outlining what symptoms to keep kids home with.

The district's youngest learners were welcomed back first, per LOSD's phase-in plan. Older elementary grades are soon to follow.

In-person hybrid learning will open to second and third grade students March 1, and fourth and fifth grade students will follow March 5.

The rest of the district is watching the elementary phase-in and planning to welcome secondary students back in the fourth quarter.

Lake Oswego students return to in-person learning


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