Molalla River School District grades K-2 to return full-time, grades 4-12 to follow hybrid model

PMG FILE PHOTO: DEBORAH GUINTHER - Molalla's elementary school students are expected to return to school in February, barring significant changes in reopening guidance and/or COVID-19 cases.

The Molalla River School District established a series of tentative return dates by grade level, with grades K-1 returning Feb. 1, grades 2-3 returning Feb. 8, grades 4-5 returning Feb. 22, and grades 6-12 returning in early March.

Superintendent Tony Mann made the announcement in a letter to school families Friday, Jan. 8, noting that the dates are subject to change based on variables such as updates to the reopening guidance expected by Jan. 19 and changes in COVID-19 case rates.

Upon return, all students in grades K-3 will attend in-person five days per week. Students in grades 4-12 will be divided into A/B cohorts attending alternating days.

With students back in the buildings, schools will be required to follow more than 150 mandatory health and safety protocols including wearing masks, maintaining social distance, following directional signage and staying home when sick. There also is expected to be on-site rapid testing for COVID-19.

The district produced a back-to-school video for families that shows the reopening process in action and provides a look into the changes that students will notice in the schools.

Even once in-person instruction begins, families who opted for yearlong distance learning will continue in that model.

"We feel fortunate in Molalla that we will be able to support both models through the balance of the school year to ensure that students' and families' needs are met," Mann said.

The district will continue to communicate updates through the weekly district email and through principals' emails.

Kristen Wohlers
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