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Lincoln Elementary School in Woodburn was one of two school visited by Gov. Kate Brown as students returned to hybrid in-person learning.

COURTESY PHOTO: RICK VASQUEZ, WOODBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT - Oregon Governor Kate Brown with Woodburn School District acting Superintendent Juan Larios, left, and Board Chair Anthony Medina. Brown visited Lincoln Elementary on the first day of hybrid in-person learning April 1.Oregon Gov. Kate Brown visited Woodburn's Lincoln Elementary School on April 1, the first day of hybrid in-person instruction for Woodburn School District and around the state.

Governor's Office spokespeople said Brown toured Lincoln Elementary with Woodburn School District Acting Superintendent Juan Larios, School Board Chair Anthony Medina, Principal Sarah Flynn and district and school staff. She visited a kindergarten classroom and two bilingual first-grade classrooms, as well as the school's health screening room for students.

Lincoln was one of two schools Brown visited that day; the other was Scott Elementary in Portland.

COURTESY PHOTO: RICK VASQUEZ, WOODBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT - Governor Kate Brown visited Lincoln Elementary School in Woodburn on the first day of hybrid in-person learning April 1. "There is no better reminder of why school is so foundational to our children's lifelong success than seeing the way their faces light up when they see their teacher and their friends in a classroom for the first time after an incredibly challenging year," Brown said. "I'd like to thank (Portland Public Schools) Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero and Acting Superintendent Juan Larios for inviting me to their districts to share in this special moment for Oregon children today. And I'd like to thank all the educators, school staff and parents who have worked together tirelessly to make today possible for Oregon students."

When Brown visited Janeen Weigel's class at Lincoln, she asked students: "Are you glad to be back in school?" Some students immediately said yes by raising their hands, while others seemed on the fence.COURTESY PHOTO: RICK VASQUEZ, WOODBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT - Governor Kate Brown visited Lincoln Elementary School in Woodburn on the first day of hybrid in-person learning April 1.

"Oh, a few hands! That's good," Brown replied.

Lincoln Principal Sarah Flynn said it was a privilege to welcome the governor to her school and that she was also excited to have staff and students back in the building. COURTESY PHOTO: RICK VASQUEZ, WOODBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT - Teacher Janeen Weigel takes a selfie with the governor. Governor Kate Brown visited Lincoln Elementary School in Woodburn on the first day of hybrid in-person learning April 1.

"We have worked together as a learning community to make it as safe as possible for students and families to come back," Flynn said. "Parents can feel comfortable with their decision for hybrid learning."

WSD spokesman Rick Vasquez said the district's much-anticipated day arrived as elementary students participating in the hybrid model joined some of their peers and teachers for in-person instruction at their respective elementary schools.

Some students were dropped off, while others arrived on the bus. In all cases, teachers and administrators appeared enthusiastic about seeing students walking the halls and filling empty desks.

"This is the best day ever," said Lincoln Elementary Assistant principal Mateo Courtney as he welcomed and directed students being dropped off at Lincoln Elementary. "It is so good to see students back. This is the whole reason I got into education, to work with students in person." COURTESY PHOTO: RICK VASQUEZ, WOODBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT - Stoping into Christopher Ramos' classroom. Governor Kate Brown visited Lincoln Elementary School in Woodburn on the first day of hybrid in-person learning April 1.

Vasquez said grades K-2 at Heritage, Nellie Muir and Washington elementary schools began hybrid in-person instruction. WSD scheduled the other elementary grades, 3-5, to begin on Monday, April 5.

WSD's schedule for middle and high school is as follows: Sixth and ninth grades will begin April 19; grades 7 and 10-12 begin April 20; and eighth grade begins April 22.

WSD Superintendent Juan Larios said he looks forward to the next few weeks as middle and high school students participating in hybrid learning return to campus.

"We are so excited to be welcoming our students back," Larios said. "Our community can feel confident that students are returning safely for in-person instruction. It fills our hearts to have our children and staff back in our school buildings."

COURTESY PHOTO: RICK VASQUEZ, WOODBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT - Governor Kate Brown visited Lincoln Elementary School in Woodburn on the first day of hybrid in-person learning April 1.


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