At a meeting July 12, the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board approved the district's health and safety recommendations for the 2021-22 school year.
Based on new guidance from the state, the recommendations include doing away with a mask mandate. Masks will no longer be required but will be "strongly advised" for students and staff who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Additionally, physical distancing and cohort policies will also become more flexible. Although physical distancing is no longer required, Ludwig said it is to be maintained to the extent possible. What that means in daily practice is yet to be determined. Physical distancing of desks, floor-markers and one-way hallway traffic will no longer be enforced. Both the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority strongly advise maintaining three feet of distance when possible.
Because the district is going back to a full five-day in-person schedule, there will no longer be A/B cohorts. But elementary classes will stay separate for special programs like PE, art and library. Classes will also remain separate for lunch and recess to the extent possible.
Middle and high school classes will no longer have cohorts of any kind.
In Ludwig's email message to the community following the board meeting, she said that district staff will continue to work with families to ensure that school and classroom culture respects each person's health and safety preferences, and that face coverings will continue to be made available for students and staff. In her message she also said the district will continue to prioritize effective ventilation and improve indoor air quality by cycling in outdoor air and ensuring the recirculated air has undergone proper filtration methods.
These updates to health and safety measures will go into effect July 19.
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