NEW ODE GUIDANCE RELEASED 5/19/2021

SUPERINTENDENT'S MESSAGE RE: NEW ODE GUIDANCE RELEASED 5/19/2021
Posted on 05/20/2021
May 20, 2021

Dear Eagle Point School District 9 Patrons,


Wow! Our world is changing daily. Yesterday, Colt Gill, Director of the Oregon Department of Education, issued a bulletin regarding the Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) updated guidance regarding  use of masks, face coverings, and face shields, as well as interim guidance for individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In general these updates do not directly impact Ready Schools, Safe Learners (RSSL) guidance. That being said, these updates do impact students, families and our EPSD9 staff.


I have been meeting with Southern Oregon Superintendents to talk about our all being on the same page with our interpretation and implementation of the new OHA guidance.  As we make these decisions, student and staff safety is our top priority. I am referring not only to physical safety but also the mental safety of EPSD9.  I often look at the Jackson County Metrics to keep a pulse on the pandemic here in our county. 


Beginning today, we will be adhering to the new RSSL Guidance regarding wearing face coverings outdoors. Here’s what it says:

  • Outdoors: Students, staff, volunteers, and visitors are not required to wear face coverings outdoors (including, but not limited to: Outdoor PE, outdoor music, recess, and arrival & dismissal). Until additional updates are provided, all RSSL physical distancing and other related requirements still apply. This does not limit an individual or family decision to continue to wear face coverings.

Indoors we will continue to require everyone to wear masks. This will include during school and after school activities. Here’s why. We are on the home stretch to the end of the school year with the workload and stress that entails.  I am unwilling, at this time, to get into the practice of demanding and verifying proof of vaccinations. 

I have said it many times and it is still my belief--I am so proud of the work our staff has accomplished and grateful for their flexibility in this uncharted territory. This has been a challenging school year and I would not want to lead our schools through it with any other group of people. Thank you!

Respectfully,


Andy Kovach