An emergency waiver provided to the Glide School District by the Oregon Department of Education will not allow the school to reopen to in-person learning any sooner.

Glide School District was among 25 school districts impacted by wildfires that can offer in-person instruction to students who were displaced due to loss of their home or that remain in Level 3 Evacuation Zones.

Glide was already offering in-person instruction to kindergarten through third grade and seventh through 12th grade, as those qualified for other exemptions listed in the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance from the state. This meant the emergency waiver would apply to students in fourth through sixth grade who lost their home in the fire.

Superintendent Mike Narkiewicz said this only affected one student and that family “chose to remain in Comprehensive Distance Learning, so the waiver had no impact on getting our students in grades (4-6) back in the classroom.”

The Oregon Department of Education provided several school districts, both public and private, with the emergency waiver because of the wildfires.

“Many students and families in communities impacted by wildfires are still displaced by active evacuation zones, loss of access to their home, or have seen a total loss of housing and infrastructure that has made accessing Comprehensive Distance Learning impossible,” the emergency waiver read. “Additionally, some schools that serve communities impacted by wildfires in Oregon are experiencing significant and widespread loss of internet connectivity, technology devices, and safe and supportive places to participate in online Comprehensive Distance Learning.”

Public and private schools within the boundaries of the McKenzie School District, Phoenix-Talent School District and Santiam Canyon School District are able to serve all students in person.

A driving force for the emergency waiver was the need for trauma to be addressed by social emotional and mental health support.

“If eligible public and private schools concur that current social emotional, mental health, and basic shelter and nutrition needs of students impacted by wildfires in Oregon outweigh the potential negative effects of increased of COVID-19 risks, which may be mitigated by employing additional safety measures; the schools may provide in-person services with additional provisions,” the waiver said.”For many of these students it is believed that the safest place in the community is at school.”

Schools will have to work with the local public health authority and follow sections 1-3 in the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance. All schools must also create a Comprehensive Distance Learning option for students and families who do not want to take the additional risk.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at or 541-957-4203.

Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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7 new coronavirus cases were reported today by the County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team, bringing the total to 308 cases and 4 deaths in Douglas County.

The County Commissioners Coronavirus Response Team has reported 26 coronavirus cases and received 647 test results over the past week. Dividing 26 cases by 647 test results gives Douglas County a 7-day positive test rate of 4.0 % today.

The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported 86 new coronavirus cases and Curry County reported their first death today. The six counties surrounding Douglas County have reported 514 cases and 2 deaths over the past week.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 410 new coronavirus cases and 6 deaths in Oregon today. The 7-day positive test rate for Oregon is 5.4% today.

The Oregon Health Authority tracks hospital statistics for 7 different regions in Oregon (below link). Region 3 consists of Douglas, Coos, Curry and Lane Counties. The OHA reported 18 ICU beds and 113 non-ICU beds are available in Region 3 today. Meanwhile, Region 4 reported 67 new coronavirus cases today and 359 cases over the past week.

Region 4 has had a significant increase in its number of coronavirus hospitalizations relative to the other six regions. If you compare recent case numbers to the number of available beds in Region 4, you can easily see how a continued increase in coronavirus cases could overwhelm Region 4 hospitals.!/vizhome/OregonCOVID-19HospitalCapacity/BedAvailabilitybyRegion

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