Hermiston School District Releases Updated Plan for Students’ Return

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The Hermiston School District will change its focus in calculating COVID-19 case rates as it plans for more students to return to in-person instruction.

In a shift from prior reporting, Hermiston School District announced that it is now able to focus on Hermiston ZIP code data, rather than countywide information, to calculate case rates in planning for increased in-person instruction.

Starting Feb. 16, elementary student schedules will change. Comprehensive distance learning will move to the afternoon. This will shift limited in-person instruction to the morning and create a smoother transition as the district is able to move into hybrid learning. Parents will receive further building-specific information in the coming weeks, via building newsletters and electronic communications.

“The excitement of our teachers and building staff is palpable,” said Superintendent Dr. Tricia Mooney. “We are excited for the return of more students to the classroom. We will continue to observe Hermiston’s COVID-19 case counts, and we won’t be satisfied until we can offer in-person instruction to every student.”

To check the Hermiston community health progress, relative to COVID-19 metrics, parents and community members may follow rolling graph data from the Umatilla County Health Department. Data on Hermiston case counts will also be available on the district website and will be routinely updated as information is released by the Oregon Health Authority.

The district monitors health data to determine the safest instructional model under which to operate. New ZIP code data is released each Wednesday by the Oregon Health Authority. Using a two-week “look back” of Hermiston ZIP code data, HSD will determine the appropriate model to return students to on-site learning. As decisions are made regarding the instructional model, the district will communicate timelines that allow for necessary district planning, staff training, family communication, and a gradual opening.

For more information, visit the district website.

(HSD graphic)