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School Opening Update for Wallowa County Schools as of 7/28/20

posted Jul 28, 2020, 4:17 PM by Angela Gorham

Dear JCS Families:

As we have always done, Wallowa County districts will provide students with a high quality, safe education during the 2020-2021 school year.  Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and under the mandate of Governor Brown, all public and private schools will open this fall using one of the following learning environments:

  • On-site/In-person 

  • Comprehensive Distance Learning 

  • Hybrid (combination of the two)  

It is each of our district’s goal and highest priority to hold on-site, in-person instruction on a consistent basis, while providing for and protecting the health and safety of students and staff.  

To hold in-person instruction, our county and state must meet certain metrics established by Governor Brown that reflect COVID-19 rates of residents.  Based on the first set of metrics presented by Gov. Brown, Wallowa County does not meet the criteria for offering in-person instruction. 

If a county is close to meeting metrics and schools meet certain additional criteria, there may be exceptions that allow a school to hold on-site instruction. 

We continue to invest resources to meet the learning needs of all our students regardless of the learning environment a school is in.  In every learning environment, Wallowa County schools will:

  • Continue to focus on student identity, belonging, care, connection, wellbeing, and mental, social and emotional health;

  • Actively engage and nurture relationships with students, families and community;

  • Center equity in all efforts with parents and caregivers;

  • Provide high quality, well-rounded learning opportunities; and

  • Encourage, support, and provide opportunities for active collaboration and communication between school leaders, teachers and all local staff.

If comprehensive distance learning is the fall opening model mandated, it will be a planned response and will look very different than it did in Spring 2020. Wallowa County students will have access to rigorous, standards-based, grade-level educational materials and interaction with a teacher skillfully guiding their educational experience. Attendance will be taken and grades earned in addition to other accountability measures families are accustomed to.  Our staff learned a lot from the experience this past spring and are prepared to do whatever it takes to be ready.

Meals (breakfast and lunch) will continue to be provided to students regardless of the learning environment they are in.  

Much could change between now and our opening dates.  We will monitor health metrics and will continue to work closely with our families to collaborate around instructional models being considered.

We honor and value each opportunity to educate Wallowa County kids.  We will continue to advocate for metrics to appropriately represent and manage the COVID-19 risk for Wallowa County residents.  

Please help us achieve our goal of holding on-site instruction for our students this school year by following the guidelines outlined by the Oregon Health Authority to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Thank you for your support – we are proud to represent public education in Wallowa County.  Please contact your district superintendent with questions, comments or concerns.

Erika Pinkerton

Lance Homan

Tammy Jones

Karen Patton

Enterprise School District

Joseph School District

Wallowa School District

Troy/ Wallowa Education Service District