Dear Elkton Charter School Families,
As you likely know, Governor Brown released a statement on July 29 declaring that masks would be required indoors for all K-12 public, private, and charter schools for the 2021-22 school year. This was a shift in previous guidance released by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on July 22 that strongly advised masks, but ultimately allowed parents to make the decision. We share in the frustrations that the Governor’s mask mandate has created and do believe that choice is an important element of the school experience.
Oregon superintendents met virtually with leaders at ODE and OHA Monday afternoon to receive information about the Governor’s new directive. This directive will be signed into law this month and districts have been mandated to follow this order. ODE and OHA indicated that they will be reexamining this mandate monthly with the intent of returning masking decisions to local control. One aspect of the Mandate that is different is the allowance for athletics and other extra- curricular activities to be left at the discretion of the local school district. At this time, we will not be requiring masks for these activities.
You can access the information ODE shared with superintendents here and an update on COVID in Oregon here. If you have concerns to share about this mandate, we encourage you to contact OHA, ODE or the Governor’s Office directly.
We will continue to share updates and details soon about the start of the new year. Our top goals this year will be to ensure our kids are healthy and safe, remain in classrooms full time, and receive the extra support they need following last year’s educational disruptions.
Superintendent, Elkton School District