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Medford Schools Will Open With On-Line Learning Only

Currently, Jackson County fails to meet the governor's COVID-19 criteria for opening in-person classes.

With fall approaching, many parents of school-age children are still wondering if their kids will be attending class in-person or on-line, and how the schools will handle coronavirus safety concerns.

The Medford School District, Southern Oregon's largest, announced Wednesday that its schools will begin the academic year with on-line learning only.

District Superintendent Brett Champion made the announcement.

"For the first 6 weeks the Medford School District K-12 will be in comprehensive distance learning," he said. "Then, after we’ve been doing that for 3 weeks, we’ll communicate to the public what the next 6 weeks is going to be."

Champion said this will allow another 3 weeks for parents and staff to prepare for the shift. He said those decisions will be based on how Jackson County is meeting the state’s metrics for COVID-19 infections.

"The Governor rolled out the metrics for what does reopening look like: fewer than 10 cases per 100,000, and a test positivity rate of 5% or lower in the county and at the state level. And we don’t meet those metrics in either case," he said.

He stressed that the new guidelines for distance learning will be different from the remote learning conducted in the spring. In the new plan, at least 50% of the instruction must be teachers interacting directly with students, and the teachers will be teaching from the classroom this fall.

The district’s virtual instruction classes will get under way September 8th.

Dave has worked in broadcasting for over 30 years as an on-air host, producer, writer, and recording engineer. He now oversees news hosts at JPR and also manages radio operations.